About the Paint Pittston Pink™ Committee
Paint Pittston Pink™, an all-volunteer 501c3 organization, was formed in 2014 upon the completion of Barb Sciandra’s immunotherapy vaccine clinical trial at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Paint Pittston Pink™ is the collaborative effort of Barb Sciandra, Qiana Murphy Lehman and a group of selfless, committed individuals who volunteer their time and talents to bring the community together to support a cure for ALL cancers through research and clinical trials.
Meet Our Team
Middle School Teacher at the Pittston Area School District
Angel resides in Pittston with her husband, James, and children, Jimmy and Lexi. She has been teaching in the Pittston Area School District for 19 years. She has an absolute love for photography and can most often be seen with a camera around her neck. She has been volunteering with PPP for the last 5 years and loves how the organization brings all local people together to raise money for a great cause.
When I made the decision to pursue a career in healthcare, my ultimate goal was to simply help others. As such, becoming part of Paint Pittston Pink™ was a no brainer.
While I knew that I would be offering my time and energy to a cause larger than myself, I never imagined the positive impact this organization would have on my life. When you work alongside individuals whose first question is consistently “How can I help?”, it starts to rub off! I’m a better person who more fully understands what it means to be a servant leader.
My selfless teammates have also taught me that laughter is the best medicine. It’s a healing drug that doesn’t require a prescription. I found myself smack in the middle of a group who loves to laugh and knows how to throw one heck of a week (actually more like month) long party!
My sister, Barb, has taught me a great deal but perhaps the most important lesson she reinforced to me is that knowledge is power. Ignorance is not always bliss. Upon receiving a scary and life altering diagnosis, Barb never hesitated in starting her fight. She exhibited a drive to learn about every available treatment option. This thirst for knowledge led Barb to identifying a vaccine trial through Penn. It was then time to advocate for herself until the good news came that she qualified to enroll. I firmly believe this trial saved her life.
Being that Barb has always been a goal setter, this scenario was no different. I remember the exact moment when I knew she would be just fine. Barb said she wanted to see three things happen in this life:
-Watch Jameson hold her first baby
-Dance to Beautiful Boy at Chase’s wedding
-See Cam accept the Nobel Prize for curing cancer
If memory serves, she also mentioned that she intends to drive Sal crazy for at least another 50 years!
My sister, my real life She-ro, took the most sour lemons and turned them into the sweetest lemonade. That takes immeasurable strength and resilience.
So why did I decide to join PPP?
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Barbara A. Sciandra, Pharm.D.
President and Co-Founder, Paint Pittston Pink™
Barbara A. Sciandra is a proud graduate of Pittston Area Senior High School and The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia – Philadelphia College of Pharmacy – where she earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2002.
Barb served as a retail pharmacist for many years with Kmart Pharmacy between Illinois and Pennsylvania. She also has experience in the realm of independent pharmacy. In December 2017, Barb began specializing in cannabis pharmacy. Since then, she has assisted in the opening of two medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania, Justice Grown then Ethos. She currently works per diem for Ethos as well as per diem for CVS.
Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer three months after the birth of her third child in August 2012. After undergoing the standard “chemo, surgery, radiation” treatment for HER2+ breast cancer at the age of 34, Sciandra became passionate about researching alternative forms of medicine. Barb was very fortunate to qualify for an immunotherapy vaccine clinical trial at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA to prevent a breast cancer recurrence. Despite this treatment that Barb attributes to saving her life, it remains unavailable for main-stream use as it has not yet been approved by the FDA.
Barb has served as a guest lecturer at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Wilkes University, Luzerne County Community College, Wyoming Seminary and various Relay for Life Events. She is the recipient of 5 Who Inspired the Wyoming Valley, Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal – Top 25 Women in Business, Greater Pittston Person of the Year Award, The Greater Pittston Y.M.C.A. Spirit of Community Award and the Rene Mock Award. Barb is a graduate of Leadership Wilkes-Barre, a member of Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, American Pharmaceutical Association, American Society of Cannabis Pharmacists, Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network, Holy Rosary Parent Teacher Organization, and St. Maria Goretti Church where she serves as a lector.
