Careers in Care


Please note: In light of the challenging and unprecedented circumstances related to COVID-19, the NEPA Health Care Foundation is providing additional times for interested applicants to submit their Letters of Intent and Grant Applications.

The new deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent is August 1, 2020. If invited to submit a grant application, the new grant application date is October 1, 2020.


A Three-Year Strategy to Address
Healthcare Workforce Needs
in Northeastern Pennsylvania

2020 – 2023 



Careers in Care is a $1.5 million, three-year strategic initiative aimed at supporting and expanding the health care workforce in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming Counties.


Why Careers in Care?

In 2018, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation, in partnership with the Scranton Area Community Foundation, held a community forum to gather information on areas of need in the healthcare sector.  From the discussions, it became clear that the healthcare workforce was a priority area.

A year-long regional listening tour was conducted in 2019 to explore the region’s healthcare workforce challenges in-depth and to understand the value of making a funding stream for healthcare workforce issues a priority.

After nearly 30 visits conducted across the region, it was evident that there is a great demand for nurses at all levels, and that each level has its own particular set of challenges and opportunities including staffing shortages and high turnover rate problems which can directly affect patient care.

In addition to opportunities to support the nursing profession, conversations indicated how healthcare workforce pipeline programs can lead to increased enrollment and success in healthcare education institutions as well as increase the pool of candidates for employment in the regional healthcare sector. The NEPA Health Care Foundation is interested in exploring partnerships and strategies that would help to increase the healthcare workforce capacity at various educational levels.


How will it work?

The NEPA Health Care Foundation plans to commit a total of $1.5 million to Careers in Care over a three year period (2020-2023). This is separate from and in addition to the previously committed $1.2 million to the NEPA Health Care Foundation Scholars program, which supports the physician workforce through Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM). 

This $500,000 per year commitment will be distributed to several areas including addressing the healthcare workforce pipeline and supporting the nursing profession.                                                                                                                                             

What will be funded?

Careers in Care has established a Grants Program that aims to address the healthcare workforce pipeline as well as provide support for the nursing profession. The NEPA Health Care Foundation invites the public to submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) for programs and initiatives in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties that address appropriate areas. 501c3 organizations and entities that meet the desired funding criteria will be eligible.


NEPA Health Care Foundation board members at the launch of Careers in Care, from left to right: Robert Knowles, Board Vice-Chair; Jeremiah Eagen, M.D.; Donna Martucci; Michele McGowan; James Clemente, Board Chair; Honorable Terrence Nealon; and Laura Ducceshi, President & CEO of Scranton Area Community Foundation and Administrator of the NEPA Health Care Foundation.


Grants to Support the Healthcare Workforce Pipeline

The regional pipeline of potential healthcare employees is critical for the healthcare workforce. Multiple providers indicated a key reason for a healthcare workforce shortage in the region is because awareness of these opportunities is not reaching students early enough, and in particular, they are not reaching students who are from low-to-middle income backgrounds whose guardians are not aware of these opportunities; students from diverse backgrounds; and students from more rural areas.

Educational institutions and employers indicated that barriers exist leading to inadequate enrollment in health professions programs and subsequent staffing shortages.  They also indicate the need to start early in forming a pipeline with local students, particularly in the early part of middle school. Critical skills that were indicated by colleges and universities as significant barriers to entry, as well as challenges upon enrollment, include STEM skills, Math skills, Communication skills, ESL, and Resiliency skills. Potential partners can include but are not limited to, colleges, universities, medical schools, K-12 schools, libraries, professional organizations, health care providers, Career Technology Centers and school-to-work organizations that provide students with exposure to career opportunities.


Grants to Support the Nursing Profession

Programs that both support the need of nurses in our communities and which are aimed at addressing the significant nursing shortage in NEPA are important for quality delivery of care. Through Careers in Care, eligible initiatives can support and focus on nurses as employees, as well as nursing students.

Proposals can include support for the following, but are not limited to the list below:


  • Innovative strategies and solutions for addressing the nursing shortage in NEPA
  • Career Path Programs to move nurses up through various credential levels; Bridge building from PCT-CNA-LPN-RN-BSN
  • Programs to help mitigate burnout and injuries in the workplace
  • Programs focusing on growth, success, resilience and retention of nurses
  • Initiatives to provide incentives and better work environments
  • Training equipment for nursing education with identified outcomes for care delivery improvement
  • Incentives for Nurse Educators
  • Nursing programs for underserved and diverse students
  • Leadership development programs for nurses at all levels
  • Interdisciplinary Care Team Training
  • Stop Gap funding for building sustainable increased compensation programs
  • Measures to address nursing student dropout rates
  • Programs and initiatives that address the employee satisfaction levels for nurses
  • Collaboratives and initiatives that address clinical placements including  Education/Opportunity Disparities
  • Nursing Student Hardship Fund/stipend funds for health-related curriculums
  • Step-up opportunities/ credit accumulation programs for high school students

Potential partners/ applicants can include but are not limited to vocational schools, colleges, universities, K-12 schools, health care providers, and nonprofit organizations.


Wrap Up

As the NEPA Health Care Foundation celebrates its tenth anniversary of providing funding for healthcare needs in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming County, they have prioritized Careers in Care in order to make a focused impact on the Healthcare Workforce in NEPA over the next three years. The Foundation is hopeful that Careers in Care will positively impact current and future care delivery in NEPA.


Grant Application Process

There is one grant cycle annually for the Careers in Care grant program at the NEPA Health Care Foundation.

Our grant application process is now streamlined through an online grant management portal administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. The grant application process begins with submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) through the online portal. 

The new deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent is August 1, 2020. 

To submit an LOI, you will need to first create an account in our online grant management portal. All applicants are required to create an account. [Please note: your LOI/grant application can be saved as a draft, and when you log on again it’s easy to return to that draft, make edits, and submit the application when you’re ready to do so.]

Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Online Grant Management Portal: 

All submitted LOIs will be reviewed and select organizations will be invited to submit a full grant application through the online portal before the grant application deadline.

The new deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent is August 1, 2020. If invited to submit a grant application, the new grant application date is October 1, 2020.


Please note that the NEPA Health Care Foundation will ONLY accept grant requests through the online portal. No paper or emailed applications will be accepted.

If you have any questions about our grant application process, please contact us at 570-347-6203, ext. 301 or


© NEPA Health Care Foundation 2020

615 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 102

Scranton, PA 18510

570-347-6203, ext. 310 Email Us