Posts filed under ‘Features’

Everyday heroes

Margie Gantz, foreground, an advanced EMT with Penn State Health Life Lion EMS, and Life Lion paramedic Mike Pribila pull a gurney with a patient. Margie, a blonde woman with glasses, is wearing a white shirt with a Penn State Hershey Emergency Medicine badge on it. Mike is wearing blue sunglasses. The patient’s face is covered by a hooded jacket.

Margie Gantz, foreground, an advanced EMT with Penn State Health Life Lion EMS, and Life Lion paramedic Mike Pribila transport a patient to the Emergency Department at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

By Lisa Maresca

Not all heroes wear capes.

Some wear shirts, professional cargo pants, a utility belt and boots—the uniform of an emergency medicine technician (EMT).

It was a typical day in late February for Margie Gantz, an EMT with Life Lion EMS, when she came across an extraordinary scene.

Making her third trip to Lowe’s that day while working on a house flip, Gantz came across a man in the parking lot slumped over his steering wheel. Without hesitation, she took action.

Right time, right place.

Riding along with Life Lion EMS - Penn State Health

View photos of the Life Lion team in action on the Medical Center’s Flickr page.

“It was a terrible day, really cold conditions,” recalled Gantz. “I couldn’t see right away what happened. When I came upon him, I thought he had stopped to let pedestrians cross. It wasn’t until I went around him that I saw him slumped.”

Gantz banged on the window but got no response. She quickly directed another passerby to call 911. Together, she and another man broke the car window and were able to pull the man, who had gone into cardiac arrest and was not breathing or moving, onto the pavement to start CPR.

The CPR Gantz performed saved his life that day.

“I just did what I had to do.”

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July 10, 2018 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

College of Medicine students see medicine through global lens

Global Health Scholars Rolfy Perez, Olivia Munizza and Ivana Marji pose with staff at the Hospital Regional de Loreto in Peru during their fourth-year trip. The four-story yellow and white hospital is flanked by palm trees and shrubs.

From left, Rolfy Perez, Olivia Munizza and Ivana Marji join staff at the Hospital Regional de Loreto in Peru during their fourth-year trip.

By Carolyn Kimmel

As she reflects on the past four years at Penn State College of Medicine, Jordan Trubiano points to her participation in the Global Health Scholars Program as a definite asset to her medical training.

“I gained an understanding that there are different strengths and weaknesses in each country’s health system, which will give me a different perspective to offer to future training programs and hospitals where I will work,” said Trubiano, who will do her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

In Ecuador, where she traveled twice—once after her first year of medical school and again last winter—maternal health care is free, and people marvel that health care in America is so expensive and doesn’t cover everyone, she said.

The Global Health Scholars Program appealed to her because it offered two chances to visit the same place. As a first-year student, she worked on nutritional lessons for elementary school students and, during her second trip, she completed medical rotations in reproductive and sexual health.

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June 26, 2018 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Penn State Health mentors cutting-edge student scientists

By Jennifer Vogelsong

Two teenage girls in a research lab look into microscopes. Both are wearing lab coats and gloves.

Science Research Institute participants Rachel Maurer, front, and Rachel Kesselring examine the shape and structure of mammalian cells under a microscope.

Rini Kaneria suspects that a peptide found in wasp venom could break down cancer cells.

Kyle Blimline wants to know if DNA extracted from maggots found on corpses could help identify crime victims.

And Rachel Maurer works as part of a team developing a way to use 3D printing and bioglass to create custom bandages and heal wounds faster.

These researchers aren’t employed by scientific laboratories, academic institutions or medical centers. They’re all teenagers who spend their days attending a rural public high school in Berks County.

Their work has drawn the attention of medical professionals at Penn State Health, financial support from cutting-edge companies and invitations to international science and engineering fairs.

Adelle Schade, a science teacher at Conrad Weiser High School in Robesonia, Pa., spent the past decade building a program now known as the Science Research Institute (SRI) that engages 130 students in scientific research of personal interest, some of which has patent potential.

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June 12, 2018 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment

Hershey Medical Center Neurosurgery gets the gold: hosts Society of Neurological Surgeons

by Peggy Koach

Three male neurosurgeons perform brain surgery. All three are wearing scrubs, surgical caps, surgical masks and glasses. The surgeons on the right and left have head-mounted neurosurgery magnifier loupes. Blood is visible through plastic tubing connected to a patient who is lying on the table. The patient is covered with a plastic sheet.

Penn State Health neurosurgeons perform brain surgery at Hershey Medical Center.

