NEPA Community Health Care is thankful for the engaged community members who selflessly volunteer their time and energy to serve on our Board of Directors. As a federally qualified health center (FQHC), federal guidelines dictate the composition of our Board as well as their responsibilities.
Comprised of at least nine members, the majority of our Directors must be health center patients and, as such, representative of the community and populations served by the health center. The guidance of our Directors ensures the integrity of our organization, utilizing their professional experience and personal connections to our community. Board members are often selected for their unique expertise in relevant subject areas such as finance, law, community relations and healthcare compliance. A position on a Board of Directors, however, isn’t only for the seasoned or highly accomplished professionals of our community. There will always be a place at our table for the new, the young and the passionate – whatever your job title may be!
NEPA Community Health Care consistently invites new members to join our Board of Directors. To learn more about the difference you can make, please contact Mary Wetherall at (570) 278-5162.
Mary Wetherall, RN, MSN, HN-BC | Chief Executive Officer
Mary Wetherall joined NEPA Community Health Care in January 2013 serving as the Chief Operating Officer. During this time, she was tasked with the stabilization of both clinical and administrative operations in accordance with HRSA FQHC program requirements, including the reorganization of provider staff to engage nurse practitioners, recovery of FTCA deeming for malpractice coverage, and conducting research through community needs assessments to inform strategic planning.
Mary was appointed Chief Executive Officer in November 2013. Since that time, she has established additional service lines of psychiatry, behavioral health and medication-assisted treatment, and added two health center sites through use of private grant funds, thereby expanding the organizational footprint by over 100 miles. Under Mary’s leadership, NEPA Community Health Care is fully committed to budget neutral, sustainable expansion.
Mary is an active humanitarian, serving on the Board of Directors of Archangel Airborne and as the Associate Manager of Global Nursing with RAD-AID International. Mary frequently travels to the heart of high-risk areas to deliver nursing care and much-needed supplies, assess the efficacy of organizational efforts, and appraise the continued need. Mary’s passion and demonstration of leadership by example led her to be honored at the 3rd Annual Celebration of International Nurses Day at the United Nations in May 2019.
Mary and her husband Paul have nine children and six grandchildren! They enjoy the outdoors as well as practicing yoga as both instructors and students.
Board of Directors
Judith Herschel | President
As a descendent of local dairy farmers, business owners, railroad workers, veterans and even a county historian, Judy Hershel’s roots are planted deep in Susquehanna County. Judy is a graduate of Mansfield University where she earned a dual degree in Sociology and Anthropology. Early in her career, Judy had the opportunity to travel abroad as an archeologist but soon refocused her career path on social services. She spent over five years in urban Philadelphia working as an Intensive Case Manager for the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania and later as a Psychiatric Social Worker for the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems. While those experiences proved invaluable to her professional goals, getting back to Susquehanna County was always a priority for Judy. In 2005, she moved home to accept a role with Trehab where she served as a drug and alcohol counselor for nearly 15 years. During her tenure, Judy focused on treatment, education and program development in our community and correctional facilities. Elected to public office in November 2019, Judy now proudly serves as a Susquehanna County Commissioner.
Judy joined NEPA Community Health Care’s Board of Directors in 2019, bringing extensive experience not only in counseling and human services but also in the criminal justice, healthcare and educational arenas. Of all this, Judy’s proudest achievement will always be her role as a wife and mother. True to her roots, Judy and her husband Eric are raising their two amazing boys in the heart of Susquehanna County.
Traci Decker, MS | Vice President
Traci Decker is a summa cum laude graduate of Misericordia University where she earned a degree in Professional Studies and certification in Child Welfare Studies. During this foundational period of her education, Traci chose to concentrate her studies in the areas of Human Services Agency Management and Social Work – a path which has served her well. Traci then went on to pursue her graduate education with the University of Phoenix, where she focused on organizational, physiological and lifespan Psychology. Before joining Trehab, a community action agency serving seven counties of northeastern Pennsylvania, Traci worked in behavioral health rehabilitative services with Youth Advocate Programs in New Milford as well as NHS in Montrose.
Traci has worn many hats during her tenure with Trehab, including Prevention Specialist, Addiction Counselor, Lead Counselor and Acting Treatment Supervisor, and finally Clinical, Prevention and Independent Living Supervisor – the role she continues to serve today. Traci’s personal interests include traveling, tiny living and practicing mindfulness.
Keesha Lunger, MBA | Treasurer
Keesha Lunger is an alumna of both Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and Wilkes University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Accounting and master’s in Business Administration, respectively. Keesha currently serves as the Cost Accountant for Amphenol Interconnect Products based in Endicott, New York. With almost a decade of experience in both the public and private sectors, Keesha’s financial expertise ranges from tax and financial statement preparation to bookkeeping and various other accounting activities.
Born and raised in Montrose, Keesha is passionate about giving back to the community that helped to shape her! Not only does she serve as the Treasurer of NEPA Community Health Care’s Board of Directors, Keesha is also an active member of the Christmas in Montrose Planning Committee and the Baden-Powell Council Boy Scouts of America Racefest Committee.
Andrew Coolbaugh | Secretary
Andrew Coolbaugh graduated from the Elk Lake School District in 2002 and now serves as Volunteer & Project Coordinator as well as Certified Recovery Specialist with Trehab, a community action agency serving seven counties of northeastern Pennsylvania. In his role as Volunteer & Project Coordinator, Andrew directs volunteer recruitment, training and orientation; supervises a team of Certified Recovery Specialists, employees and volunteers; and plans and implements new programs and events at the Community Resource Center of Susquehanna County. As a Certified Recovery Specialist, Andrew works to support individuals in overcoming barriers as they work toward long-term recovery. In addition to empowering clients to take an active role in their own recovery planning, Andrew assists his clients in gaining access to MAT programs, enroll in PA Medicaid, find housing and pursue employment.
