Mar. 6—After 21 years as president and CEO of the Scranton Counseling Center, Edward F. Heffron, Ed.D., is stepping down.
Heffron announced Friday that he will retire from the center effective March 31. His departure will coincide with Scranton Counseling's move from its longtime home in the 300 block of Adams Avenue to its new campus on Cherry Street in South Scranton.
That's where the center is completing the $15 million adaptive reuse and renovation of a three-building complex that was originally part of an old button factory and later became the home of Capitol Records.
Heffron said the new state-of-the-art facility, which he described as a five-year project of love, will position Scranton Counseling for the future.
"More importantly than that, it provides an attractive setting where we can provide the best quality care for children and adults who have behavioral health issues," he said. "That really is the major thing."
Heffron, an Old Forge resident, said he made a commitment to the center's board that would remain on the job until the new campus was ready. He honored that even as the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the project's completion, which was originally scheduled for mid-October.
Scranton Counseling's more than 200 staff members are set to begin moving in March 15, a process expected to take two to three weeks.
Although the new center is the capstone of his time as leader of Scranton Counseling, Heffron said he is most proud of having made the nonprofit agency the largest integrated behavioral health care provider in Northeast Pennsylvania.
The center sees an average of 10,000 unduplicated consumers on an annual basis, he said.
"We have been able to grow our services in terms of both complexity and variety to meet the needs of individuals in Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties who have behavioral health and substance abuse issues," Heffron said. "We have grown and developed and expanded."
Scranton Counseling said an executive search committee will undertake a search for the center's next president/CEO, reviewing internal candidates and external applicants.
During the transition, Sal Santoli, a long-term manager with more than four decades of service with the center, will oversee operations as interim CEO, the center said.
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