Barb is President and Co-founder of Paint Pittston Pink™, a 501c3 organization, whose mission is to bring the community together to support a cure for ALL cancers through research and clinical trials. Since its inception in 2014, the all-volunteer organization has raised and donated nearly half a million dollars to cancer research at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA and The Moffitt Cancer in Tampa, Florida.
Barb treasures every minute spent with her husband and 3 beautiful children. She also takes great pride in serving the wonderful people of Northeastern Pennsylvania as a pharmacist. Barb describes herself as a spiritual person and is a strong advocate for herself and her loved ones. Barb believes in scientific research and chooses to participate in clinical trials whenever she has the opportunity because she believes that knowledge is power. Barb truly believes that God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling. She is humbled to work with the Paint Pittston Pink™ committee who she describes as a second family and some of the kindest, most hard-working people she knows. Barb believes that every dollar raised for cancer research gets us one step closer to finding a cure for this terrible disease.
Manager / Photographer
“I am a lifelong resident of the Greater Pittston area and currently reside in Dupont with my wife Ellen and Son Jon. I am a manager with Johnson Controls in Allentown, a graduate of Wyoming Area (Class of 1979) and hold two degrees from Penn State University in Electrical Engineering and Telecommunication Technology. I am heavily involved in the community as a Dupont Councilman, Member of the Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance as well as many other organizations. Lastly, in case you didn’t know, I also do photography professionally.
I was originally asked to join Paint Pittston Pink™ by my friend, neighbor and co-founder of Paint Pittston Pink™, Qiana Lehman. Qiana first asked me to photograph the first year’s 5K run but I since joined the committee and have become involved in all aspects of the events. It is one of the most satisfying experiences of my life helping to raise money for medical research and to honor those family members, friends and others who have lost their battle and offer hope for those currently fighting this terrible disease. I hope I can do a small part to help find a cure.”
Administrative Assistant / First Choice Business Solutions
Proud to be part of Paint Pittston Pink™
Cindy Pietrowski is graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Scranton. She lives in Old Forge with her husband, Jonathan, and daughter, Anna. She is the Transportation Manager for Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials. Cindy became part of the Paint Pittston Pink™ committee in 2015.
“I am grateful to be part of such an amazing group of dedicated individuals. Each year, the PPP team comes together with our unique skill sets and expertise and we somehow manage to put together several weeks’ worth of creative, fun and innovative events in our community. I am still amazed by the support we receive, and I attribute that to Barb. I am honored to call each and every person on this team my friend.”
“Hello my name is Eileen Lyons and I am a proud seven year committee member for Paint Pittston Pink™. I am a small part of a tremendous group of outstanding individuals. Each member donates his or her own time and talents to raise funds for this truly worthy cause.
Our very devoted and Inspiring leaders, Barb Sciandra and Qiana Lehman, have a way of pulling the best out of each person.
I am very honored to be part of a such a wonderful community event.”
Erin Linnen Berlew
Area Volunteer, Political Committee Member, Freelance Writer, Speech-Language Pathologist
I am truly honored to be a member of Paint Pittston Pink™ because I emphatically share Barb’s vision for supporting a cure for cancer through research and clinical trials. Knowing that Paint Pittston Pink™ helps people during their most vulnerable moments is incredibly rewarding! Also, I love that PPP supports cancer research through fun, family-centered, uplifting activities. PPP has created events that allow the community to come together to socialize with friends we can never see often enough. PPP is great for our Main Street and local businesses as it helps the local economy, creates wonderful memories for our community, and builds a more hopeful future for all! I feel very fortunate to be a member of such a wonderful team!
Back in 2013ish I took a call from a Barb Sciandra who inquired about starting another 5K race in Pittston. Barb had all these grand ideas for the race and various events and how she can generate funds for her cause. She wanted my assistance in getting the 5K off the ground and the only thing I can think of at the time was just another nutjob who thought they can have a 5K and raise a boatload of money. Fast forward 8 years and boy was I WRONG!!!!!
So after successfully getting the 5K up and running in 2014, Barb and Qiana asked if I would participate in the inaugural Gentleman’s Dash in 2015. Once again, why would they think an event where a bunch of men running down Main Street Pittston in high heels would be a success. Boy was I WRONG!!!!
