Wilkes University

Pharmacy and Nursing Continuing Education

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Develop your professional skills and find extensive Continuing Education (CE) resources.

With our Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and the Passan School of  Nursing, Wilkes University offers resources to registered nurses and pharmacists. The seminars are held at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre.  Selected programs are recorded and will be offered as home study programs. 

In 2018 we will offer programs in the following areas:


Friday, April 20, 2018

Pennsylvania Pain and Addiction Summit
A Team Approach to Managing Chronic Pain and Opioid Prescribing Practices
Up to 6 hours of continuing education credit available

Where: Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs


  • $150 ($130 if registered by March 20, 2018)
  • $75 for either morning or afternoon sessions
  • (Wilkes preceptors receive a 50% discount)

Time: 8 A.M. - 6 P.M.

Program Schedule:

7-8 AM – Registration and breakfast
8-9 AM – Panel discussion of first responders
9-9:15 AM – Break
9:15-10:15 AM – Breakout Sessions
10:15-10:30 – Break
10:30-11:30 – Breakout Sessions
11:30-12:30 – Lunch
12:30-12:45 – Break
12:45-1:45 – Breakout Sessions
1:45-2 PM – Break
2-3 PM – Breakout sessions
3-4 PM – Closing Speaker
4-6 PM – Social and poster presentations

Program Objectives:

  • 1. Describe the role of various members of the health care team in the treatment of pain and substance abuse
  • 2. Discuss the importance of an interprofessional approach to the treatment of pain and substance abuse
  • 3. Discuss methods that can be used in individual practice settings to help a patient with pain or substance abuse issues 
  • 4. Identify opportunities to utilize an interprofessional approach to the treatment of pain and substance abuse

Speakers include:

Panel Discussion of first responders

Lieutenant Michael T. Carroll, Patrol Commander of Troop P Wyoming, which covers Bradford, Luzerne, Sullivan and Wyoming Counties. Lt. Carroll is a twenty-four year veteran of the State Police. He served nine years in narcotics and highway interdiction units throughout the eastern side of Pennsylvania. Lt. Carroll is also a counselor for Troop "R"s Camp cadet program.

James Jay Delaney has been employed by the Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department for 36 years and he is currently Fire Chief. Chief Delaney is also a certified paramedic and serves as the city's Emergency Management Coordinator as well as the Narcan Program Administrator. He currently supervises and manages an ALL HAZARDS department with over 11,000 emergency responses per year with an annual budget of ten million dollars and 79 full time Fire Fighters and Paramedics. Delaney has an ASS in Fire Science Technology and has extensive course work from the United States Fire Administration National Fire Academy, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, United States Department of Homeland Security Office for Domestic Preparedness and Pennsylvania Department of Health. His professional memberships include the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association (President), Luzerne County Community College EMS Program Advisory Board, and the National Fire Protection Association.

Other Panel Discussion Members TBA

Representative from Drug Enforcement Agency

Shawn Casey, Dentist
Shawn Casey was a 1987 graduate of Wyoming Area. After graduating with high marks, he began his studies at Wilkes University. Through these studies he realized his dream of practicing dentistry in the Wyoming Valley, which he pursued at the University of Pittsburgh dental school. In 1994, after being licensed by the state, Dr. Casey opened a solo Dental practice.
In 2005, Dr. Casey expanded his Dental facility to a multi doctor practice and in 2009, he opened a special needs dentistry center dedicated to his aunt Mary Casey.
Dr. Casey is currently a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of General Dentistry, the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry, and is involved with local charities, church organizations and public service groups.

Christopher Connor, Physician
Dr. Connor joined Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates in August of 2016 and treats patients in Wilkes-Barre at the John Heinz Campus. He received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from The Pennsylvania State University and his Osteopathic Degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia where he was Chief Resident and awarded Resident Teacher of the Year in 2015. He then went on to complete an Interventional Pain Medicine Fellowship at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. Dr. Connor is double board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine.
Dr. Connor provides comprehensive, non-operative spine and musculoskeletal care. He performs fluoroscopically-guided spine injections, and advanced minimally-invasive procedures such as radiofrequency ablation and spinal cord stimulation. He also has a special interest in the utilization of both ultrasound and regenerative medicine in the diagnosis and treatment of various neuromuscular conditions.

