Posts tagged ‘Medical Center’

Remembering Dr. Thomas L. Leaman: A pioneer in family medicine


Dr. Thomas Leaman’s chair portrait

As Penn State College of Medicine’s founding Dean Dr. George T. Harrell met with the local practitioners at Hershey Hospital in the early 1960s, the story goes that he laid out three conditions for employment at the soon-to-be built Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

First, they had to give up their private practices and move their offices into the Medical Center. Second, they had to accept an academic salary. And third, they had to complete a year of training at their own expense working with medical students and residents.

Dr. Thomas Leaman was the only one who agreed.

“The other doctors from town – around 10 or 15 of them – were incensed,” recalled Dr. C. Max Lang, who came to Hershey in 1966 as the founding chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine. “Tom didn’t agree right away. Some of the doctors asked Tom to go talk with Dr. Harrell and he made an appointment to do so. Dr. Harrell began to explain his vision where teaching would come first, then patient care, then research. By the time the meeting was over, Tom said he would like to join.”

Leaman, the founding chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine – the first of its kind in the United States – died on Friday, Sept. 2. (more…)

September 7, 2016 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit celebrates 25 years

Epilepsy Monitoring Group

The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit conducts a surgical conference where team members discuss patient situations and treatment plans.

Like many mothers, Lorraine Schaeffer wanted to give her daughter every childhood opportunity possible, from play dates to participation in school and community activities.

Her epilepsy, however, stood in the way.

“I had to tell her ‘no’ so many times,” recalled the East Hanover Township resident. “It hurt me and I knew it hurt her even more. My daughter was getting ripped off in life because of my problem.”

The neurological disease had been Schaeffer’s nemesis since high school, when she experienced strange times of feeling like a “volcano” overtook her body and literally stopped her in her tracks. (more…)

March 23, 2016 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

Landscaping plans beautify campus while making it more environmentally-friendly

The Hippocratic Oath says first, do no harm. This pledge is exemplified by not only the physicians at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center but also facilities staff who maintain the campus grounds.

The campus is undergoing an ongoing transformation to beautify the grounds and create a sustainable and environmentally-friendly campus. Changes are incorporating more native plants which have less environmental impact and addressing safety concerns.

“We want to create a beautiful environment for our patients, visitors, staff and our community,” said Terry Kreiser, associate director of facilities. “We also want to do what’s right for the environment – the water quality, the air quality – and the wildlife and pollinators.”

The Penn State Hershey campus includes about 552 acres of land with over 420 acres of grass, farmland, woodland, pastures, athletic fields, retention basins, gardens and courtyards.

A master plan was developed to address campus landscaping that has reached or surpassed life expectancy while also looking at safety.


December 10, 2015 at 8:53 am 1 comment

Medical Center staff helps patient experience his son’s wedding

The bride and groom with the groom's family.

The bride and groom with the groom’s family.

When Michael Hoover learned that his father, Greg, was unable to leave the intensive care unit at Penn State Hershey Medical Center to attend his wedding, he and his fiancée decided to bring the wedding to his father.

Medical Center staff rallied around the cause, with several departments contributing to the special day.

The hospital’s valet parking arranged for Michael to pull up to the main doors with fiancée Kelsey Kennedy, their best man, maid of honor, and Kennedy’s parents on Friday afternoon, Sept. 25.

Nurse care coordinator Helen Papeika decorated a conference room across the hall from Greg’s sixth-floor room with flowers, tulle, and a large heart balloon, donated by the hospital gift shop.

Claire de Boer, director of the hospital’s Center Stage arts in healthcare program, arranged the couple’s processional and recessional song choices. Second-year medical student Victoria Jones played the traditional songs on a keyboard in the corner.


September 28, 2015 at 2:05 pm 1 comment

Kidney recipient gives thanks for anonymous donor and the gift of a second chance

On July 23, Melissa Masse celebrated her 34th birthday in the operating room of Penn State Hershey, watching Dr. Riaz Shah hold up a kidney while the medical team sang “Happy Birthday.”

