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North Hills Monthly

New & Notable May 2020

Apr 27, 2020 09:26PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine
Three Rivers Cardiac Institute Specialists join BHS Cardiothoracic Surgery
On April 1, Butler Health System welcomed Three Rivers Cardiac Institute to the newly formed practice, BHS Cardiothoracic Surgery. The surgeons and their team bring with them over 25 years of experience in cardiothoracic surgery in Butler and surrounding areas. The first cardiac surgical case at Butler Health System was performed in 1998 by a member of this team. BHS Cardiothoracic Surgery includes George Davliakos, MD; Hazem El-Khatib, MD; Dean Lomago, MD; Marie Delaney, PA-C; Christiana Freehling, PA-C; Ryan Leonberg, PA-C; Paige Smietana, PA-C; and Trevor Young, PA-C. The BHS Cardiothoracic Surgery practice will be located at BHS Crossroads Campus, 127 Oneida Valley Road, Suite 202, Butler, PA.

SV Tech Teachers Create Face Shields for Healthcare Heroes
Seneca Valley School District teachers are putting their 3D printers to good use outside of the classroom. During the statewide school closure, several teachers in Seneca Valley’s elementary and secondary schools utilized the equipment to make personal protective equipment (PPE), including headbands and accompanying face shields. The teachers, including Ken Macek, Steve Fortunato, Joe Logsdon, Steve Wolfe and Eric Fogle, along with Seneca Valley Academy of Choice Assistant Principal Ashely Porter, were prompted by Superintendent Dr. Tracy Vitale after she saw a national story of others doing similar work. Working with 3DPPGH, a Pittsburgh-based organization of digital fabrication enthusiasts, Fogle and his Seneca Valley coworkers were able to procure supplies and contributed to 3DPPGH’s inventory, as well as helping those locally, including Cranberry Township first responders.

412 Food Rescue Launches Home Delivery
Pittsburgh-based tech nonprofit 412 Food Rescue is testing a new program to provide safe home deliveries of food to those in need. The organization’s Food Rescue Hero app coordinates the world’s largest network of volunteer food drivers, which numbers 10,000 strong and growing. An initial pilot run delivered emergency food to 175 households in late March, and the organization expanded the program substantially in April. The information from the pilot run is being used to gradually expand the service to thousands more homes. 412 Food Rescue is working in partnership with nonprofits that serve populations that require home delivery such as food banks, food pantries, senior agencies and more. Anyone can register to volunteer with 412 Food Rescue by downloading the Food Rescue Hero app.

DMS Students Participate in Virtual Holocaust Remembrance Days
Dorseyville Middle School (DMS) eighth-graders participated in virtual Holocaust Remembrance Days in April, which are part of the eighth-grade cross-curricular Holocaust unit that the students study each year. Students had the opportunity to take part in a digital experience offered by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, commemorating the lives lost and impacted by the Holocaust. This year’s digital program marks 75 years since the end of the Holocaust, and honored local heroes and their families. The DMS events were cosponsored by Together We Remember and LIGHT Education Initiative.

CCAC Nursing Classes Connect, De-stress with Zoom Day
Community College of Allegheny County Nursing Professor Brenda Schneider held a “take your child/pet/loved one to Zoom day” for her classes as a way to stay connected during the isolating environment created by the COVID–19 pandemic. Following an online quiz, Schneider’s nursing pharmacology students were invited to return after a break with their family members, human and otherwise. More than 25 students participated, bringing kids, roommates, dogs, several cats and two lizards. Schneider repeated the session for her evening class, comprised of second-degree/second-career students, who brought their spouses, young children, furry pets including two bunnies, and a snake to the session. Schneider has shared her experience with peers at CCAC and suggested they give it a try to help students stay connected while lowering their stress levels.

Lisco Wins American Visions Award
Keely Lisco, a Seneca Valley Senior, is a national gold medal and a national American Visions Award winner in the 2020 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Competition. She won for her mixed media piece titled Over the Mountains. Works receiving gold medals will be on display at Parsons School of Design at the New School in New York City from June 3-5. Senior Emma Burd won a national silver medal for her ceramics and glass piece titled Sloth. Additionally, three other Seneca Valley students had their artwork adjudicated in New York City on March 16 after winning Gold Keys in the 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Competition. 

Regional Gold Key winners include Kayla Moon, Cierra Denny and Taylor Healy. Seneca Valley Silver Key recipients include Shawn Mill, Kayla Moon, Kristen Bedell, Max Carpenter, Kathryn Curtis, Kelsey Gianfrancesco, Angelina Khoury, Faith Liston, Victoria Lydon (two Silver Keys), Addy Malak, Reagan Neff, Emilee Neuman, Lexi Peffer, Mary Reese, Ella Reynolds (two Silver Keys), Bethany Rice, Taylor Stofko, Corin Trejchel and Sean Tweed. 

Also, several students from Seneca Valley High School received Honorable Mentions for their entries, including Veronica Grassell, Adrien Koromaus, Kayla Moon, Mariah Baker, Kathryn Curtis, Kelsey Gianfranceso (six Honorable Mentions), Taylor Godleski (two Honorable Mentions), Madison Hatcher (two Honorable Mentions), Grace Hilling, Allison Jaecke, Simren Jayaraman, Katie Kamarec, Keely Lisco, Grace McSwaney, Tia Myers, Emilee Neuman, Chloe Roy, Rachel Smith, Maura Taylor (three Honorable Mentions), Brian Whitney and Claire Williams.

