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BUSINESS UPDATES | 5 graduate from Mercy Health’s School at Work program

Among the business updates this week: Greenwood Extra Mile Giveaway, Williamson College of Business Administration, One Health Ohio, 898 Marketing, Cortland Bank, WRTA, Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell, Home & Garden Expo at Buhl Park, Akron Children's Hospital and Penn State Extension.

YOUNGSTOWN — Five Mercy Health employees recently marked the successful completion of a six-month School at Work program during a graduation ceremony at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

The School at Work program prepares employees in entry-level jobs to further their educations so they can advance in their careers, according to a news release.

Two of the graduates — Mindy Van Horn, a patient care associate at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, and Jasmine Stewart, a dining room associate at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital — have already enrolled in classes at Eastern Gateway Community College to complete prerequisites for the school’s nursing program.

A third School at Work graduate, Angela Singleton, who works in housekeeping at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, will start classes at Eastern Gateway this fall. The other two graduates, Heather Oswald, a hostess who works in nutrition services at St. Joseph Warren Hospital, and Lisa Rakocy, a registration clerk at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, are yet to determine their next steps.

Funded by Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley, School at Work provides Mercy Health employees and contract employees working in entry-level positions the opportunity to advance to better-paying jobs through education. 

“This program really is a win-win for everybody,” Paul Homick, president of Mercy Health Foundation, said in the release. “It offers employees working in entry-level positions — nurse aides, food service, transportation and environmental services workers — an opportunity to prepare themselves for additional education so they can earn a certification or degree that will enable them to advance into better-paying positions.”

For information on how to support the program or other causes that seek to improve the health and well-being of Mahoning Valley residents, call Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley at 330-729-1180.

United Way donors get chance to win
Equinox at Greenwood giveway

AUSTINTOWN — The Greenwood Extra Mile Giveaway will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 13) at Greenwood Chevrolet, 4695 Mahoning Ave.

The giveaway will reward a donor who gave to either the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley or the United Way of Trumbull County during the 2019 campaigns. 

Ten finalists, five from each United Way, will get a key to attempt to start a 2019 Chevrolet Equinox, courtesy of Greenwood Chevrolet. 

The winner will get to choose either the Equinox or $15,000 cash.

AACSB accreditation extended for YSU’s
Williamson College of Business Administration

YOUNGSTOWN — AACSB International, the premier accrediting agency for business schools worldwide, has extended the accreditation of the undergraduate and graduate programs in the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University.

“AACSB accreditation is external validation of the quality of our faculty, staff, students and programs,” YSU President Jim Tressel said in a news release. “This global recognition places our business programs in the top 5 percent in the world. Our students are ensured a high-quality business education coupled with the professional development opportunities that enable them to maximize their competitiveness in the job market.”

ONE Health Ohio adds
two new counselors

YOUNGSTOWN — Nicolette Giordano, behavioral health supervisor and counselor, and Ashley Borovitcky, behavioral health counselor, have joined ONE Health Ohio.

Giordano will be providing behavioral health counseling services to adults and adolescents at the Youngstown Community Health Center, 726 Wick Ave. She also works with patients struggling with addiction at RISE Recovery in Youngstown and Warren. 

Giordano graduated from Youngstown State University with a bachelor of arts degree in 2005 and a master of science degree in education in 2008. She has more than 11 years of experience working as a mental health and substance abuse counselor with an emphasis on medication-assisted treatment.

Borovitcky will be providing behavioral health counseling services to adults and adolescents at the Youngstown Community Health Center in Youngstown and ONE Health Ohio at Alliance, 1390 S. Arch Ave.

Borovitcky graduated from the University of Mount Union with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a minor in business administration. She then received a master of arts degree in education with a major in clinical counseling and school counseling at Malone University. She has been working as a licensed counselor since 2012. 

ONE Health operates eight health centers in Youngstown, Warren, Newton Falls, Cortland and Alliance, as well as medication-assisted treatment and counseling services through RISE Recovery in Youngstown and Warren. To schedule an appointment, call 877-722-3303.