If you think you’re seeing a pattern here, you are correct. I will never again doubt the passion and foresight of the founding members of Paint Pittston Pink™. Not only has PPP been a huge success but the 5K and the Gentleman’s Dash™ have been two of the more popular events during the annual PPP week in October.
Today I am the unofficial Gentleman’s Dash™ Ambassador. Put it simply, my job is to crank up the Dasher’s every year in an effort to promote creativity, chicanery, competition and of course, cash!!!!!
I volunteer for PPP for the Cause as well as to be a small part of a great team.
And by the way, never…….ever doubt Barb or Qiana!
Director of Circulation
Husband to Rose and Dad to Conor, Katie & Sara
Like most people, I have seen how cancer impacts my family and friends. Good people. Courageous fighters! Paint Pittston Pink™ directs funds to the frontlines of cancer research. I am proud to support Paint Pittston Pink™ and work with so many dedicated and generous volunteers.
Security Analyst, Realtor, Barre Instructor, Business Owner
“Hi! I’m Joleen, a proud member of the Paint Pittston Pink™ family. It’s more than a committee, it’s a family, which is one of the reasons I love being part of PPP! When Barb & Qiana first began this endeavor, I was more than happy to help out. I loved the whole concept, their energy, and the purpose behind it all! This was personal. Barb is a friend who had to deal with all the trials and tribulations of having breast cancer. Through it all she remained positive, faithful, and determined. After she kicked it’s butt, she carried those same qualities when she & Qiana created PPP. They are true ‘sheroes’, my sheroes! This remains personal for me as several other family & friends have since been diagnosed with breast cancer since the inception of PPP.
Being part of PPP, it reinforces my thoughts that we need to embrace each moment, be kind to each other, and help each other. One never knows what lies ahead. Life is so much better with family, friends and fun! Enjoy life, before it’s gone. Enjoy each other, while you can.
I’ve been blessed to graduate King’s College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. It’s taken me through various careers. At the moment & for the past 14 years, I work for Lockheed Martin as a System Security Analyst. In addition, I am a realtor. I am a bit of a health enthusiast, which has taken me to The Salt Barre where I am Barre instructor & children’s yoga instructor. Since I want to share this with other people, my latest venture has me partnering with a friend to open a juice & smoothie bar. Last (but not least), am on the Board of Directors for Scranton Civic Ballet Company, Scranton.
I have two amazing parents, who instilled the importance of community, faith, helping others, and respecting others. To further my good fortunes, I am the proud parent to four wonderful children who taught me the meaning of unconditional love. I am married to my Canadian hockey loving husband, Douglas. Peace!
P.S. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop
MBA, RD, LDN
Joy resides in Dupont, where she was also born and raised, with her husband Mark, daughter Mia, and dog Ava. She is a proud graduate of Pittston Area High School, Penn State University, and Drexel University.
Over 20 years ago, she accepted her first job as clinical dietitian on an oncology unit at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, MA. She held clinical research positions at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Roche Pharmaceuticals where she gained first-hand experience in the impact and importance of clinical trials. She taught nutrition to nursing students on a per diem basis in the academic setting. Her focus as a dietitian has been on the role nutrition plays in chronic disease prevention and treatment.
She is a member of the Dupont Lions Club, Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network, and the Pittston Area Parent Teacher Organization. She also served a term as tax collector of Dupont.
She returned to her roots in northeastern Pennsylvania to raise her family and has been committed to causes near and dear to her local community. It is her hope that through advocacy, education, and scientific research, cancer can begin to be eradicated in our communities, giving all people the opportunity to live in a state of wellness.
Julie L. Murphy
Assistant Professor and Nurse
“I volunteer with PPP because as a nurse I knew the importance of blood donations, however, it wasn’t until I witnessed first-hand how these lifesaving blood products helped my brother-in-law, Greg, that I felt compelled to volunteer with Paint Pittston Pink™ to organize a community blood drive. As I became involved, the mission of the organization, to support research and find a cure for all cancers; resonated with me as well, because far too many people I love had been affected by cancer. The members of the Paint Pittston Pink™ organization also have become my friends and they inspire me to be better in all aspects of my life.”
