Skip to Main Content Jump to Main Content
Regina Graham of Geisinger -- Why NEPA? image
January 02, 2024
Regina Graham of Geisinger -- Why NEPA?
Michelle Johnson

“NEPA is very unique. We’re in this really cool space where our communities and culture are evolving.”

Since the age of six, Regina Graham has called NEPA home. Born in Orlando, FL, she lived briefly in Mississippi and Philadelphia before she and her mom settled into the Mountain Top area to be near family.

There, the self-described “spicy” Regina enjoyed a classic NEPA childhood filled with outdoor adventures, cheerleading and soccer. After a brief relocation to Mississippi in her teens, Regina returned to NEPA where she graduated from Crestwood and King’s College. She planned on being a big-shot attorney (her words) but took a job at Geisinger out of college twelve years ago and it’s stuck.

Over the years, in many parts thanks to her current role at Geisinger as a Program Director in the office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as her experience with Leadership Northeast, she has a newfound confidence and passion for using her voice as a woman of color to offer her unique perspective thanks to her personal experiences to foster a culture of inclusivity and equality both at work and in our communities.

Having grown up in a home where her mother provided a safe haven to fostered children, today, Regina has found herself in an advocate role as a CASA representative.

When she’s not helping others, Regina loves to be in the mix of it all. Friends, food and fun are her ethos. We talked about her passion projects, her pup Penelope and of course, we had to know, Why NEPA?


How long have you lived in NEPA?

I’ve lived here most of my life. Do I need a number (laughs)? Oh boy. Give me a second. (Quietly mumbling as she does the math…35…) 25 years total. But I still consider that most of my life — the majority of my life. It might be even a bit more than that. I’ve left the area a few times, but very minimally, so I consider this my home.

What do you love about your town?

I have to shoutout where I’m from. Shoutout to Mountain Top and Dorrance who raised Regina Graham. That’s my stomping grounds. Currently, I live in Kingston and I love the community. It’s probably one of my favorite places in Northeastern Pennsylvania. There’s a sense of community. There’re sidewalks. There’re people. It’s a very diverse community of religions and cultures. It’s just a nice mix. And I love that I live right on the river so I get to take advantage of the river walk and all of the things that happen in Kirby Park. I feel like I’m in a very central area, quiet, but still rich in culture. I love Kingston.

What’s your favorite NEPA restaurant?

I love Cork – well, I love any Freidman restaurant, but Cork is my absolute favorite. I love MVD tapas-style. Margarita Azul is another stomping ground. Been going there for years. It’s one of my favorites. Best margaritas in town – shout out (laughs)! And Sabatini’s pizza’s my favorite. Love a saucy pizza. It’s great. And last but not least, AV in Scranton. I love everything on the menu. It’s so yummy and just the atmosphere is really cool. I could literally eat anything. I don’t have a favorite at any of those spots – I could do a special or a chef selection and I would eat all of it.

What’s your favorite thing to do in NEPA?

Because I am a foodie, I just love going out trying new restaurants and going out with friends. I love being able to go to some of my favorite places and seeing people that I know that I either grew up with or that I work with. I love that.

I love the night life and the live music in the area. That’s always fun. And to be able to go out and feel safe and listen to great music. I love River Street Jazz Café. The casino has great music and of course they have Party on the Patio in the summertime. The V Spot Bar in Scranton has some great music, too. My friends and I are always on the hunt to find local music and bands, or if there’s a band we like to follow, we’ll find out where they are playing that way as well. But I’m very lucky to usually find something that I enjoy on the weekend. I also love outdoor activities and events and all the festivals we have.

Another favorite thing to do is to go to speakeasies. There are two I can think of : the Cobbler in Wilkes-Barre and Madame Jenny’s in Scranton, which is part of Ale Mary’s. Y’all have to go check them out. I can’t give you any more information but they are great places to hang out.

What’s next for you?

Both professionally and personally, I want to continue to engage and make an impact on our communities. Professionally, obviously, it’s important to increase our presence and ensure that our communities know we’re here for them as an organization here at Geisinger.

Personally, what’s so important to me is that I know what it feels like to be one of not many. And so, I want to be able to impact those kids or impact those people that may not see people that look like them in positions of influence within the community. And that’s really possible. Because representation does matter. It’s funny, in my previous role, I hired someone and she said to me, when I saw you interviewing me, I knew that I had a chance. So, I think that it really is making sure that I’m giving back and paying it forward to those in our communities because I’m not sure where I’d be if I didn’t have that support.

Where do you see NEPA heading in the future?

I see NEPA continuing to evolve culturally. If you think about the past and current state of NEPA, I think our diverse communities will continue to increase. What I would like to help support and influence and do whatever I can, is to make sure the people that live here understand that as new cultures come in, that’s not taking away from who you or what this area is. It’s actually enriching it and it’s making it more vibrant, which is super fun. Think about all the great restaurants and music and all the festivals that we have now. It’s a way to gain exposure to things that you may not understand. So, for me, the future is bright for NEPA. I think as we continue to grow, there will be a new sense of the word community here in the area.


I have the ability to make an impact here as Regina Graham and as the Program Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion here at Geisinger. That is something I’ve very passionate about. I want to stay the course and work with all the organizations within our community to help support and be of assistance in any way that I can. There’s this really beautiful synergy that’s happening. I can’t tell you how many organizations reach out for advice. Or ask, how do I manage this, especially in the space of diversity, equity and inclusion. I think it goes back to my last answer.  There’s an emphasis in this space, because, it’s important as our communities continue to evolve that we’re reaching all of the people of NEPA. I want to continue to help and be a voice.