EMPOWERING Community Partnership » Fidelity Bank CEO Dan Santaniello
Affirming its significant role as a community partner, Fidelity Bank has made a $250,000 commitment to The Pascucci Family Health Sciences Pavilion at Marywood University. This support, as part of Marywood’s comprehensive campaign, EMPOWER, will transform the healthcare workforce in the region by helping health delivery systems meet their growing needs.
Fidelity Bank CEO, Daniel Santaniello ’90, is a Marywood graduate and regional community business leader, who earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1990. Mr. Santaniello, who has contributed his own personal financial support to the EMPOWER campaign, was proud to also guide the major gift from Fidelity Bank.
“To be a part of this is inspiring,” said Mr. Santaniello. “The IHM Sisters and Marywood, and their core values, focusing on exemplary ideals like Community and Excellence, along with their commitment to continuous improvement through lifelong learning, share the core values that we have at Fidelity Bank.”
Vital Support: Part of the Solution
By proactively addressing increasing healthcare workforce shortages that place communities at risk and limit timely access to care, Fidelity’s significant commitment to the EMPOWER Campaign is a key part of the solution, providing vital support to advance Marywood’s ability to expand its healthcare offerings.
“This (gift) will allow Marywood to expand classroom sizes and, subsequently, the graduating classes in many of these health sciences professions.” noted Mr. Santaniello. “This expansion will benefit the region, so we can keep our youth here, locally, through family-sustainable employment.”
The Pascucci Family Health Sciences Pavilion at Marywood University is a 15,000 square-foot addition to the existing Keith J. O’Neill Center for Healthy Families. With state-of-the-art simulation laboratories and technology-supported classrooms, Marywood University will be able to teach more health sciences students, who will learn and work together in one facility. This real-world environment will better prepare them to deliver an integrated model of collaborative clinical care after entering practice.
Meeting Growing Demand
Since health sciences programs will no longer be constrained by lack of physical space for students and faculty, increased enrollment will be a marker of a successful expansion initiative. Mr. Santaniello believes that success is effectively assured, because the demand for these types of programs and their graduates will continue and grow.
“The demand is here today,” Mr. Santaniello affirmed. “The workforce is asking for these professionals. None of us anticipate the demand for healthcare workers will go down anytime soon. In fact, it is going to continue to grow.”
He added, “This contribution makes it possible for Marywood to expand and meet the ever-growing demand that exists today. We need to respond in a way that is proactive. We feel that this (campaign initiative) will absolutely help meet that demand.”
The renovation also increases student access to Interprofessional Education (IPE) activities and opportunities, providing additional access to Marywood’s psychology, nutrition, communication sciences and disorders, and exercise science students. A physical space that supports IPE ensures Marywood’s healthcare students—in all disciplines—are fully prepared to engage in today’s workforce and positively impact overall patient care.
Mr. Santaniello noted, “These are all good-paying jobs that are in demand. You see on the horizon, also, many retirements in various industries and the continuing, growing need for healthcare, particularly as our life expectancy continues to increase.”
Marywood University is well positioned to address the healthcare workforce challenge. Expert faculty and a long-standing reputation for the rigor and quality of its health sciences programs result in a number of regional healthcare facilities actively recruiting and employing Marywood graduates. Dozens of established regional partnerships and clinical sites facilitate allied and behavioral health placements, to meet students’ training needs and support clinical site needs. Moreover, sixty percent of Marywood physician assistant graduates and seventy percent of its nursing graduates stay in the region when they graduate. As a result of clinical placements alone, Marywood graduates are recruited and employed locally by the region’s major hospital systems and healthcare providers.
“It’s an important community ecosystem,” said Mr. Santaniello, who sees the partnership between Fidelity Bank and Marywood University as a mutually beneficial one that has existed for more than 40 years. “We are both there for each other,” he observed. “It makes perfect sense for Fidelity Bank to participate (in the EMPOWER campaign).”
Lasting Community Impact
Expanding meaningful educational opportunities, for those in this region and beyond, will ultimately translate into job opportunities for graduating students and increased accessibility to needed care for the community.
“It is a great opportunity for Marywood University to expand its offerings and to create a greater level of sustainability as an educational institution.” Mr. Santaniello stated. “Marywood is a great partner within our community, and one that gives back a tremendous amount. By giving Marywood the opportunity to expand, our entire community benefits.”
Over 7,400 graduates of Marywood University’s 20 Health and Wellness Programs live in Pennsylvania, many well-known for their provision of competent and compassionate care, either as direct care providers or as leaders in regional hospitals, clinics, and private practices. These alumni often serve as peer mentors and help secure clinical sites for Marywood students. True to Marywood’s mission, last year, 127 physician assistant and nursing students contributed 1,454 hours at 14 different vaccine sites in our region, illustrating the University’s commitment to community service.
Mr. Santaniello credits Marywood University and its sponsors, the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for their vision to anticipate and meet the needs of the community and its growing professions—historically, presently, and for future generations.
“Marywood and the IHM Congregation are a true cornerstone of this community,” he said. Their vision and foresight are incredible…I hold them in the highest regard.”
Mr. Santaniello concluded, “Fidelity Bank is thrilled that we are successful enough to make this commitment. We always say, ‘Our clients’ success is our success,’ so the more successful Marywood University becomes, the more successful we at Fidelity Bank become. We are only as good as the community we serve here in Northeastern Pennsylvania and Central Pennsylvania.”
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