News: Health Sciences

Teens’ Oral Health Among Topics for Dental Hygiene Session, Reunion

Regstered Dental Hygienist Lee Somerville presents a session on teen oral health to a full house at the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Regstered Dental Hygienist Lee Somerville presents a session on teen oral health to a full house at the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Somerville talks about the effects of cola and energy drinks, which she refers to as “liquid candy.”

Somerville talks about the effects of cola and energy drinks, which she refers to as “liquid candy.”

Penn College dental hygiene alumni, faculty and students gather to commemorate the event.

Penn College dental hygiene alumni, faculty and students gather to commemorate the event.

The Dental Hygiene Program teamed with Alumni Relations on Friday to provide a Dental Hygiene Reunion and continuing education session. Close to 100 attendees returned to Penn College for the event, which included a session by Lee Somerville, a member of the American Dental Hygienists Association, American Dental Education Association and American Academy of Dental Hygiene, on “Teenagers – What Their Mouths are Telling You But They’re Not: Practical Information on Teen Health Issues.” The event concluded with lunch in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Topics of Somerville’s talk included  oral and overall health issues associated with cola/sports-drink consumption, eating disorders, obesity and substance abuse. The session was presented through a grant from Philips Oral Health.

Physical Fitness Instructor/Alum Running NYC Marathon for Charity

Emily B. Miller, at the Oct. 13 Steamtown Marathon

Transcending the personal benefits of running, an instructor of fitness and lifetime sports is entering this year’s New York City Marathon to bring attention to a debilitating neurological condition.

Emily B. Miller, a faculty member in the School of Health Sciences and a 2002 graduate of Penn College’s physical fitness specialist major, is running the Nov. 2 race as a fundraiser for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation in honor of a friend’s father. Dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily, creating twisting movements and abnormal postures and making movement difficult.

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Student Club to Host Walkathon to Help Individuals With Disabilities

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Club will host a walkathon on campus Oct. 30.

The walkathon is scheduled 5-9 p.m. and includes laps around the campus mall. Fifteen percent of the walk’s proceeds will be given to initiatives that support individuals with physical disabilities. The remainder will support activities by the Occupational Therapy Assistant Club.

Registration for the walkathon is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the event. Participants can raise money for their registration – or go above – by asking friends and family to donate toward each lap they complete.

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Students Among ‘Evacuees’ in County Disaster Simulation

Tommie L. Smith (with clipboard), of Montgomery, an accounting student who works with the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency, gathers biographical information from Ronald D. Parks, of Jersey Shore, an emergency management technology major simulating contamination with radiation particles. Among others involved in the exercise, in which Parks had to be "decontaminated" before joining the general population in the mass-care shelter, is Charles E. O'Brien Jr. (background), a Penn College Police officer.

Tommie L. Smith (with clipboard), of Montgomery, an accounting student who works with the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency, gathers biographical information from Ronald D. Parks, of Jersey Shore, an emergency management technology major simulating contamination with radiation particles. Among others involved in the exercise, in which Parks had to be “decontaminated” before joining the general population in the mass-care shelter, is Charles E. O’Brien Jr. (background), a Penn College Police officer.

A mock evacuation site is in full swing in the halls of Montoursville Area High School.

A mock evacuation site is in full swing in the halls of Montoursville Area High School.

Kyle G. Stavinski, an emergency medical services major from Elysburg, undergoes radiological "screening" during the Lycoming County drill.

Kyle G. Stavinski, an emergency medical services major from Elysburg, undergoes radiological “screening” during the Lycoming County drill.

Ten Penn College students – eight from the emergency management technology major and two from the paramedic program – attended this week’s disaster exercise hosted by the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency. The scenario, held at Montoursville Area High School and featuring involvement by the American Red Cross, was based on a nuclear accident at PPL’s Susquehanna Steam Electric Station near Berwick. Students role-played being evacuees from the zone surrounding the nuclear power plant and underwent simulated radiological testing and monitoring.
Photos provided by David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management technology

Flu Shots No Longer Available Through College Health Services

Nursing student Taylor K. Pompili fills a needle with the flu vaccine.

Nursing student Taylor K. Pompili fills a needle with the flu vaccine.

Nursing student Abby C. Busch checks the temperature of freshman nursing student Ryan D. Zimmerman prior to administering his vaccine.

Nursing student Abby C. Busch checks the temperature of freshman nursing student Ryan D. Zimmerman prior to administering his vaccine.

Nursing student Tricia Zapata administers a flu shot in the college’s Health Services facility.

Nursing student Tricia Zapata administers a flu shot in the college’s Health Services facility.

