Bonnie Haluska recently reached one of her life goals: she retired after 40 years of service at Allied Services as AVP of inpatient services of the rehabilitation hospital. And now, she begins on her next lifelong goal: to focus on philanthropy.
“My wish is to give back to my church and my community in gratitude for the love and support afforded me,” she said.
She began her career at Allied Services Rehabilitation Hospital in 1972 as a staff nurse. Over a span of four decades she served in various roles including assistant director of nursing, director of nursing, executive director and finally assistant vice president of inpatient services. In that position, Haluska was responsible for the daily oversight of operations at the main campus inpatient rehabilitation hospital and two satellite inpatient units at Regional and Moses Taylor Hospitals. In addition, she was required to ensure compliance to regulatory agencies and development of inpatient programs.
“During those many years I was extremely fortunate to work with colleagues who were dedicated and compassionate professionals,” she said. “To be successful you surround yourself with the best – and they were. I will always be grateful to everyone there. They were and still are my extended family.”
Haluska now has the honor of volunteering her time with wonderful people at ClothesLine, the brainchild of Sr. Ann Walsh, IHM, past CEO of Friends of the Poor.
“Sr. Ann asked me if I would start this ministry back in 2013,” she said. “Since then we have moved four times and served over 2,300 area men in need providing them with appropriate clothing for interviews, work and various social and life events.”
Through grants provided by Lackawanna County, a residence provided by The University of Scranton and quality clothing provided by the generosity of the community, the ministry is able to offer second chances to many.
“Our aim is to restore confidence, independence and to enhance the quality of life for these men. We are proud, also, to serve our veterans in need, true heroes, and to thank them for their service,” she added.
Her husband, John, always a column of support to her, also shares in her community spirit and spearheaded the Hometown Hero banner program in Old Forge.
“I was proud to assist as secretary and then, along with Carol Melucci, served as co-chair of the Old Forge Hometown celebration in August,” Haluska said.
Haluska believes in the teaching of Mother Theresa who said not to wait for leaders, to do it alone, person to person, in small things , because it is in them that your strength lies.
“Growing up with my sister, Arlene, and my brother, Emil, our parents Emilio and Ann Frati encouraged us to be mindful of the needs of our neighbors,” she said. “They were both shining examples of honest, compassionate people.”
She is also inspired by Sr. Ann Walsh who works tirelessly and meets the needs of the most vulnerable, and by Meghan Loftus, CEO, and the board of the Friends of the Poor and FOP.
She has served on the advisory boards of the nursing program at The University of Scranton and the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Advisory publication; and has served as a past board member of the Montage Chapter Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and Northeast Network.
She has received the Northeast Woman, HAP Florence Nightingale and Charles Luger awards; and was a AHA nurse honoree.