Posts tagged ‘Cancer Institute’

Celebrating Survivorship at Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute

The messages on the wall inside Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute show why surviving cancer is something to celebrate.

“Today I’m celebrating 12 years breast cancer free and five years leukemia free.”

“Two years and counting.”

“Just starting my fight, I will win.”

On Wednesday, June 4, the staff and patients of the Cancer Institute joined in the celebration of the 27th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day, honoring more than 14,000,000 cancer survivors in the United States.

cancersurvivorsday

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Sandy Spoljaric, a retired infusion nurse, was one of the volunteers on hand to greet patients. She worked for Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for more than 23 years and for her the event was a homecoming. She was happy to see some of the patients she’s helped over the years. (more…)

June 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

A career built from the ground up

photo of Terry Achey overloooking Medical Center

Terry Achey

When Terry Achey started at Penn State Hershey thirty-four years ago, it was hard for anyone to imagine how much it would grow. There was no Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, no freestanding children’s hospital, not even a dedicated building for the facilities department. But over the past three decades, Achey has a hand in many of the projects that have helped grow Penn State Hershey into a world-class institution.

“Terry really loves this place and he treated the facilities like they were his own home,” says Wayne Zolko, associate vice president for finance and business, who worked closely with Achey for almost twenty years. “It wasn’t just a job for Terry, he really believed in our mission. Both his love of the Medical Center and his knowledge of our facilities from the ground up, having worked in a lot of different areas, gave him an appreciation for the work that had to be done.”

“I looked at this as a place I wanted to work at for a very long time, but I didn’t have aspirations to become director,” Achey says.

He retired on January 2 as director of facilities—a position he held for the past twelve years—where he was responsible for building maintenance and operations, planning and construction, project management, CADD services, and safety.  Achey left an indelible print on many facets of Penn State Hershey, but one of the projects he’s most proud of was the work he contributed to the ten-year Master Plan.

The two milestones of the 10-year plan were the Cancer Institute and the Children’s Hospital, both of which took years of planning.

“Being able to work along with the leadership team that has shaped the physical and programmatic growth of the campus over the past 30-plus years has been extremely rewarding,” Achey says.  “I have the upmost respect for the professional staff and faculty on our campus and I’ve always felt that our town, our region, is very fortunate to have a world-class resource serving our population and providing a major economic impact.” (more…)

March 7, 2013 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

When it all comes together… How the nurses of 7West put together a perfect wedding with some help from their friends

Wedding programs

The wedding was perfect—a beautiful bride in a white dress, gorgeous autumn flowers, an outpouring of love from friends and family. The only difference between this wedding and a fairy tale was its locale, which was the surgical waiting room on the first floor of Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

The November 10 wedding, for 19-year-old leukemia patient Courtney Sprenkle and her then-fiance Scott Shelly, was pulled together in about a week’s time. Courtney and Scott had originally planned to get married next year but, after already putting much of their lives on hold during her fight with cancer, she decided the time was right.

Courtney was originally diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia two years ago. During that time, she had three rounds of chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants, all with Scott by her side. While each treatment was temporarily successful, the leukemia always returned a few months later. After her most recent relapse in October, she talked with her care team about her dream of a picture-perfect wedding.

“We said ‘if she wants it, we’ll make it happen,’” recalls Carol Magee, one of Courtney’s nurses on 7 West, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. (more…)

December 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm 53 comments

Paz reports on highlights of Medical Center’s fiscal year

Highlights from across all four parts of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s mission were at the center of this week’s annual public board of directors meeting. Dr. Harold L. Paz, CEO of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs, and dean, Penn State College of Medicine, addressed faculty, staff and community members. Paz discussed how new and expanded collaborations, growth in its clinical and research missions, and the presence of the first group of medical students in State College were all part of a successful 2011-12 fiscal year.

Read more about Dr. Paz’s presentation in this article >>

The presentation also included the following videos, each highlighting a key story from the past year:

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September 14, 2012 at 8:12 am Leave a comment

Prostate Cancer—Hidden but treatable

A recent episode of the TV show House opened with the confrontational doctor threatening a talkative patient with an unnecessary prostate exam. The patient quieted down. Good for Dr. House, bad for the prostate cancer advocates who have been trying to break the stigma surrounding routine screenings.

Prostate cancer screenings have become something of a controversy in recent years, mostly due to the nature of prostate cancer itself. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Depending on the research, it’s either the second or third leading cause of cancer deaths. It would seem that such a common disease should be tested for regularly and treated aggressively, but prostate cancer is somewhat of a sleeper cancer

Continue Reading October 4, 2010 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

Fully integrated cancer patient care

As many of the day-shift employees are just arriving, still shaking off the morning grog and sipping coffee, Kevin Staveley-O’Carroll, M.D., Ph.D., is already in surgical scrubs and doing something between a fast walk and light jog as he heads to a 7:00 a.m. meeting to discuss cancer patients.

After briefly greeting about twenty-five attendees, Staveley-O’Carroll, the head of surgical oncology at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, takes a seat as the lecture hall-style room is darkened and a large screen is filled with scans of internal organs.

Certain images are enlarged, crevices honed in on, and written details of previous diagnoses and treatments are flashed before the liver, pancreas, and foregut group. Original diagnoses are discussed and critiqued, projections are made on the potential to help the patient, and future treatment and surgeries are mapped out.

Sometimes the conversation is agreeable; sometimes it’s not, such as when a physician “respectfully disagrees’’ with a study cited by Staveley-O’Carroll from an Australian conference he attended in regard to a more aggressive use of liver transplants. Noting the preciousness of available organs, the doctor says “livers don’t grow on trees; unlike surgeons.’’

The comment invokes some light laughter, but doesn’t even come close to puncturing the highly professional air engulfing the serious business at hand.

(more…)

July 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm 1 comment

Filling the halls with beauty

With an artistic eye and a knack for photography, Peter Houts, Ph.D., brought the beauty and splendor of the Hershey Gardens into the halls of the new Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute when he generously donated several of his landscape photographs. Each photograph displayed in the Cancer Institute, whether it captures the garden’s famous tulips and roses, a light crisp snowfall, or a path in the perennials garden, conveys a world full of color, imagination, and peace.

The opportunity to photograph the renowned Hershey Gardens came when his wife, Mary Davidoff Houts, was presented with the project of writing a book about the history of the gardens. The project needed a photographer and Houts enthusiastically accepted the position. The book, Hershey Gardens: The Cornfield that Blossomed with Roses, contains many photographs, half of which Houts took.

But his passion for photography bloomed long before that opportunity. It all began shortly after World War II when Houts was thirteen and he bought his first camera. He soon plunged into a world full of captured images and dark rooms. “The magic of seeing a picture come out of the developer in the dark room was so intriguing as a child,” remembers Houts. He experienced the evolution of photography from the dark room to the digitally captured picture. Houts said, “As a result of that I do more photography and I just love it.” (more…)

July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment


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