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Ethics Institute of NEPA at Misericordia to honor Ruth's Place Women's Shelter
Posted 10/27/2015 02:52PM

The Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University will recognize Ruth's Place Women's Shelter – Wilkes-Barre with the 2015 Sister Siena Finley, RSM Ethics Award at the 24th annual Ethics Institute Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 12. The dinner will be held in Muth, Huntzinger and Alden Trust Rooms 217-219 of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall, Misericordia University.

The Sister Siena Finley, RSM Ethics Award is given annually to an individual or organization that in local community leadership has demonstrated fairness, understanding and exemplary ethical behavior in personal, civic and/or professional life. The nominee must also reflect the mission of the Ethics Institute.

Ruth's Place is the only emergency shelter for homeless women in Luzerne County and has provided shelter and services for more than 2,000 women since being founded in 2003. The program is dedicated to providing safe, short-term emergency shelter for women experiencing homelessness, while honoring the dignity of each guest. Using evidence-based practices, Ruth's Place coordinates case management services and collaborates with other service providers and volunteers to address the basic physical, financial, health and spiritual needs of its guests under one roof. The ultimate goal of Ruth's Place is to help its guests find stable, long-term housing.

Ruth's Place is a faith-based program founded by the Methodist Urban Ministry in 2003. It operated as Ruth's Place: House of Hope, Inc. from 2008 to 2013. In July of 2013, Ruth's Place merged with Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania.

"Those who work at Ruth's Place, and those who support their work represent the best that our community has to offer," said Joseph Curran, Ph.D., executive director of the Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University. "Not only do they provide a place and necessary services to women who are homeless, but they treat those women with respect and honor their dignity as human beings. We are proud to recognize and support their work."

Tickets for the dinner are $40 per person and can be purchased by calling (570) 674-6201. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will follow at 6:15 p.m. Reservations for tables of eight are available. The money raised from the dinner and program helps to support programming by the Ethics Institute.

Past recipients of the award include Michael J. Hanley, M.P.A., executive director of United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Monsignor Joseph P. Kelly, M.S.W., V.E., executive director of Catholic Social Services and St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen; Sisters Margaret Gannon, IHM, Ph.D., and Anne Paye, RSM, Ph.D.; "the People of Luzerne County who strive for an ethical community," the Migrant Education Program of Hazleton and Scranton, the Commission on Economic Opportunity, the late state Sen. Charles Lemmond, Michael Insalaco and Sandy Insalaco Sr., the Children's Service Center, Rev. Thomas J. O'Hara, CSC, St. Joseph's Center, Harold and Sallyanne Rosenn, Habitat for Humanity, Thomas Pugh, Sister Adrian Barrett, IHM, and Sister Lucille Brislin, RSM, Buddy Rothstein, Tom Bigler, Sister Siena Finley, RSM, Allan Kluger, Rodrigo "Rod" Gereda, Interfaith Resource Center for Peace and Justice, and 2014 recipient, Christine Somers, D.Min., director of Campus Ministry, Misericordia University.

The Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University was established in 1987 by Sister Siena Finley, RSM, and a group of community professionals and leaders from the Wyoming Valley who wished to foster more dialogue on ethical issues affecting the region. It is an institute directed by regional leaders and educators who are committed to the discussion of ethical issues both theoretical and practical. The Institute encourages responsible ethical action through informed rational deliberation and it facilitates the process in the academic community as well as in the community at large through special workshops and forums.

Ethics Institute board members are Kathleen Gelso, M.S.N., R.N., Misericordia University, institute chair; David Ehrensperger, Luzerne County Community College; Howard Grossman, A.I.C.P., HJG Associates; Karen Holcomb, Area Agency on Aging; Rev. Daniel J. Issing, C.S.C., King's College; Alejandra Marroquin, Catholic Social Services; Thomas M. Maheady, P.E., Borton-Lawson; Gary Mrozinski, Ed.D., Luzerne County Community College; Atty. Eileen Reilly; Dr. Paul Reinert; Rabbi Roger Lerner, Temple B'nai B'rith; Sr. Carol Gallagher, R.S.M., Religious Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic Community; Joseph DeVizia, Rick Miller, Osterhout Free Library/Luzerne County Library System; Barbara Quinn, Pittston Memorial Library; Eileen Sharp, Wilkes University, and Dr. Joseph Curran, Misericordia University.

For more information about the Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University, please log on to or contact Brenda Nowalis at (570) 674-6201 or

Michael and Tina MacDowell Hall
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