Born and raised in Dalton, Kara Martin moved to the Pittston area after marrying her husband, Chris, a native of Pittston. She is a 1996 graduate of Bishop O’Hara High School and received her PharmD degree in 2002 from the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University. She has been a pharmacist in both independent and chain pharmacies over the years and is currently a pharmacist in the mail order industry.
Kara lives in Duryea with her husband, Chris, and their two children, Connor and Reagan. In her spare time she enjoys shopping, arts and crafts, interior design, and spending time with family and friends.
“Paint Pittston Pink™ holds a special place in my heart because I, too, am a cancer survivor. In 2007, just six weeks after the birth of my first child, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a rare cancer of the lymphatic system. I discovered a large lump in my neck and was hospitalized for almost one week while doctors ran multiple tests trying to find an explanation for my symptoms. Never did I think that a cancer diagnosis would be the answer. After completing 6 very long cycles of chemotherapy over 6 months, I was clear of cancer. I have been able to live a healthy life since that diagnosis with regular check-ups and testing. I am truly grateful for the support I received from my husband, family and friends while learning to be a new mom, trying to work, and carrying on regular day to day activities during this time. I am now honored to be a part of Paint Pittston Pink™ and to support those that are afflicted with this life-changing challenge.”
A true Pittstonian, proud of her deep Irish roots Kristina is the daughter of the late John and Rosemary Fitzpatrick McHale. She has a career in Business Administration acting as company controller.
An avid volunteer, growing and giving back to the community is very important. She has been involved as the Tomato Festival “Sauce Wars Chairperson”, Greater Pittston Historical Society, Vice President of Memberships and Fundraising, Pittston St. Patrick’s Founding Committee Shamrocktoberfest, Chair, member of the Jacquelines Ladies Auxiliary, Jacquelines Corresponding Secretary Board Member, Paint Pittston Pink™ Board Member, and a member of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce “Women’s Network”. One of her greatest highlights was narrating and taking part in the WVIA’s “Our Town Pittston Series” which aired in February of 2017.
Creating and organizing events has always been a passion. Being able to be a part of Pittston’s Renaissance is an amazing voyage. Watching all of the community come out to show their support and help many of the organizations build something from nothing shows we are a city with a “Heart”.
In her spare time Kristina loves decorating, interior design, shopping, traveling and the arts. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her four beautiful nieces, Brianna, Ava, Allie and Leah.
Administrative Assistant at Holy Rosary School
I am in awe of the tremendous support from our community, our families, our friends, and our committee from over the past eight years! It has truly been a remarkable experience to volunteer with this amazing group of passionate people. A weeklong community event to raise money for breast cancer research has created not only monetary assistance to those who need it most, while funding clinical research, but has also brought our community, our committee, and our families together for lifelong friendships and memories.
Barb Sciandra along with her own personal journey is such an inspiration to so many and I am honored to be a part of her mission and her team. She is a warrior in so many meanings and continues to motivate each of us as each year unfolds, conquering the previous one.
Paint Pittston Pink™ is near and dear to my heart as cancer hits too close to home. I am beyond grateful to be a part of something so impactful that continues to make a difference to so many.
Pittston City Main Street Manager
As a member of the PPP committee it has been quite humbling to see how many people come together for such a wonderful cause. To be a part of such a dedicated team of volunteers that continues to grow each year is beyond amazing.
Melissa Ann Latona
Melissa was born and raised in Pittston where she currently lives with her husband, Matt, and their three daughters Giuliana, Angelina, and Maya. She is a graduate of Seton Catholic High School and King’s College where she received a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Pittston Area PTO. Melissa is currently employed by the Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18 as a Physician Assistant.
When Barb started Paint Pittston Pink™, Melissa and her family wanted to show their support. Unfortunately, she was unable to attend the first year due to her father’s cancer battle. However, her children participated, and she heard the stories of its success. The following year, Barb asked Melissa to join the committee and she was truly honored and excited to be a part of such an incredible organization. Melissa felt like it was truly meant to be. Decades before, while battling cancer, her mother enrolled in the early stages of a clinical trial that is similar to the immunotherapy Paint Pittston Pink™ supports today.
