Posts filed under ‘Profiles’

Unconventional College of Medicine students show that work/life balance is possible

By Emily Jacobs

Dr. Laura Brubaker, left, and Dr. Benjamin Abney smile in front of the Penn State College of Medicine sign. They are wearing physician lab coats with their names and the College of Medicine logo on them. Dr. Abney has a stethoscope around his neck. Behind them is a road and the College of Medicine building.

Dr. Laura Brubaker, left, and Dr. Benjamin Abney graduated from Penn State College of Medicine after spending more than a decade in the workforce and raising their own families.

The road to medical school is not always a straight path. Some students enter medical school with several years of influential life experience.

On May 20, 145 medical students graduated from Penn State College of Medicine, prepared to enter the next phase of their medical education as residents. This year, graduates were asked which classmates stand out as the best examples of College of Medicine values. The overwhelming majority nominated Benjamin Abney and Laura Brubaker.

Both students took the road less traveled to medical school, entering the College of Medicine after more than a decade in the workforce and while raising their own families.

Laura Brubaker previously worked as a labor and delivery nurse at Women & Babies Hospital in Lancaster, Pa. Most recently, she served as an HIV program coordinator before entering medical school to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. She chose the College of Medicine based on recommendations of physicians she worked with, as well as its proximity to her family, good schools and outdoor activities.

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May 22, 2018 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

Putting physicians on the fast track to family medicine

By Michael Modes

Dr. James Kent, a medium-height white male with brown hair and a beard dressed in a white lab coat and wearing a stethoscope around his collar, counsels a male patient seated on the edge of his hospital bed. The male patient has short, dark hair and is wearing an Oxford shirt.

Dr. James Kent is doing his residency as a family medicine physician at Hershey Medical Center.

Across the nation, especially in rural areas, America is facing an acute shortage of doctors to practice family medicine. Most medical schools are in big cities, so many small communities lack resources to draw top candidates to their region. With older practitioners retiring and fewer candidates ready to take their place, Penn State College of Medicine launched an accelerated program to allow students to complete medical school in three years and enter practice one year earlier.

In 2017, Dr. James Kent became the first graduate of the accelerated program, which allows students to complete medical school in just three years, followed by a three-year residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Part of the College of Medicine’s Family Medicine Accelerated Pathway, also known as a 3+3 pathway, the program allows graduates to save a year of tuition and living expenses, which could add up to $70,000. Kent was also selected for the Chambersburg Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC), which provides $20,000 in tuition reimbursement if he chooses to practice in one of Summit Health’s underserved areas.

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May 15, 2018 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

Espenshade reflects on 35 years with Hershey Medical Center

By Lisa Maresca

A woman holds a retirement card in the card section of a gift shop. She is smiling. She is wearing glasses.

Sue Espenshade, manager of Volunteer Services, holds a retirement card in the greeting card section of the Gift Shop.

In October 1982, Epcot opened at Disney World, the USSR performed an underground nuclear test and Sue Espenshade started her career with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Thirty-five years later, she’s preparing to say goodbye to her coworkers and volunteers – the people she calls her second family.

Espenshade first started with the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at the Rehabilitation Hospital, located in Elizabethtown at that time, after earning her nursing degree at Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing. There, she worked her way from night shift change nurse to assistant nurse manager, earning her bachelor of science degree at the College of St. Francis while she worked. In 1991, the Rehabilitation Unit moved to the new south addition of the main hospital in Hershey.

“It was a bit of a culture shock coming from a free-standing hospital ‘in the woods’ to a very large clinical setting,” she recalled.

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April 10, 2018 at 10:00 am 1 comment

Meet the First Four Diamonds Patient: Denise Voloshin

By Marianne Clay

Middle-aged white woman with blonde hair and glasses holds a photo of herself in 1975.

Denise Voloshin, the first Four Diamonds patient, holds a school photo of herself from 1975, the year she was treated for cancer.

Just days before this year’s Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) Weekend Feb.16-18 at University Park, cancer survivor Denise Voloshin marvels at the accomplishments of the world’s largest student-run philanthropy and of its sole beneficiary, Four Diamonds. Since the days when Denise was a patient at Penn State Children’s Hospital, THON has raised nearly $150 million for the work of Four Diamonds.

Like it has since 1977, Four Diamonds will use the millions raised during this year’s THON to provide financial support to pediatric cancer patients and their families at Penn State Children’s Hospital and to fund innovative cancer research.

“The incredible ways THON and Four Diamonds help young cancer patients and their families is nothing short of amazing,” Denise says.

She should know. She was the first “Four Diamond” patient. See photos of Denise as a young girl and today on the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Flickr page.

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February 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm 1 comment

More than meets the eye

Gascho with ancillary portraits 1

Dr. Joseph Gascho stands in front of his support staff series of portraits at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

If there’s one thing Dr. Joseph Gascho wants you to do, it’s to open your eyes to new possibilities and really see things.

Gascho, a cardiologist with Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute, spends his time outside of the hospital behind a camera, taking photos of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center staff, doctors and patients.

View Dr. Gascho photos on this Flickr album.

“I want other people to see what I see,” he explained. “I’m interested in perceiving and seeing what’s going on, and photography is a way of doing that.

“In hospitals, I want people to see that people are more than they appear to be on the surface. Patients are more than just patients, and doctors are more than just doctors.”

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January 29, 2018 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

For This Advocate, Sweet Victory

By Carolyn Kimmel

Weighing 380 pounds, Bellefonte resident Dean DeVore was pre-diabetic and struggling with lethargy and sleep apnea. The AccuWeather meteorologist and game announcer for the Penn State Nittany Lions realized he had to do something to gain control over his health. He turned to surgical weight loss and lost 160 pounds.

Pennsylvania residents who, like DeVore, are struggling with obesity have a new option, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Ann Rogers, director of the Penn State Surgical Weight Loss program. After more than a decade of advocacy and more trips to Capitol Hill and the State Capitol than she cares to count, she is celebrating a victory.

As of Jan. 1, Pennsylvania state employees who have a BMI of 40 or more and diabetes are able to get weight loss surgeries covered by their health insurance. The benefit is thanks in large part to Rogers’s tireless efforts.

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January 17, 2018 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

History through the lens: Veteran photographer retires after 36 years

By Jen Vogelsong

After nearly four decades of photographing the faces and events of Penn State, Darrell Peterson is trading project management in the studio for projects around the house. He is retiring in December but shared some of the favorite images he took during his 36-year career in this photo gallery.

Alan Brechbill, president of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, said Peterson has photographed the organization’s history, and that institutional memory won’t be easily replaced. “(Darrell) knows us so well and is so proud of this place,” Brechbill said. “He made it a passion to paint us in the best light possible.”

Darrell Peterson

Over the years, Peterson has gone up in the Life Lion helicopter to take aerial photographs and scrubbed into ORs to document unusual cases for educational and research purposes.
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December 21, 2017 at 7:05 pm Leave a comment

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