Posts tagged ‘Medical Center’
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…)
When you walk into a room filled with smiles, laughter, toys, games, and an over-all atmosphere of fun, it’s easy to forget you’re in a hospital.
That is exactly the goal of the Child Life Program at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Child Life offers patients support through its programming, including a fall visit from Olympic gold medalist Jamie Gray. Originally from nearby Lebanon, Pa., Gray was inspired to visit Hershey by the young patients she met at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Baton Rouge, La.
Much to the delight of the Hershey children and their families, Gray recently participated in their weekly BINGO game, spending time with families and answering questions about the Olympics. Sharing her gold medal in 50-meter rifle three position, she didn’t even mind when one little friend got chocolate from his hands on it.
Gray was touched by the children’s resiliency, especially after watching her mother, Karen Beyerle, battle and defeat breast cancer.
“I think it’s amazing to see how happy they are going through so much adversity,” she said. “I think they’re inspiring, honestly.”
It isn’t hard to see the difference Child Life makes with while watching 8 year-old Izaiah Robinson from Boalsburg, Pa., nearly running to the prize table, with a huge smile across his face.
His mother, Shanika, said that Izaiah is a frequent visitor to the hospital and that they are grateful to have the activities available.
“I love it for the kids,” Robinson said. “It’s something for them to do. Bingo is his favorite. He’s a pro at this.”
Izaiah said it was “cool” to meet someone who won a medal, and he got his picture taken as he and his mother waited to hear if he could go home.
According to Ashley Kane, program manager, special guests like Gray bring out a bright side of being in the hospital.
“If they weren’t here, many kids would not have gotten to meet an Olympic gold medalist,” Kane said. “They are going through a difficult time, trying to get better and get out of the hospital and our special visitors bring in something extra special. It gives them the motivation to get out of bed.”
The Child Life Program provides psychological, social, emotional and developmental support for patients and families predominantly through play.
“Play is the work of a child,” Kane said. Through play, staff helps kids and their families understand what’s happening in the hospital and in their bodies. Their job is to do anything they can to make the hospital environment easier, less frightening, more child friendly and allow children to be children while in the hospital.
While financial support comes from the Children’s Miracle Network and the Four Diamonds Fund, Child Life also has been well supported by donations from local organizations that regularly provide toys, books and other items needed for their play areas and programs.
“Everyone seems to feel strongly about helping the kids in the children’s hospital,” Kane said. “The community helps to fill any funding gaps we have.”
In addition to donations from church and scout groups, the program has received support and visits from the Hershey Bears, Harrisburg Senators, local police and fire departments, Chocolate World and many more who all make the days a little bit easier for children in the hospital.
Besides daily activities and special visitors, Child Life offers pre-op tours, coping assistance, teachers to keep up with schoolwork, pet therapy, monthly parent meals to facilitate parent-to-parent support, classroom visits to help the children understand what is happening to their classmate, and more.
And all of this supportive activity will be able to grow in scope now, as Child Life moved into its new home—the 263,000-square-foot, five-story (plus one below ground) freestanding Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital—this week.
In addition to more playrooms and another teen lounge for Child Life, the freestanding Children’s Hospital has a new sibling play center, a family resource center, a Ronald McDonald House room-to-room cart for families, and a new performance stage for special events that can be broadcast via closed-circuit television to patient rooms.
The new building’s opening also creates opportunity for community members to support the program and hospital in another way: about 100 new volunteers will be needed to maintain and grow Child Life and other programs designed to support a model of care that focuses on the comprehensive needs of pediatric patients and their families.
For more information on Child Life’s programs, how to donate or volunteer, visit pennstatehershey.org/web/childlife/home.
The fight against breast cancer is real—that’s why more than 600 Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center faculty, staff, patients, survivors and the Nittany Lion donned pink gloves and broke out their best dance moves to show that no one should fight this disease alone.
Voting is now open for the national Pink Glove Dance Video contest, and Penn State Hershey is in the running to win a $10,000 donation to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.