In October, when the Paint Pittston Pink™ festivities begin, the support of the community is unbelievable. Melissa loves working with her fellow committee members and is thankful for the friendships she formed. Being a part of Paint Pittston Pink™ has been without a doubt one of the most rewarding experiences. After losing too many family members to cancer, including her own parents, Melissa always hoped to give back to those afflicted with the disease. She would like to thank Barb and Qiana for their vision, leadership, and guidance. She looks forward to growing year after year as a charitable organization with the goal of eradicating cancer.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
“My name is Meredith Cosgrove. I am married to my husband, Patrick, and am the mother of two fantastic children, Patrick and Maryn. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I have been involved with Paint Pittston Pink™ for the past several years. I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to participate in such a wonderful cause. The Paint Pittston Pink™ community is full of men and women who are truly devoted to raising funds for Cancer research and development of more effective treatments. Hopefully, one day, those who struggle so bravely from this devastating disease will have a cure.”
Qiana Murphy Lehman, Esquire
Attorney and Business Owner
Qiana is a locally born business owner and philanthropist who enjoys travel and baseball. Born in Pittston, she has strong roots in the Community and was a founding member of Paint Pittston Pink™. She currently serves on the Committee and as the organization’s Vice President. She is a member of the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She is graduate of Summa Cum Laude Graduate of East Stroudsburg University and a Merit Scholarship Graduate of New England Law. She is the daughter to the Late, Richard J. Murphy of Port Griffith and Ann Marie Zaffuto, Pittston.
Salvatore L. Sciandra
Business Owner – SK Technology Group, Inc.
Sal Sciandra is a graduate of Pittston Area Senior High School and Villanova University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2000.
Sal began his career with AMD in the Silicon Valley. Upon completing his year-long training in San Jose, California, he transferred to Chicago, Illinois. After moving back to Northeastern Pennsylvania in 2005, Sal partnered with his father and brother-in-law to form SK Technology Group, Inc. SK Tech Group is a dental-exclusive IT company that was formed with a strategic mission to enhance the quality of dental patient care through the seamless integration of technology in the modern dental practice. Through hard-work and determination, SK Tech has grown to become the region’s largest and most trusted source of dental technology services, proudly servicing over 300 dental office computer networks across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Sal is the husband of Barb Sciandra, the President and Co-Founder of Paint Pittston Pink™. He is also the Founding Father of Paint Pittston Pink™’s Gentlemen’s Dash™. Sal is a recipient of The Times Leader “40 Under 40” and is a member of St. Maria Goretti Church in Laflin.
“Paint Pittston Pink™ is a special cause to many people for a wide variety of reasons. All of our committee members, donors, participants and spectators experience our community-minded outreach in a number of positive ways which are all deeply personal. But for me, Paint Pittston Pink™ has a unique meaning – it’s a celebration of life, particularly of my wife, Barb.
Being a native of Pittston, I’ve always enjoyed the deeply rooted variety of ethnic heritages and the sense of community that brings it all together. Our special place in NEPA is one you come to appreciate even more deeply once you’ve had the opportunity to leave, and the calling to return.
Barb and I returned to our hometown with full hearts and minds focused on building the life we dreamt of having together. When Barb’s diagnosis threatened the fabric of that dream, it was devastating. But through the strength of one another, our families, and our faith – we were given a gift.
Sometimes healing takes form in ways you don’t expect. For me, having the opportunity watch Barb express her natural leadership, her desire to help and heal, to give hope, and to practice her faith has been among the most enjoyable and satisfying experiences of my life. I’m so proud of her – and I’m so Thankful we get to share the privilege of our time together in such a positive way.”
Susan Murphy is a lifelong resident of the Pittston area. A 1995 graduate of Pittston Area High School and 1997 Luzerne County Community College, Susan has been employed as a Dental Hygienist for Dr Jeffrey Walker for 24 years. She adores the close familial bonds she has formed with her patients and considers them friends. Susan is a dedicated mother to two amazing children, Isabella and Bobby. She was an 8-year board member of the Pittston City and newly formed Greater Pittston Area Little league, serving as president for two years. Susan is now an ADA district 16/31. She loves to make a great experience for all of our local ball players. Susan joined Paint Pittston Pink™ in 2017 following the loss of her brother in law, Greg Policare, from acute myeloid leukemia. She and her family joined the PPP family to help Barb and all of the other wonderful volunteers make a difference in fighting all cancers, in honor of Greg.