Allentown's Lehigh Valley Health Network is recognizing that three of its physicians hail from the same small town of Tamaqua. On top of that, all three are from the same family.
Sisters Kara Coassolo, MD, Karina Reed, MD, and Kristin Menconi-Drost, MD, are employed by various components in the health network's women's and children's service line. All three grew up in Tamaqua, daughters of James Menconi and his wife, Margaret.
The January 2013 issue of CheckUP, the employee magazine of the LVHN, carries a cover story about the sisters, entitled "All in the Family," written by LVHN staffer Amy Koch.
A full-color photo of the Tamaqua natives appears on the magazine's cover and is reprinted inside the publication as part of a two-page spread. Another image, the dominating illustration in the story, is an earlier photo of the trio as adolescents. It appears as a framed portrait, complemented by the soft background of a blooming pink and green Christmas cactus.
The story traces the path each woman took and circumstances that led the trio to join the LVHN.
Coassolo, the middle sister, is a high-risk pregnancy physician with Lehigh Valley Physician Group's Maternal-Fetal Medicine. The youngest, Reed, is a gynecologist/obstetrician with College Heights OBGYN Associates, while Menconi-Drost is a pediatrician/internal medicine physician with ABC Pediatricians.
The sisters credit the work ethic of their father, an attorney, and the devotion of their mother, a nurse at Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, Lehighton, with inspiring them to achieve.
Menconi-Drost was the first of the siblings to become a physician, attending the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. She was joined by Coassolo a year later.
Both finished medical school and went on to Temple University School of Medicine, rooming together.
The two were followed in the field several years later by Reed, who completed undergraduate studies at Dickinson College in Carlisle prior to continuing on her sisters' path at Temple.
Coassolo was the first to join the LVHN six years ago. When Menconi-Drost decided to move back to Pennsylvania from Hawaii, Coassolo encouraged her to join the LVHN group, which she did, five years ago. Then, in 2012, Reed joined her sisters at the network.
Coassolo told the magazine that a career at LVHN was a fit that made sense on multiple levels.
"Growing up in Tamaqua, I knew Lehigh Valley Health Network was the hospital of choice for more advanced care. Our own family members had received great care here, plus the Lehigh Valley was a place where I could raise my family and be close to our parents, so joining the health network was a natural choice," explained Coassolo.
The sisters told the magazine that their paths occasionally cross at the health network. However, each has a busy schedule professionally, plus each has her own family.
The sisters are graduates of Marian High School, Tamaqua, where they took part in a wide range of activities, including volleyball, swimming, cheerleading, track and chorus. All three particularly enjoyed science and math classes while in high school, according to the magazine article.
The sisters are the granddaughters of Anna Menconi, Tamaqua.