We were inspired by not only our patients, but also each other: Dan, a human resources professional who danced for his wife, a 10-year survivor; Maggie, a critical-care nurse celebrating 12 years of survivorship; and more. Backed by a breast center team that ranks nationally in patient satisfaction; Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute multidisciplinary cancer teams including specialists, nurses, and support staff; and research that has led to promising new discoveries, our commitment to fighting breast cancer goes well beyond the gloves.
Together, we give hope, courage, and faith—and continue to fight for a cure.
Penn State Hershey is currently in second place out of more than 260 entries. Your vote could push us to the top! Every vote counts until November 2. Use your Facbook account to vote for Penn State Hershey’s video at http://pinkglovedance.com . Click on the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, click the Vote button, and then use the link provided to share with all of your Facebook friends. Please encourage them to share it with their friends, too.
With the addition of the new Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™, Penn State Hershey Medical Center welcomes the first significant advance in Gamma Knife technology in the past thirty years. Gamma Knife surgery is a well-established method used to treat selected targets in the brain. More than 50,000 patients undergo Gamma Knife surgery every year.
There are many additional benefits of the new stereotactic radiosurgery system. In particular, the new positioning system moves the entire table during the procedure, rather than just moving the patient’s head back and forth. This enables physicians to treat a greater area, including the upper cervical regions.
“With the current Gamma Knife technology, we have to be concerned about the location of multiple tumors,” says Sandra J. Brettler, M.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N., C.N.R.N., nurse coordinator, neurosurgery. “Sometimes, we have to treat them twice, because we cannot reach all of the tumors in the same session. Now, with Perfexion, we can treat them all at once.” (more…)
Patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital will soon have even more opportunity to play and learn thanks to the continuous generosity of the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
The freestanding Children’s Hospital is the latest and boldest addition to the campus, and PNC wanted to be a significant partner in seeing it through to fruition. With a $1 million contribution to the Medical Center in 2005 toward the construction of the new children’s hospital building, the PNC Child and Family Resource Center was designated to provide a place for the Injury Prevention Program to educate children and families about child safety as well as distribute PNC Grow Up Great educational materials. Developed with Sesame Workshop, the educational kit and other materials helps prepare children, from birth to age five, to arrive at school ready to learn. (more…)
John A. Waldhausen, M.D., professor emeritus, College of Medicine, and founding chair of surgery, the Medical Center, died in mid-May after a remarkable and distinguished career that helped chart the course for Penn State Hershey.
Arriving at Hershey in 1969, Waldhausen provided some of the earliest leadership to the Medical Center when it was still in its infancy. But coming to Penn State was a surprising decision for someone who was already a rising star at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), an established and well-known medical center. Despite being on the ground floor of launching an independent cardiac service at CHOP under the supervision of C. Everett Koop, M.D., Waldhausen still jumped at the opportunity to build his own department at Hershey. In just a few years, he was named interim dean and provost, but when he was offered the title of permanent dean, Waldhausen wrote in his memoir Finding Home in a World at War that he “chose not to, for I wanted to continue to build the department and felt committed to those I had recruited to Hershey. To achieve something, I felt I had to stick to one job.”
Waldhausen was already a nationally respected cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon and, now at Hershey, he quickly became known for his work in the lab. Soon after recruiting William Pierce, M.D., the two embarked on what would become Penn State’s Artificial Heart Program. His pioneering work in the 1980s led to an innovative therapy for coarctation of the aorta, a congenital heart defect that had few successful treatment options. In the following decades, Waldhausen’s protocol became universally-accepted and has reduced the infant mortality rate in patients born with this defect from 60 percent to 3 percent. (more…)
The Medical Center surpassed the $200 million mark in its current $300 million fundraising initiative, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Launched in January 2007 as part of a university-wide $2 billion fundraising effort, the Medical Center and College of Medicine campaign provides support for advancing patient care, ensuring that the best and brightest students can afford a world-class medical education, recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, and funding novel research that leads to breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment.
The campaign, which runs through June 30, 2014, has garnered landmark gifts to expand and improve facilities, including contributions for the Cancer Institute and the new, freestanding Children’s Hospital building, scheduled to open in the fall. Even as the economy faltered in recent years, the community continued to generously support the Medical Center and College of Medicine’s missions of patient care, education, research, and community service. Since 2007, more than 200,000 donors have made gifts to the campaign.
