Posts filed under ‘Alumni’

Bringing diversity into focus


A male medical resident asks an Amish woman a personal question that isn’t acceptable to discuss with a man.

Lynette Chapel-Williams

Lynette Chapell-Williams

A veteran is agitated as he waits for the doctor in a chair that doesn’t face the door; not being able to see who might enter is a trigger for his post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although medical providers likely have no intention of being insensitive, a lack of familiarity with the unique needs of certain patient populations leaves them open to interactions that can make the difference between a positive experience and a harrowing one.

As the nation’s – and central Pennsylvania’s – populations continue to change, “diversity” and “inclusion” are buzz words now more than ever, but what do they really mean and whose responsibility are they? (more…)

May 25, 2016 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

Alumnus publishes third medical thriller: Fatal Complications

John Benedict (’82) may put people to sleep at his day job, but off-duty, the Penn State College of Medicine alumnus and central Pennsylvania anesthesiologist writes medical thrillers that may keep them up at night.

His first two self-published books, Adrenaline, and its sequel, The Edge of Death, were so successful that Benedict was able to work with Oceanview Publishing in Florida for publication and distribution of his third book, Fatal Complications, which was released in December. (more…)

May 6, 2016 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

Addiction symposium highlights Penn State research collaboration

Dr. Sue Grigson

Dr. Sue Grigson

Why do many gastric bypass surgery patients develop alcohol and substance abuse problems? Do rare genetic variants influence antisocial drug dependence? Can a phone app reduce heavy drinking in college students? How can researchers provoke intense cravings during brain scans to help understand them better? Can we use such information to predict who is vulnerable to relapse and who is resilient?

These are just a few of the questions addiction researchers in the lab and in the clinic face today. And each of these topics will be in the spotlight on April 4, during the Second Annual Penn State Addiction Symposium. The meeting will bring together faculty, staff and students from across the university’s campuses to advance an understanding of the disease and explore new ways to treat it. (more…)

April 1, 2016 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

Recollections of an alumnus

Editor’s Note: This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Penn State College of Medicine groundbreaking. The first class of students entered the College’s doors in 1967. Dr. Owen B. Ellington is a member of the fourth graduating class. Late last year, he gave a speech at the annual alumni dinner that discussed his memories of campus at that time.

When Dr. Owen B. Ellington entered Penn State College of Medicine in 1970 as a member of the fourth graduating class, the College as it is known today was still being built.

Dr. Owen Ellington

Dr. Owen Ellington

The main Crescent building was a work in progress, with only the medical school wing completed. Otherwise on campus, only the student housing, animal lab and research facility were complete.

Ellington returned to the College to share reflections on his experience at the annual alumni dinner late last year.

He provided many relatable snapshots of the early years of the campus.


February 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

‘Four Diamonds is absolutely instrumental for testing novel ideas’


Four Diamonds support brings new pediatric cancer researchers to Penn State College of Medicine

Editor’s Note: Penn State’s THON Weekend is Feb. 19-21. Students will dance for 46-hours to support pediatric cancer patients. To date, $127 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 For more information on Four Diamonds, visit

Their journeys started halfway around the world, but their shared passion for uncovering the causes of pediatric cancer brought them to Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Wei Li is originally from Peking, China, and Dr. Vladimir Spiegelman is originally from Moscow. Now both are in Hershey, through funding from Four Diamonds, working to understand how pediatric cancers develop in the hopes of discovering new lifesaving therapies.

Dr. Li, assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, came from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Spiegelman, Pan Hellenic Dance Marathon Endowed Chair in Pediatric Oncology and professor in the Department of Pediatrics, was most recently at University of Wisconsin.


February 16, 2016 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Penn State Hershey Ghana team update, Feb.9

Editor’s note:  Penn State Hershey clinical participants (senior medical students, residents, nurse practitioner students and faculty) are currently in rural Ghana to support and provide training for Ghanaian clinicians at the Eastern Regional Hospital. The team is sending periodic updates while there. Today, Reena Thomas, a Class of 2016 medical student, gives the update. 

Photo of Penn State Hershey team in Ghana

The Penn State Hershey team visits Kakum National Park during some down time.

Hello everyone!

Elizabeth and I finished up in pediatrics last week, but also did a few shifts in the emergency department with Jeff, Angela and Dr. Malone. We’ve been a seeing so much. There have been many cases of tuberculosis, meningitis, malnutrition, strokes, cerebral abscesses, HIV etc. In fact, Kofiridua has the highest rate of HIV in Ghana.

A lot of the things we see here have also been infectious in nature, or people don’t present to the doctors till their conditions have progressed. It’s been eye opening to say the least, and we’ve been learning a lot. It’s also been great having Dr. Malone here, and getting his perspective on everything.

On Saturday we decided to make a day trip to Kakum National park where we walked the canopy in the jungles, and then visited a castle in Cape Coast.

Haley, Krishna, Kate and Christine arrived on Sunday. We’re excited to work with them over the next few weeks.

February 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm 1 comment

Penn State Hershey team in Ghana update


Team members Reena, Elizabeth, and Angela share their experiences from clinical rotations with Dr. Michael Malone at the end of the day.

Editor’s note:  Penn State Hershey clinical participants (senior medical students, residents, nurse practitioner students and faculty) are currently in rural Ghana to support and provide training for Ghanaian clinicians at the Eastern Regional Hospital. The team is sending periodic updates while there. Today, Jeffrey Reed, a nurse practitioner student, tells about a variety of experiences. 

Day 4 in Ghana continued with great learning experiences. Two of us have been welcomed into the home of Emmanuel and Lily Boateng. We have enjoyed learning the Ghanaian Culture and look forward to this Friday afternoon when they will be treating the entire Penn State team to a traditional meal of Fufu and peanut butter soup.

Day two in the Regional Hospital of Koforidua was full of many exciting experiences. Kate and Corinne are currently rotating in obstetrics and gynecology. Today Kate was the first assist for a C-section delivery, and both will be returning to the hospital this evening for more deliveries. Elizabeth and Reena have been very busy as the Outpatient Pediatric Department sees nearly 400 children per day.

Angela and I have been assigned to the Casualty Ward (emergency department) where we are working with Dr. Francis. We are seeing many disease processes that are rarely found in the United States, and learning the treatment plans has been exciting. We have treated multiple patients with tuberculosis, HIV, pneumonia, malaria, CVA, TIA and many more illnesses. Today Angela performed her first thoracentesis under the direction of Dr. Malone and Dr. Francis.

We are looking forward to many more experiences throughout the next four weeks.

  • Jeffrey Reed

February 3, 2016 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

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