The Penn State Board of Trustees approved a proposal to bring the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System together to form a new health enterprise under the umbrella of Penn State Health. The PinnacleHealth System Board of Directors voted earlier in the week to also approve the plan.
The proposal still requires approval from the state Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Penn State and PinnacleHealth expect to file the required paperwork within the next few weeks. Both health systems will continue to operate independently and as normal until necessary approvals to join as members of the new enterprise are obtained.
The approval of the plan by the Board of Trustees is the latest step in formal discussions to expand collaboration between the two health systems, which began in November 2013. In June 2014, Penn State, Penn State Hershey and PinnacleHealth signed a letter of intent to bring the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, PinnacleHealth and their joint venture, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, together into a new health enterprise.
“This new health enterprise is a win for our patients, students, researchers and central Pennsylvania communities because we can offer our academic expertise and advanced care to a broader patient population,” said Dr. A. Craig Hillemeier, dean of Penn State College of Medicine, chief executive officer of the Medical Center, and Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs. “PinnacleHealth and Penn State Hershey see this new health care enterprise through the same lens – that our longstanding individual commitments to quality and safety, combined into one health system, would give us the scale we need to continue to improve outcomes and reverse the trend of growing health care costs.”
Read more at Penn State Hershey Newsroom: http://bit.ly/1CDmtYi
Today, 120 fourth-year medical students at Penn State College of Medicine learned where they will spend their residencies in an annual tradition known as Match Day. A similar scene played out with fourth-year students at medical schools across the country.
The event for Penn State’s medical school, which took place at the Hershey Country Club, included a countdown to the moment when students eagerly ripped open the envelopes that held their futures. The moment was marked by cheers, hugs and tears.
This is the culmination of a process that began months ago as students visited and evaluated residency programs – and the programs evaluated them. Today, each student learned whether he or she was successfully ‘matched’ with the residency program of their choice.
Thirty percent of the College of Medicine graduates accepting residency appointments within Pennsylvania, with half of those staying at Penn State Hershey. The rest of the students are headed for programs across the country. Of all the graduates, 38 percent accepted residencies in primary care.
Editor’s Note: Match Day pictures, videos, and match lists will be published on Penn State Medicine after the Match Day ceremony on Friday, March 20.
Four years ago, they walked across the stage at Hershey Lodge and Convention Center to receive their white coats, marking their entry into medical school and their time at Penn State College of Medicine. One by one they stepped to the microphone, said their name, hometown and school, and walked over to wear, for the first time, their shortened white doctor coats to identify them as medical students.
This Friday, the College of Medicine Class of 2015 will once again mark a milestone as its members prepare for the next phase of their careers: residency. At noon on Friday, the class members will rip open envelopes that reveal their residency destinations in an annual ritual called Match Day.
Fourth-year medical students began the residency assignment process months ago by researching, visiting and interviewing with directors of residency programs that interest them. In February, students and other applicants filed their rank-order lists of residency programs of interest. Medical program directors also filed their rank-order lists of applicants. The National Resident Matching Program, a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1952, completes the match.
Penn State Medicine caught up with three students – Timothy Brown, Carina Brown, and Jon-Ryan Burris – shown as incoming students in a video of the 2011 White Coat Ceremony (view here), to see what they remember of that day, and how they feel as Match Day approaches.
Editor’s Note: March is Child Life Awareness Month. Penn State Hershey thanks its Child Life team for the work they do every day with our youngest patients. This story is a look at what the child life specialists add to the Penn State Hershey experience and how our patients appreciate their involvement in their care. View the “A day in Child Life” photo album.
Hospitals can be scary places for children.
Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital has a team of certified child life specialists (CCLSs) who help children feel comfortable and safe—to help them understand that the doctors and nurses want to help them get better.
While their days may seem filled with toys, games and a whole lot of Playdoh, the role of a child life specialist is so much more.
“Child life addresses the psycho-social, emotional, and developmental needs of pediatric patients and families in any kind of health care setting,” said Ashley Kane, Child Life manager.
Child life specialists are constantly on the go and reprioritizing when things do not go as planned. A day in Child Life looks something like this:
Surgical child life specialist Kate Denlinger arrives in the Children’s Hospital pre-op unit to prepare young patients for surgical procedures. “Kids come to the hospital for surgery for really simple things and things that are life changing like spinal fusions or open heart surgeries,” she says. “I try to make the hospital as normal as I can, and I try to familiarize them with all of the things they are about to see.
“There’s a lot of research that says if kids know what they’re about to experience, they’re more willing to participate in their care than they are to have things done to them,” she says.