The campaign has generated tremendous support from a wide range of philanthropic partners. Gifts from corporations and foundations total nearly $30 million, and 17 donors have made individual contributions exceeding $1 million to various campaign priorities. Collectively, Medical Center and College faculty and staff have given $3 million during the campaign, underscoring a deep commitment to the institution’s missions.
“Reaching this tremendous milestone with just a little more than two years remaining in the campaign reflects the incredible generosity of our community members and exemplifies the dedication of our employees and volunteers,” said Dennis P. Brenckle, chair, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Hershey Medical Center. “Each gift to the campaign affirms the vital role the Medical Center and College of Medicine play in improving public health.”
Since early in his medical career, Mark Dias, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.A.N.S., professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics at the College of Medicine, has spearheaded research exploring hospital-based and public policy interventions for decreasing the incidence of shaken baby syndrome, now more often referred to as abusive head trauma. “Abusive shaking and blunt impact to the head has a devastating impact on infants; if the child survives, he often is challenged to recover from severe brain injury and swelling, skull fracture, and retinal hemorrhage and damage,” says Dias.
As part of his strong commitment to protecting children from abuse, Dias has helped to form the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children. In 2009, Dias began working to grow a team of specialists at the Medical Center to evaluate and treat victims of child abuse and neglect. The child safety team began informally with the part-time support of Laura Duda, M.D., and Kathryn Crowell, M.D., R ’01, pediatricians who trained at children’s hospitals in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as fellows in specialized pediatric child abuse medicine. In the summer of 2011, Andrea Taroli, M.D., a board-certified child abuse pediatric specialist, became the first director of the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children. (more…)
Graham H. Jeffries, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine, could be devoting his retirement to two of his passions—gardening and antique clocks—but it’s tough to make time considering that he still teaches at the College of Medicine, sees patients in a weekly clinic, and supervises six fellows.
Jeffries, who grew up on a farm in New Zealand, arrived in Hershey shortly after the College of Medicine was established. After completing medical school at the University of New Zealand, Jeffries became a Rhodes Scholar before accepting a gastroenterology fellowship at New York Hospital and Cornell University Medical College. Shortly after being named chief of the department, Jeffries was contacted by George T. Harrell, M.D., founding dean of the College of Medicine, who invited him to join the new medical school as professor and chair of medicine. More than forty years later, Jeffries’ career and achievements are were recognized by Penn State with an honorary alumni award this June. The award is given to honor exceptional people who have made contributions toward Penn State’s welfare, reputation, or prestige.
“After being at the Medical Center for almost forty-three years, I already feel like I am an alum,” Jeffries says. “As a physician, one continues to learn throughout their career, and most of my education has been at Penn State.” (more…)
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine are actively working in Hershey, with colleagues at Penn State, University Park and other Penn State campuses, and with colleagues at various institutions across the country to conduct groundbreaking research. Their discoveries continue to contribute to the advancement of health care on all levels.
RAMPART (Rapid Anticonvulsant Medications Prior to Arrival Trial) studied whether use of one FDA-approved seizure drug administered by EMS personnel as a shot is as effective as one administered intravenously. Patients treated by Life Lion EMS and who met the study criteria were part of the research, unless they opted out after community consultation by the Medical Center.
This is a federally-regulated procedure known as exception from informed consent, since patients are unable to opt-out of a research study during an emergency. Researchers found that midazolam, delivered as a shot into the muscle, is faster and more effective than IV drug lorazepam for prolonged seizures that last more than five minutes. Midazolam is delivered through use of an autoinjector, like an EpiPen, which is used to treat serious allergic reactions. Almost 73 percent of patients who received midazolam arrived at the hospital seizure-free compared to 63 percent who received the IV drug lorazepam. Among those admitted, both groups had similarly low rates of recurrent seizures.
The Medical Center was one of seventy-nine hospitals and thirty-three emergency medical services agencies that participated in the study nationwide. More than 4,000 paramedics and 893 patients were part of the study, which was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The site investigator for this study at Penn State Hershey was Christopher Vates, M.D. The study appears in the February 16, 2012 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.