Students in Penn College’s Fundamentals of Nursing course collaborated with College Health Services to provide flu vaccine to more than 100 members of the college community on Oct. 2. The project was a collaborative effort with Carl L. Shaner, director of college health services; Terri A. Stone, instructor of nursing; Tushanna M. Habalar, learning laboratory coordinator for nursing education; and Jessica L. Bower, simulation laboratory coordinator for nursing education. “A special thanks to all Health Services staff and nursing faculty who participated to make it a successful learning experience for students,” Stone said. Additional nursing faculty overseeing students included Christine M. Shimp, Pamela W. Baker and Gina L. Bross, all instructors of nursing, and Pamela J. Jablonski, part-time instructor of practical nursing. College Health Services has sold out of this season’s flu vaccine and urges those in need to contact their primary-care physicians and/or local pharmacies.

Radiography Seniors Hold ‘Pink Out’

Clinical supervisors Lauren E. Reed (far left, back row) and Karen L. Plankenhorn (far right, back row) join the senior class of radiographers in a "Pink Out."

Clinical supervisors Lauren E. Reed (far left, back row) and Karen L. Plankenhorn (far right, back row) join the senior class of radiographers in a “Pink Out.”

Honoring a traditional October observance that is closely aligned with their chosen career path, radiography seniors observed a “Pink Out” on Wednesday. “I encouraged my class to dress in pink … in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said  Karen L. Plankenhorn, clinical supervisor for radiography. “I worked as a mammographer prior to coming to the college and I teach the Mammography class in the spring, so breast-cancer awareness is near and dear to me.”
Photo by Cletus G. Waldman Jr., clinical director for radiography

Secretary of Aging Adds to Students’ Interaction at Health-Screening Clinic

Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Brian Duke addresses a group at the Messiah Senior Community Center.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Brian Duke addresses a group at the Messiah Senior Community Center.

Nursing student Kira M. Cioffi, of Williamsport, practices her blood pressure-reading skills on Secretary of Aging Brian Duke during a health-screening clinic at the senior center.

Nursing student Kira M. Cioffi, of Williamsport, practices her blood pressure-reading skills on Secretary of Aging Brian Duke during a health-screening clinic at the senior center.

Student Alex S. Bogler, of South Williamsport, checks a senior’s blood pressure as part of the health-screening clinic.

Student Alex S. Bogler, of South Williamsport, checks a senior’s blood pressure as part of the health-screening clinic.

State Secretary of Aging Brian Duke encourages Penn College nursing students to consider their work with older adults.

State Secretary of Aging Brian Duke encourages Penn College nursing students to consider their work with older adults.

Four first-semester students in Penn College’s associate-degree RN preparation major visited Messiah Senior Community Center in South Williamsport on Tuesday to provide free health screenings. Also visiting the center was the state’s secretary of aging, Brian Duke, who spoke about initiatives for the state’s older population. The relationship between Penn College’s nursing program and the STEP Office of Aging – which manages the senior center – was established nearly 20 years ago by Jane J. Benedict, associate professor of nursing, when she developed health-screening clinics for students. “Today, we continue to bring small groups of first-year … students to area STEP senior centers for health-screening clinics during each fall semester,” said Laurie A. Minium, instructor of nursing. “Our partnership with STEP is invaluable: The students are able to strengthen newly acquired nursing skills, while at the same time, the area’s older adults have the opportunity to receive free blood pressure and blood-glucose screenings. During the clinics, students interact with the seniors, staff and volunteers at the centers – focusing on proper skill technique, communication and client teaching.”

Faculty Member Co-Authors Health Care Textbook

Tina M. Evans

An associate professor for applied health studies at Pennsylvania College of Technology co-authored the textbook “Introduction to Health Care Services: Foundations and Challenges,” which was published recently by Jossey-Bass.

Tina M. Evans, department head for applied health studies, collaborated with Bernard J. Healey, a professor at King’s College. The book offers new insights into the most important sectors of the U.S. health care industry and the many challenges the future holds. It aims to help students to appreciate the dilemma confronting policy makers, providers and patients in the struggle to balance cost, quality and access.

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Nursing Faculty Member Earns Doctor of Nursing Practice

Joni J. Pyle

Pennsylvania College of Technology nursing instructor Joni J. Pyle recently completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Chatham University.

Pyle’s dissertation, titled “Increasing The Communication Self-Efficacy of Nurses: An Educational Intervention Using Motivational Interviewing,” was accepted for publication in Home Healthcare Nurse, a journal serving the educational and communication needs of home-care and hospice nurses. It is slated for publication in the journal’s February edition.