Andrew is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Information Technology through Keystone College. He and his wife Alicia have two children and reside in Montrose.
Kenneth Cooper | Past President, 2017 – 2019
Ken Cooper was born and raised in McKinleyville, California. Before attending Brigham Young University in Idaho, Ken served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, part of which was spent on the Crow and Cheyenne Reservations in Montana. Ken then spent 28 years in Maryland, where he was co-founder and partner of Professional Benefits Solutions, a firm which brokered employee health and welfare plans as well as retirement plans on a national and international basis. Ken moved to Montrose in June 2011 and now serves as an ecclesiastical leader for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He and his wife Susan have been married since 1982 and have six children together.
Amber Jerauld, PharmD, BCACP | Member
Dr. Amber Jerauld graduated magna cum laude from the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, PA before pursuing her Pharmacy Practice residency with the Denver VAMC and Primary Care Specialty residency with Kaiser Permanente Colorado. Licensed in three states, Dr. Jerauld has served as a Primary Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist with Kaiser Permanente Colorado, as a Family Medicine Clinical Pharmacy Specialist & Ambulatory Pharmacist Clinician with Lancaster General Health, and finally as an Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist with United Health Services in Binghamton, NY. Within her role at UHS, Amber collaborates with physicians to review medication regimens, provides drug therapy recommendations for hospitalized patients, and precepts pharmacy residents and students.
Dr. Jerauld joined NEPA Community Health Care’s Board of Directors in November 2019, bringing vast clinical and academic experience with her. In addition to being a busy mom of two, Amber enjoys teaching PIYO fitness classes in her free time!
Lori Mitchell, MBA | Member
Lori Mitchell began her education at the University of Pennsylvania before obtaining her MBA from Louisiana State University and an accounting degree from the University of New Orleans. Before retiring from Capital One in April 2016, Lori contributed more than 25 years to the consumer finance industry and was instrumental in underwriting, compliance and asset management. Most of her career was spent building a $4 billion business portfolio with 140+ clients and completing over $10 billion in transactions.
Lori now serves as an industry consultant specializing in capital structure, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions. Based in New Orleans, she provides leadership counseling to lending executives that are critical to growth to enhance return on investment. Her expertise ranges from buy-here-pay here auto finance portfolios to direct and indirect lending including sales finance, tax lien arbitrage, small dollar credit, marketplace lending and securitized transactions. Lori’s personal interests include real estate investing, scuba diving, skiing and golf.
Nancy Panzera-Jackson | Member
With a deeply personal desire to help others, especially the underprivileged, Nancy Jackson began her career as a certified paralegal. Before joining Merck Pharmaceuticals in 1998, she was also employed by the state of New Jersey as an insurance Title Examiner and Real Estate Settlement Officer. During her tenure with Merck, Nancy lent her talents to their Worldwide Human Health Marketing division where she led a team in creating marketing tools for use within both domestic and global pharmaceutical arenas.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Nancy eventually found her way to Susquehanna County in 2010 when she fell in love with the landscape of our endless mountains and the warmth of the people residing here. Even in her retirement, Nancy maintains her passion for helping others! In addition to joining NEPA Community Health Care’s Board of Directors in 2015, Nancy plays an active role in numerous civic organizations, including the Susquehanna County Farm Bureau, Friends of Susquehanna County, Friends of Susquehanna County Wind & Energy, and Slanted Art Co-Op. She also serves her home community of Gibson Township as Committee Chair during elections and maintains her license as a Notary Public in Pennsylvania. Nancy enjoys art, painting, advocating for and spending time with animals, and playing scrabble.
Joseph Plonski | Past President, 2014 – 2017
Before entering the workforce, Joe Plonski spent two years at the University of Scranton where he studied Accounting. Joe then began his expansive career operating his family’s dairy farm and went on to manage the Blooming Grove Hunting & Fishing Club’s Fish Hatchery for 15 years. While both of these opportunities served him well, Joe found his true calling as a Heavy Equipment Operator and Foreman with PennDOT, where he also had the privilege of serving as a Union Steward for 12 years.
In addition to being NEPA Community Health Care’s longest-standing Director, Joe is actively involved as a Board member with the Susquehanna County chapter of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and as a former Chairman of the Susquehanna County Democratic Party. Joe maintains membership with the AFSCME and PARSE, key organizations devoted to promoting the welfare of active and retired state employees. True to his farming roots, Joe keeps on the move with a beef cattle operation even in retirement. In his spare moments, Joe enjoys spending time with his daughter and granddaughter, big game hunting, fly fishing and skeet shooting.
Rachael Thomas, Esq | Member
Rachael Thomas completed her undergraduate education at Mansfield University where she triple-majored in Psychology, Political Science and Philosophy – Pre-Law with a minor in Business. After graduating with magna cum laude honors, Rachael went on to earn her law degree from Wayne State Law School in Detroit, Michigan. She currently serves as a partner with DeWitt & Thomas Law Offices PC, focusing primarily on estates, real estate and corporate law. As a Susquehanna County native, it was important to Rachael to move home when starting her family and she is now a proud wife and mother of two rambunctious boys!