Seneca Valley Students Named 2020 Carson Scholars
Seneca Valley School District has two students who have recently been announced as 2020 Carson Scholars and two who have renewed their status. Seneca Valley Senior High School sophomore Nicholas Nedzesky and junior Faith Condrick are two of 477 students across the nation who received a $1,000 college scholarship award and the coveted honor of being named a Carson Scholar. In addition, 912 students have renewed their Carson Scholar status, including sophomore Kate Lipscomb and senior Coryn Ferguson. Lipscomb and Ferguson and the other previous winners have maintained high academic standards and a strong commitment to their communities and are being named 2020 Recognized Carson Scholars for their efforts. To date, the Carson Scholars Fund has awarded 1,400 scholarships to students in Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas who epitomize academic excellence and commitment to their community.

Muzzonigro Named Chair of the AAOS Board of Councilors
Pittsburgh orthopaedic surgeon Thomas S. Muzzonigro, MD, FAAOS, was named chair of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) Board of Councilors (BOC).  The BOC consists of more than 100 members elected by state and regional orthopaedic societies. Dr. Muzzonigro specializes in hip and knee reconstruction and practices at Tri Rivers Musculoskeletal Centers in Pittsburgh, and serves as the director of medical education and the medical director of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Butler Health System. Prior to his appointment as chair, Dr. Muzzonigro served on the AAOS’ Communications Cabinet and is the past president of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society.

SSA Student-Produced Short Film Wins Two Independent Shorts Awards
Playlist, a short film written and directed by Shady Side Academy senior Grady Munroe (Fox Chapel) as part of the Senior School's WSSA Film Club, won two awards in the March 2020 Independent Shorts Awards (ISA). Junior Annabel Everett (Fox Chapel) won the Bronze Award in the Best Child/Young Actress category, and Munroe won Honorable Mention in the Best Young Filmmaker category. Making a career in film is a dream of Munroe's, and he plans to attend Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television in Los Angeles next fall.

Area Schools Coordinate PPE Donation Effort
From helping students in the classroom to helping those on the front lines of COVID-19, Butler County Superintendents are working collaboratively to provide much-needed equipment for Butler Memorial Hospital (BMH). The group originally got the personal protective equipment (PPE) donation idea from Dr. Jeff Finch, superintendent at Grove City School District. Dr. Tracy Vitale, Seneca Valley superintendent, and Dr. Brian White, Butler Area superintendent, agreed to lead the communications and coordination of collecting PPE from science labs, STEM labs, art rooms and nurses’ offices. Specific donation items and amount totals include 100 isolation gowns; 73 pairs of goggles; 296 safety glasses/visors; 171 N95 respirator masks; 712 face masks and 76,387 gloves. In addition, the schools were able to provided antiseptic towelettes, disposable pillow cases, wipes, rubbing alcohol, lab coats, exam table covers, cotton-tipped applicators, hair nets and thermometer covers. If individuals or businesses are interested in donating money or PPE supplies, email

Fox Chapel Varsity Gymnastics and Cross Country Teams Earn Top Honors
The Fox Chapel Area High School varsity gymnastics and boys’ cross country teams earned top honors in the Fox Chapel Area School District Athletic Department’s 2019-2020 Quality Point Average (QPA) annual award contest. The gymnastics team earned the highest cumulative average, with a combined QPA of 4.181, and the cross country team posted a 3.932 average. It was the first time that the gymnastics team won the award, and the second time that the boys cross country team achieved the honor. In honor of the accomplishment, both teams’ names will be added to the QPA banner in the high school’s main gym. Overall, among the high school’s 14 varsity teams, the average team QPA was 3.72. 

Entercom and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Provide Over 1.5 Million Meals for Local Displaced Workers
Entercom, a leading media and entertainment company and one of the two largest radio broadcasters in the U.S., raised funds to provide over 1.5 million meals for people in need through Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Feed the Need Radiothon, presented by Giant Eagle, directly benefits displaced workers who are utilizing the emergency drive up distribution sites as well as food pantries in and around the Pittsburgh region. The initiative, which had a goal of 100,000 meals, was part of the companywide Stay Connected campaign which aligns its crisis efforts in producing impactful and compelling content, promotions and partnerships to support local communities.

SVSD’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition
Seneca Valley School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 21st year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Seneca Valley answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs. 

Beyond Spots & Dots Wins Four Hermes Creative Awards
Matching gentlemen to their ideal wedding bands. Inviting stakeholders to suit up and experience the life of a firefighter for a day. These were among the multiple campaigns led by Beyond Spots & Dots that were recognized by the 2020 Hermes Creative Awards. As an international competition for creative professions, the Hermes Creative Awards honors the messengers and creators of the information revolution. Beyond Spots & Dots earned a total of four awards, two platinum and two gold. In the last year, Beyond Spots & Dots has also received recognition from the PRSA Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards, the Education Digital Marketing Awards, American Marketing Association Awards, MarCom Awards, and Education Advertising Awards.

National Aviary Launches New CyBIRD Learning Platform for Schools, Families
The National Aviary recently unveiled a new virtual educational offering: CyBIRD Learning. CyBIRD Learning builds on the National Aviary’s existing in-person educational programs, providing a digital platform for classrooms and families to experience the National Aviary’s high quality, immersive educational programs. Students can interact with the expert, ask questions, and get exclusive videos of the National Aviary’s animals and their habitats, all while learning! Programs available for Distance Learning include Penguins are Cool, Habitats, Rainforests, Amazing Adaptations, and Birds and Conservation. Registration information for CyBIRD Distance Learning and Aviary After-School programs is available at