Among her patients today is 5-year-old Kaitlyn Teeter, who relies on regular surgical procedures to help with breathing and allow her to eat properly.
“She’s really special in the sense that this is like her second home and she knows all of us,” Kate says.
Penn State Hershey’s Dr. Jack Myers is all heart in Ecuador: Years of life-saving surgeries performed on pediatric patients
When Ryan Mathis was a student at Hershey High School, he traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador, with Penn State Hershey pediatric heart surgeon Dr. John “Jack” Myers. There, he saw parents canoe or carry their children across bodies of water to arrive at a hospital where they’d wait with hundreds of others for a chance to receive life-saving heart surgery.
That experience — along with a second trip with Myers while in college — reinforced Mathis’s decision to attend medical school and gave him a new appreciation for medical advances and technology in the United States.
Now a plastic surgery resident at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., Mathis hopes to form a career where he can take a month each year to share his skills with developing countries.
“You can’t even comprehend the degree of poverty there — it really puts things in perspective,” he said.
Myers and Dr. Stephen Cyran, Children’s Heart Group, first traveled to Ecuador 16 years ago, when the country had no surgical equipment or trained personnel to fix congenital heart problems in children.
The hospital they arrived at in the city of Guayaquil looked like a dilapidated warehouse, with corrugated steel hanging from the ceilings, bugs coming out of the water faucets and very limited resources.
“We waited for the team from Hershey to come for 15 days, hoped they would cure the biggest number of children possible while they were here, and that they would return quickly,” said Dr. David Maldonado, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon at the Hospital de Niños Roberto Gilbert E. in Guayaquil.
Each year, without fail, the team of medical professionals and students returned. Myers estimates that nearly 400 people from the Penn State Hershey community have been part of the trips over the years. (more…)
Milton Hershey School junior Randy Gibson never imagined he would use his CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training.
That was until last September, when a school houseparent collapsed in front of him.
Milton Hershey School is a private, residential school and home for children from low-income and socially disadvantaged situations. It was founded by chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey.
Last September, when houseparent Jim Smith was out for a run on the school campus, he encountered Gibson along his route and hit the ground a moment later.
For a second Gibson thought it was a joke due to Smith’s reputation as a prankster. He quickly realized something was wrong.
“I knew I needed to help him and only had seconds to think about what to do next,” Gibson said.
He began CPR right away while someone called 911 and ran for a nearby AED – automatic external defibrillator.
“I think without Randy’s involvement, the likelihood of Jim surviving that event would have been dramatically lower, and obviously if no one had intervened, he would have died,” Dr. Pfeiffer said.
Editor’s Note: Penn State’s THON Weekend is Feb. 20-22. Students will dance for 46-hours to support pediatric cancer patients. To date, $114 million has been raised and donated to Four Diamonds, a foundation that supports the families of pediatric patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, and the cancer research done here. For more information on THON, or to watch the activities live, visit THON.org. For more information on Four Diamonds, visit FourDiamonds.org.
Playing iPad games and shaking a tambourine may not seem special to the parents of most preschoolers.
But, for parents of children battling cancer, it’s the little things like these that can brighten even the darkest of days.
Providing normalcy in the midst of treatment is part of the services supported by Four Diamonds, the sole beneficiary of The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) happening this weekend.
Four Diamonds supports children and their families facing the challenges of pediatric cancer by paying for care and treatment not covered by insurance or other means as well as additional expenses that disrupt the welfare of the children.
One of those families is the Hess family from Harrisburg. Lydia was diagnosed with leukemia in April of 2014 at the age of 2.
Four Diamonds makes it possible for 16 specialty care providers to be available exclusively to Four Diamonds patients and their families – including child life specialists, a clinical nutritionist, a clinical psychologist, nurse specialists, social workers, music therapists, a clinical nutritionist, and pastoral care.
“All of those things have made Lydia’s life and our days so much easier,” said Julie Hess, Lydia’s mother. “Just to make one day easier is a big deal to us. We’ve had a lot of really hard days.”
Lydia’s diagnosis was a complete surprise to the family. Last winter, she had recurring fevers.
“She was 2 and interacting with other kids — going to preschool once a week, swim classes and church– so we figured she was just picking up all the germs,” Julie said.
In April, Lydia’s fever spiked higher than normal and she began complaining of finger pain. Julie and her husband, Brandon, suspected something unusual was happening.
“The pediatrician examined her and said ‘let’s do some x-rays, let’s do some blood work,’ but they never mentioned the word cancer or leukemia,” Julie said.
Two hours after Lydia’s appointment, her doctor called the family.
“You know when you get a call at home that quickly after you’ve been there, it’s not good,” Julie said.