Earlier that morning, doctors had harvested a kidney from her husband, Chris, and sent it to a major metropolitan area where it would be given to someone as unknown to the Masses as the donor whose organ became a birthday present for Melissa.

Melissa and Chris Masse holding flowers between them where their scars forever bind them as recipient and donor.

Melissa and Chris Masse hold flowers between them to mark the scars that forever bind them as recipient and donor in a chain that gave Melissa and three others a second chance at life with a healthy kidney.

The surgeries were just two links in a complex transplant chain that allowed four people to receive healthy kidneys despite not having compatible live donors. Known as a “kidney swap,” Penn State Hershey offers the program as an alternative to dialysis and years of waiting for a deceased donor organ.

Melissa had been diagnosed with diabetes at age 11, but it wasn’t until stomach trouble and vomiting sent her to an emergency department in August 2012 and doctors noted her poor kidney function that she was sent to a specialist. By the end of the year, the South Williamsport woman was added to the list of people waiting for a healthy kidney.

Because the average person waits more than six years for a kidney, and because the mortality rate for those on dialysis is 50 percent after five years, Melissa’s husband offered to be a live donor. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a match. Nor was her boss. Or her best friend.

“I was devastated,” Chris said. He knew his wife was hoping for a live donor so there would be less chance her body would reject the new kidney. So he told transplant coordinator Vicky Reilly that he would donate his kidney to someone he had never met so that his wife could receive a healthy kidney from someone she had never met. (more…)

November 26, 2013 at 8:54 am 1 comment

Vets bring military service – and sensibilities – to work at Penn State Hershey

More than 30 years ago, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Kurt Holtzer and fellow Navy sailors played cat-and-mouse with enemy Russian ships.

Sometimes, the ships passed so close they could see Russian sailors on deck. At times, they exchanged waves of greeting. In other instances, the gestures were less pleasant. Always, they prepared for battle – ready to take aggressive measures against each other if given the order.

Fast forward to 2012.

Andrey Chuprin and Kurt Holtzer

Andrey Chuprin and Kurt Holtzer

Holtzer, a supervisor for the Penn State Hershey biomedical team, has just been diagnosed with leukemia and is being cared for by oncology nurse Andrey Chuprin. As the two become close and swap stories, Holtzer discovers that Chuprin had served in the Russian Navy in the same part of the Pacific Ocean at the same time he was there.

“On that water, we were mortal enemies,” Holtzer said. “But as I lay in my oncology bed, Andrey (was) fighting to save my life. Today, we are like brothers. What a tremendous turn of events.”

Like any large employer, Penn State Hershey has its share of veterans – men and women who served their country before coming to serve on campus. They aren’t always easy to spot, but they are all over campus, putting the skills and experiences they gained during their time in the service to work for patients and their families. (more…)

November 9, 2013 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Beyond the gloves of the Pink Glove Dance

Combine a competitive spirit, a desire to overcome breast cancer and a whole lot of pink gloves and you get the 90-second roller coaster of emotion that is the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s entry for this year’s Pink Glove Dance competition. The annual contest is sponsored by Medline, manufacturer of the pink surgical gloves to raise awareness for breast cancer.

For the second year in a row, the Medical Center is asking for community support to help kiss cancer good-bye. Each vote gets Hershey one step closer to a first place win and the $25,000 to benefit PA Breast Cancer Coalition research. Hershey placed second last year, its first year in the competition.

The video, produced in conjunction with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, the Medical Center’s contest community partner, features breast cancer survivors and their supporters riding Lightning Racer, one of Hersheypark’s eleven roller coasters, to represent fighting the disease through literal ups and downs.Pink Glove 2013_102

“Dealing with breast cancer is kind of like being on a roller coaster,” said Kathy Law, director of nursing-perioperative services and executive sponsor of the Medical Center’s Pink Glove effort. “We thought what better way to bring the two entities together to work on a very worthwhile project.”

And from that partnership, the concept was born. (more…)

November 5, 2013 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

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