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New Penn State President Makes First Visit to Penn College
Photo gallery

Penn State President Eric J. Barron (left) is joined on the verdant grounds of the Victorian House by (from right) Robert E. Dunham, chairman emeritus of the Penn College Board of Directors; state Sen. Gene Yaw, current board chairman; and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Penn State President Eric J. Barron traveled to Pennsylvania College of Technology on Tuesday, his first visit since assuming the presidency in May. In a timely trip to a main campus observing its 25th anniversary as a special mission affiliate of Penn State – as well as its yearlong Centennial celebration – Barron met with students, viewed three recent art installations, toured Madigan Library and student housing, explored the college’s role in the natural gas industry, and visited a variety of instructional labs. Joining Barron and his wife, Molly, on the tour were Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; retired Penn College Board of Directors Chairman Robert E. Dunham and his wife, Maureen; Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost; and police Chief Chris E. Miller. A reception in the Victorian House and dinner at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, where the group was joined by state Sen. Gene Yaw, board chairman, followed.

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Faculty Member Earns Doctor of Nursing Practice

Dulcey J. Messersmith

Dulcey J. Messersmith, instructor of nursing at Pennsylvania College of Technology, recently received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Chatham University.

Her dissertation was titled “Improving Pain in Older Adults Using a Focused Education Program With Practical Nursing Students.” Research for the dissertation was carried out at Penn College with advanced-level practical nursing students. Her goal is to improve pain-management outcomes in the older adult.

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Faculty Member Presents Findings at International Health Conference

Tina M. Evans

The department head in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s applied health studies major recently returned from England, where she presented new recommendations for palliative care.

Tina M. Evans, associate professor of applied health studies, was lead author for a paper titled “Palliative Care: A global development update, challenges and policy recommendations.” Palliative care serves to treat symptoms, discomfort and stress caused by a serious illness. The paper provided a systematic review of the palliative model of health care and global trends in palliative care, and offered recommendations to improve this specific sector of the medical system.

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Students Celebrate National Surgical Technologists Week

Pennsylvania College of Technology surgical technology students painted a campus landmark in honor of National Surgical Technologists Week. Atop the rock, from left, are: Reda A. Vermilya, of Turbotville; Holly M. Neely, of Lebanon; Ronald M. Furr, of Sunbury; Victoria L. Candelora, of Shamokin; Ashley Holmes, of Muncy; and Chelsea E. Oldt, of Muncy. Ground level, from left: Leah M. Aldrich, of Hallstead; Emeka K. Okereh, of Williamsport; Jade E. Stover, of Jersey Shore; Rachel L. Carlson, of Blossburg; Nola C. Hitchens, of Williamsport; Margaret H. Hartman, of Leesport; Liliya S. Stefanovich, of Port Matilda; and Allison M. Fowler, of East Berlin.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s surgical technology Class of 2015 is joining hospitals and colleges throughout the U.S. in celebrating National Surgical Technologists Week, Sept. 21-27.

The week is promoted through the Association of Surgical Technologists to recognize this important segment of the health care field. To celebrate, Penn College students painted “The Rock,” a unique campus “billboard,” and were treated to a surprise lunch to start off the week.

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Faculty Member’s Role in Global Conference Subject of Tuesday Presentation

Tina M. Evans

Tina M. Evans

The Penn College community is invited to a Tuesday afternoon President’s Forum by Tina M. Evans, associate professor of applied health studies, who will discuss the International Conference on Healthcare Systems & Global Business Issues during the 3:30 p.m. presentation in Room W205 of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. Evans’ invitation to present at the conference, held in June at Harlaxton College in the United Kingdom, resulted from the double-blind peer review of her paper. In addition to her presentation – “Palliative Care: A Global Development Update, Challenges and Policy Recommendations” – and her attendance at the conference sessions, she had the opportunity to visit teaching/learning medical facilities in Nottingham, including the Queen’s Medical Centre, a specialty care hospital and the largest teaching hospital in Europe. The conference, attended by international medical delegates, provided information on European medical education as well as on the workings of several of the world’s health care systems. In addition, a session on adapting online health care courses for international audiences fit Evans’ teaching interests. She will share her learning experience with forum attendees. Evans is the second awardee from the Strategic Initiative Fund, created by President Davie Jane Gilmour to increase the college’s presence at the national (or, in this case, international) level via presentations and/or leadership. Interested faculty and staff can learn more about the fund through the president’s page on the myPCT Web portal.

Richmond Named Director of Nursing at Penn College

Sandra L. Richmond

Sandra L. Richmond has been appointed director of nursing at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

As director, Richmond, who has been a full-time faculty member at Penn College since 2012, will oversee the college’s five nursing majors.

“Sandy Richmond brings an impressive combination of clinical, educational and administrative experiences to the leadership of the Nursing Program,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost. “She is passionate about her profession and respected by her peers.”

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