898 Marketing in Canfield hires
Caitlin Trotta as creative designer

CANFIELD — 898 Marketing, 5721 Shields Road, Suite A, has hired Caitlin Trotta as a creative designer.

Trotta has experience in print design, photography and branding. She graduated from Kent State University with a bachelor of arts degree in visual communication design and a double minor in advertising and photo illustration.

Trotta was a member of 898 Marketing’s fall intern class. 

“It takes a special person to develop creative [designs] for various clients with unique brands, styles and interests,” Jeff Ryznar, president of 898 Marketing, said in a news release. “It takes an even more special person to be able to do it with efficiency and a level of passion and creativity, willing to push the envelope to create something great, no matter what size project or client. We, our team and our clients are lucky to have found an individual in Caitlin who brings a level of talent and personality that makes every project and interaction better.”

Cortland Bank to host
home buyer seminar

CANFIELD — Cortland Bank is hosting a free homebuyer seminar at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Newport Branch Library, 3730 Market St., Youngstown. 

The one-hour educational session is designed to help prospective home buyers take advantage of existing affordable housing opportunities.

“The supply of affordable housing in our region, as well as throughout the country, has dwindled significantly in the past few years," Mark Chuey, vice president and retail mortgage banking officer at Cortland Bank who will lead the home buyer seminar, said in a news release. “As a result, prospective buyers need to be better prepared and educated as to what they can afford and how they can qualify for financing so that they are able to successfully secure what inventory is available.”

According to Chuey, the seminar will start with basics such as mortgage loans and how to qualify, the value of good credit, down payment requirements and the need for pre-approval. It will additionally cover information about grants available through the Welcome Home Program, which provides up to $5,000 for closing costs and a down payment, assuming applicants meet program requirements.

To register for the seminar, call 330-282-4139 or email 

Ohio Department of Transportation
awards $25,000 grant to WRTA

YOUNGSTOWN — The Western Reserve Transit Authority has been awarded a $25,000 grant by the Ohio Department of Transportation that will enable nonprofit and governmental agencies to make free transit passes available to those they serve.

Agencies that provide services such as infant mortality prevention, drug addiction treatment or job placement can distribute these passes to their clients, which would allow them to have reliable access to these services through WRTA’s fixed-route buses, according to a news release.

Eligible agencies can request WRTA passes by filling out and returning an application form, which can be downloaded at The deadline for the application is March 20.

Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell publishes
2019 Community Involvement Report

YOUNGSTOWN — Regional law firm Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell Ltd. recently published its 2019 Community Involvement Report, an online summary of its support for more than 60 local organizations during the year.

HHM and its lawyers provided financial and in-kind support with donations and volunteer work.

The report aims to inform clients, community partners, referral sources and potential clients about HHM’s commitment to community service.

“We’re proud to support a wide variety of causes that are important to us as a firm, our clients or as individuals in the communities where we work and live,” Kevin P. Murphy, chairman of HHM’s management committee, said in a news release. “HHM has stayed true to these values since our establishment in 1834. Many of these events or organizations have enjoyed our support since their inception. So we’re shining a spotlight on our community involvement to show that we’re proud of this and aligned with clients and partners who like to do business with people who support the community.”

The report also includes lawyers’ recent appointments to boards or committees of community and professional organizations.

The report can be accessed here.

2nd annual Home & Garden Expo
set for Saturday at Buhl Park

HERMITAGE, Pa. — “Pride in our Place” is the theme of the second annual Home & Garden Expo that will presented by the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce and The Greater Mercer County Association of Realtors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 8) at Avalon Golf and Country Club in Buhl Park, 715 Hazen Road.

With more vendors and demonstrations this year, there also will be seminars and giveaways. New this year is the arrangement of job shadowing with high school students by Thrive Shenango Valley — a young professional initiative through the chamber. Americana bluegrass trio Midnight Rooster will provide acoustical entertainment throughout the day.