Name the top prize in any major field of endeavor and its associated host city quickly comes to mind—Nobel and Stockholm; Oscar and Los Angeles; the Olympic gold medal and, most recently, PyeongChang.

Now add to that honorary roll call: Hershey, Pa.

The Department of Neurosurgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center captured its own version of gold when it hosted the 109th annual meeting of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS), the world’s oldest neurosurgical professional organization, from May 19 to 22. The prestigious event showcased presentations by Penn State College of Medicine faculty members and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center neurosurgeons.

The SNS consists of the country’s top neurosurgery clinicians, researchers and educators and is limited to 220 active members. Notably, six SNS members are from the College of Medicine or Hershey Medical Center.

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June 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm Leave a comment

The Power of a Nurse: Penn State Health debuts photojournalistic project for National Nurses Week May 6-12

Mackenzie Bosse, a nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, leans over an older male patient and holds his hand. He is lying in a hospital bed and has a nasal cannula device for oxygen in his nose. A saline bag and other medications hang from a portable IV stand behind them, and a vital signs monitor is above the patient.

Mackenzie Bosse, a nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, helps a patient feel more comfortable.

By Carolyn Kimmel and Jenn Knepper

In nursing school, Chelsea Stoner learned all the necessary skills—patient assessment, medication calculations, charting—to train her for a career in health care, but nothing could prepare her for the raw emotions she would encounter.

“In every patient, I saw my neighbor, my father, my grandmother…I found myself crying in the supply room, in the parking garage and at home,” said Stoner, who works in Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Medical Intermediate Care Unit (MIMCU). “To protect myself, I decided to shut it all off. I clocked in, did my job and left…But then I lost the most important part of nursing—the human connection.”

In time, Stoner, a registered nurse for four years, learned how to balance the many aspects of her role—technician, caretaker, physician partner, encourager—and contributor to some of the most important moments in a person’s life story.

“Some of these patients have lived for almost a century, and I get the honor of being the last person to care for them, to hold their hand and to pray with them,” she said. “This is what gets me through the day and helps me to keep doing what I’m doing.”

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May 7, 2018 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

College of Medicine students combine teamwork, community health

Hershey Plaza Apartments resident Millie Taylor sits at a table and practices brushing a large set of plastic teeth as Penn State College of Medicine students look on. Taylor is wearing a patterned blouse, From left, the students are wearing a sweater jacket, a sweater and a lab coat. Behind them are bookshelves filled with books and games.

Penn State College of Medicine students teach Hershey Plaza Apartments resident Millie Taylor proper dental care.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Millie Taylor is stir-frying healthier dinners and not spending a fortune on them, thanks to information she learned from Penn State College of Medicine students at monthly health fairs that she doesn’t even have to leave home to attend.

“They taught me how to eat healthy on a limited budget and all kinds of other things, too,” the resident of Hershey Plaza Apartments said. “It’s a wonderful thing they’re doing. A lot of our neighbors here don’t get to the doctor or the dentist on a regular basis.”

Over the past three years, the College of Medicine’s Interprofessional Student Organization (IPSO) has facilitated 21 health fairs at the senior apartment complex that combine multidisciplinary learning with community health service.

Students from all disciplines—including the physician assistant program, nursing, medical, pharmacy, physical therapy and nutrition—plan and carry out the health fairs around themes such as diabetes and cardiovascular risk, medication safety and bone density evaluations.

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May 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Cuban doctors work to reach their dreams through Hershey Medical Center program

By Diego Sandino

Participants use a heart monitor and mannequin to perform cardiology lab.

Participants of the International Medical Graduate Program work together on a cardiology lab exercise.

When Dr. Lidys Rivera Galvis arrived in the United States, one of her main goals was to take her licensing exam and then apply for residency to work as a doctor as she did in her native Colombia. What she didn’t know, however, was that achieving these goals would be a long and complex process — especially when one doesn’t know the language and has few economic resources or connections.

But with the help of Dr. Patricia Silveyra, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine, Dr. Daniel Weber, a retired obstetrician/gynecologist from Lancaster, Pa., and other community members, Rivera Galvis has successfully navigated her way through the system. She is currently serving as a fellow in Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Simulation Education and Research Fellowship program and conducting her fellow project, an international medical graduate (IMG) program.

In January 2018, nine Cuban physicians began meeting at the Simulation Center once a week for four hours and learning from Rivera Galvis and Penn State College of Medicine faculty and students. After completing the yearlong program, these immigrant physicians will be better prepared to the United States Medical Licensing Examination. Step 1 of the exam assesses their knowledge and application of scientific concepts that are basic to practicing medicine.

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April 25, 2018 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

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