Posts tagged ‘Hershey Medical Center’

Patients find this prescription for therapy is music to their ears

Marissa Aulenbach, right, a board-certified music therapist at Penn State Children’s Hospital, plays a guitar while registered nurse Lauren Libhart tends to 4-month-old Caden Hoover. The baby is lying in a crib with wires and monitors attached to his body. Aulenbach is wearing a blue, long-sleeved shirt and jeans. Libhart is wearing blue scrubs, a headband and glasses. Several toys are in the crib.

Marissa Aulenbach, right, a board-certified music therapist at Penn State Children’s Hospital, plays her guitar while registered nurse Lauren Libhart tends to 4-month-old Caden Hoover during his stay for a heart condition.

By Carolyn Kimmel

After 12 days in the hospital, Hershey resident Anita Heckert could tell her optimism was waning, so when her occupational therapist suggested music therapy, she was game.

“To have someone come and spend time with me that didn’t involve needles, drawing blood or an MRI was very appealing,” said Heckert who was in Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for complications due to colon cancer.

As Jan Stouffer, board-certified music therapist with the Music Therapy Program at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, quietly played guitar, she gave Heckert an ocean drum to play.

Hundreds of small ball bearings in the drum combined to sound like gentle waves at low tide coming across the sand—and transported Heckert back to a happy day years ago when she and her sister, each with their small sons, visited Assateague Island and frolicked on the beach with six wild ponies splashing nearby.

As Stouffer encouraged her to remember the strong and faithful mother she had been in that moment, she reminded her, “That person still exists—you are that person.” The encounter served as a turning point in Heckert’s emotional outlook.

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February 13, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Positive attitude beats ‘stupid bum lungs’ for cystic fibrosis patient

Jessie Buffenmyer, wearing a long blue hospital gown over her uniform, stands in a patient room at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and smiles as she holds a Nerf gun. Cystic fibrosis patient Alyssa Kibler sits on her bed, holding a pen and paper in her hands. She wears a cannula in her nose for increased oxygen. An IV pole with machines and an IV bag hanging on it is standing on the floor between Buffenmyer and Kibler.

Jessie Buffenmeyer, a registered nurse, jokes with Alyssa Kibler as she plays a Nerf gun game.

By Carolyn Kimmel

At age 33, Alyssa Kibler has already outlived her life expectancy—twice.

“I wasn’t supposed to live to be a teenager, and then when I was a teenager, I wasn’t supposed to live past 30,” said the Harrisburg woman who was born with cystic fibrosis (CF). “Personally, I feel like I’m going to live forever.”

Her optimism comes partly from new medicines, airway clearance techniques and nutritional support that have given CF patients longer life, but largely from an inner strength that seems to come naturally.

“CF always hangs over your head, but I have this attitude that I won’t give up,” said Kibler, who takes up residence at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center four to five times a year for several weeks at a time to get lifesaving IV antibiotics.

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October 24, 2018 at 12:36 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

French, bad breath, and the Kardashians: One medical student’s reflections

If laughter really is the best medicine, Bailey Sanders is going to make a great doctor. Sanders was chosen by her peers in Penn State College of Medicine’s Class of 2014 to give this year’s student commencement address. The future doctor kept the crowd in stitches, threading together humorous examples to illustrate three components to building a life and career free of regrets.

Sanders posited that passion is one key ingredient, and for an example looked to a scientist who drank the contents of his own petri dish and “documented his subsequent suffering with regular biopsies and his mother’s opinion of how his breath smelled.” The unconventional experiment resulted in a Nobel Prize.

To hear Sanders’ full commencement speech, watch this video:

June 18, 2014 at 8:13 am 2 comments


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