Maria Foy, Pharmacist, Pain is Not Sweet Sorrow – Treatment of Acute on Chronic Pain
Maria Foy, PharmD, BCPS, CPE is a clinical pharmacy specialist in Palliative Care at Abington Hospital Jefferson Health, a 660 bed community teaching hospital 15 miles outside of Philadelphia. Maria graduated from Temple University with a BS in Pharmacy and received a non-traditional doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Maria became certified in pain management and education through the American Society of Pain Educators earning the title of Certified Pain Educator (CPE). Maria is also board certified in pharmacotherapy (BCPS). In 2017, Maria received a Safety Award at Abington Jefferson Health for her work to develop safe opioid prescribing practices and received the Joe E. Smith Award from the Pennsylvania Society of Health System Pharmacy, the states' recognition for excellence in clinical practice.

Thomas Franko, Pharmacist
Dr. Franko is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Wilkes University. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy, from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in Philadelphia, PA and completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
After service as a clinical pharmacist in outpatient chronic pain management, Dr. Franko joined Wilkes University in 2013. He maintains an ambulatory care practice site with the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in Clarks Summit, PA. He is highly involved with the pain management and anticoagulation programs within the Wright Center. Along with pharmacy students, Dr. Franko trains pharmacy and medical residents from Moses Taylor Hospital and the Wright Center. His interests are in pain management, primary care and incorporating the arts into pharmacy education.

Michelle Kwiec, Outreach Counselor, The Role of the Substance Abuse/Mental Health Professional in the Chronic Pain Management Team
Michelle Kwiec, LCSW, MSW, CADC, is a licensed clinical social worker and certified alcohol and drug counselor who has been employed in the addictions field for 27 years. She has extensive experience in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings, having treated both substance use disorders and dual-diagnosis patients. Since 2010, Michelle has worked as an outreach counselor for Geisinger Health System, proving integrated behavioral healthcare in a number of clinical settings. During this time, she has worked with patients experiencing chronic pain, substance use disorder and a variety of mental health issues. She has helped to develop and implement the Multidisciplinary Pain Program, which is part of Geisinger's Medical Pain Management department.

Louise Litzy, Physical Therapist, The Role of Physical Therapy in Persistent Pain
A 1994 graduate of the University of Scranton (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Louise Litzy is presently employed as a Physical Therapist by Geisinger HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital (Danville, Pennsylvania) in Outpatient therapy. Ms.Litzy has a special interest in pelvic floor physical therapy and chronic/persistent pain and has published research with the Geisinger Urogynocology Department entitled, "Randomized Trial Comparing Two Procedures for Anterior Vaginal Wall Prolapse" (Neurourol Urodynam. 2013 Mar 18:0.)
Ms. Litzy recently presented at Geisinger Health System Conferences entitled "7th Annual Persistent Pain Symposium: A Multidisciplinary Approach" and "Pelvic Floor Review Series Part 1-Incontinence". She is a member of Geisinger Health System's Multidisciplinary Pain Program. As part of her commitment to ongoing education, Louise Litzy has completed courses on "Explain Pain", "Graded Motor Imagery" and "Mobilization of the Nervous System" through NeuroOrthopaedic Institute (Australia).

Eugene Lucas, Nurse Practitioner, Non-narcotic Pain Management Approaches
Dr. Lucas has over 17 years' experience as a nationally board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and 12 years' experience as an Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. His clinical expertise and scholarship interests include adult and geriatric psychiatric inpatient and outpatient mental health; creation of interdisciplinary patient care plans using inter-professional teams; and Forensic mental health for 9 years in adult male and female state corrections institutions. He has received the 2017 AANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioners) Nurse Practitioner of the year award for Pennsylvania. Dr. Lucas has been an assistant professor at Wilkes University since 2013 and an active member of the graduate nursing faculty in developing the new distance education curriculum for the Psychiatric nurse practitioner programs, while assisting in the transformation of existing graduate nursing curriculum to a distance education format. He currently serves as the coordinator for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. He is a member of the PA Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Practitioners of Northeastern Pa, and the AANP. Dr. Lucas earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Wilkes University, a Master's Certificate from Drexel University in Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing, a Master's degree in nursing from Misericordia University in Family Advanced Practice Nursing, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Wilkes University.

Jake Nichols, Pharmacist

Dr. Jennifer Pruskowski, Pharmacist
Dr. Pruskowski received her PharmD from Wilkes University in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. She then completed a Post-Graduate Year One Pharmacy Practice and Post-Graduate Year Two Geriatric Residency from the Williams Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina, as well as an Interprofessional Palliative Care Fellowship at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bronx, New York.
Dr. Pruskowski is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, and a Certified Pain Educator, and has received specialized training in pain management from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Her clinical practice site is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Palliative Supportive Institute (PSI) as the Palliative Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist.