“Our area is a really great place to live, and this expo will help showcase the great quality of life it provides,” Sherris Moreira, executive director of the chamber, said in a news release. Besides a home and garden-related vendor area in the main ballroom, there also will be interactive demonstrations every half hour featuring food, art, the Sharon Robotics teams and seminars on home ownership, interior design trends and home construction scams.

Entry to the expo is free with a nonperishable item to be collected by the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County; and $1 without one, with all proceeds going toward the food warehouse.

For information, call 724-981-5880 or email

Akron Children’s Hospital is first in
region to offer EOS imaging system

AKRON — Akron Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in Northeast Ohio to provide X-rays for patients using the EOS imaging system, the first technology capable of providing full-body, 2D and 3D images of patients in a standing position with a low dose of radiation.

The addition means that young patients seeing orthopedic specialists who need regular X-rays, such as those with scoliosis, will be exposed to much less radiation as they are assessed.

“The EOS is new, state-of-the-art technology that provides outstanding quality X-rays of the entire spine, while reducing radiation exposure to a fraction of that in traditional X-rays,” Dr. Lorena Floccari, a pediatric spine surgeon in the department of Pediatric Orthopedics at Akron Children’s, said in a news release. “This improves our diagnostic capabilities while providing the highest level of safety to our patients at Akron Children's Hospital. We are thrilled to offer this new technology to patients with a wide range of spine and other orthopedic conditions.”

According to the company, the EOS system offers 50 percent to 85 percent less radiation than traditional X-ray systems and 95 percent less dose than basic computed tomography (CT) scans, in accordance with the As Low As Reasonably Achievable principle for minimizing a patient’s exposure to radiation.

Akron Children’s Hospital names
new vice president of payor strategy

AKRON — Akron Children’s Hospital has named Tuli Banerjee as vice president of payor strategy, effective March 2.

In her new role, Banerjee will be the executive lead for all payor relationships and negotiations for Akron Children's, including evaluation of reimbursement models, contract language and the impact of payor strategies on Akron Children's overall strategic plan. Banerjee will evaluate and recommend an array of strategies for contracting, including fee-for-service, value-based and risk-based arrangements.

She will assume the responsibilities of Karen Richter, vice president of managed care, who is retiring after 27 years of service. Richter will remain at Akron Children’s through March 13 to assist in the transition.

Before joining Akron Children’s, Banerjee was the associate director of health systems and large market employer health management consulting at Willis Towers Watson in Cleveland. She previously served as the senior contract manager for market and network services at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland.

Penn State Extension to host
FSMA produce-safety grower training

MERCER, Pa. — Is your farm in compliance with new federal food safety standards?

The Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule requires that at least one supervisor or responsible party for a farm must have successfully completed food safety training equivalent to at least that received under standardized curricula recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration, according to a news release.

This course will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 2 at the Penn State Extension Mercer County Office, 463 N. Perry Highway.

The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training course is one way to fulfill this requirement. Approximately seven hours of instruction time will be spent on the following modules: Introduction to Produce Safety; Worker Health, Hygiene and Training; Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use; Agricultural Water (Part 1: Production Water and Part 2: Postharvest Water); Postharvest Handling and Sanitation; and How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.

After attending the course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug officials verifying that they have completed the training.

To register, go to or call 877-345-0691. The standard registration fee is $150 per person; a $25 discounted rate is available for Pennsylvania growers who meet grant criteria by agreeing to share their contact information with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Produce growers who are not sure whether their farm is covered under the Food Safety Modernization Act can visit the Penn State Extension website at to learn more. For more information about the training course, contact Jeff Stoltzfus at 717-354-8116 or

Average price for gas remains steady

YOUNGSTOWN — The average price for gasoline across Northeast Ohio was steady this week at $2.42 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

In the Youngstown area, the price for gasoline was $2.36 per gallon this week.