Stefanie J. Salavantis, Luzerne County District Attorney

Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr, Judge, The Luzerne County Treatment Court

Judge Joe Sklarosky Jr. was raised in West Wyoming and Plains Township in Luzerne County. Joe is a graduate of Coughlin High School and King's College (summa cum laude) both located in Wilkes-Barre. He received his Juris Doctorate (cum laude) at Widener Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg. Joe was admitted to the bar in November of 1994, and in addition to practicing law with his father, Joe Sr., he served for 16 years as an Assistant Public Defender in Luzerne County.

In 2011, Joe was nominated by both Democrat and Republican voters and elected to the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. He is currently assigned to the Criminal Trial Division and since 2014 has been the Supervising Judge over the Specialty and Treatment courts. In addition, he presides over the Veterans' Court Track which began in January 2017.

Dave Withers, Physician, An Explanation of Addiction
Dr. Withers is a former emergency physician who has practiced Addiction Medicine since 1999. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Withers was the Associate Medical Director at Geisinger/Marworth from 2004 until 2015. He is the co-founder of the Geisinger/Marworth Addiction Medicine Fellowship training program for physicians and was the Director of that program from 2006 until his retirement in 2015. In response to the current opioid epidemic, Dr. Withers recently came back to Geisinger full time where he works with patients undergoing Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for substance use disorder.

Lunchtime presentations:

Maryellen Evers, author

Maryellen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Certified Masters Forensic Social Worker. She has been providing mental health treatment for close to 25 years. She received her BA in Psychology from Montclair State University in 1991 and her MSW in social work from Marywood University in 1994. Maryellen holds certifications in addictions treatment, forensic social work and motivational enhancement/cognitive behavioral therapy.

Maryellen has an extensive history working in the field of addictions and has worked in many different treatment settings with all age groups. Maryellen is a therapist, trainer, educator, author and clinical supervisor within the mental health and addictions field. She previously worked in conjunction with the National Institute Of Drug Addiction in Washington, DC.

Honored with being chosen the Northeast Women of the Week by the Scranton Times in June of 2016, she has a private psychotherapy practice in Dickson City,PA. Maryellen released her first book "12 Steps On the Rocks With a Twist - A Few Sips of Early Recovery" in May of 2017. The second installment - "12 Steps On The Rocks With a Twist - Another Round of Recovery" is due to be released in May of 2018.

Rick Singer, author 

Richard Singer is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who was once homeless and ready to die as a direct result of addiction. Richard has over 20 years extensive experience in the field of addiction treatment as a psychotherapist and educator. His professional experience includes the entire spectrum of treatment from detox to long term residential treatment. He has specialized experience treating healthcare and law enforcement professionals as well as dual diagnosis, personality disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Additionally, he has developed structured programs and facilitated individualized groups for New York City Police Officers and Firefighters suffering from PTSD and addiction following 9/11.

Mr. Singer has written several books related to recovery, personal growth, mindfulness, and spirituality. His life is devoted to helping people transform their lives from a hopeless state to a life filled with peace, purpose and passion. He states, " I am here when you have no hope,to show you that there is a new life inside you, ready to fight for what you deserve. If you have a breath left in your body then you have all that is necessary to fight for your new life."

Overnight Accommodations:
To reserve a room at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Thursday, April 19, please go to: https://aws.passkey.com/go/AprilConference

A list of other area hotels can be found at: http://www.wilkes.edu/about-wilkes/campus/around-the-city-of-wilkes-barre/places-to-stay.aspx


Wilkes University is a preapproved provider of continuing education for professional counselors through the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.

Luzerne County Dental Society-Pa is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing education programs of this program provider are accepted by AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from 10/1/2015 to 9/30/2018. Provider ID#219119

The Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Participants who attend the full program and complete an evaluation form will be awarded a statement of credit at the conclusion of the program for .6 CEUs (6 hours). ACPE # 0097-0000-17-049-L05-P.

Physical Therapists
An application has been submitted to the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy for this program.

Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
Wilkes University is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the PA State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. Nurses who attend will receive a certificate for 6 hours at the conclusion of the programs, 6 of which qualify for pharmacology.

Social Workers
Wilkes University is a preapproved provider of continuing education for programs for social workers and clinical social workers as an accredited university. Social Workers who attend will receive a certificate for 6 hours at the conclusion of the program.

To register online for the program, please go to: wilkes.augusoft.net