News: Health Sciences

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
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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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Motivational Marathoner to Share Story of Recovery, Redemption

Janet Oberholtzer

A marathon runner, who turned unimaginable debilitation into enduring determination, will bring her inspiring story to a Pennsylvania College of Technology audience on Sept. 22.

Monday’s presentation by Janet Oberholtzer, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium on the college’s main campus in Williamsport.

Oberholtzer experienced a number of life adventures far beyond the Mennonite culture of her family’s Berks County dairy farm – she was a seamstress, community organizer and business owner – but nothing would prepare her for May 20, 2004, the day her world changed.

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Dental Hygiene Director Elected Chair of Local AHEC Board

Shawn A. Kiser

Shawn A. Kiser, director of the dental hygiene program at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was recently elected chairman of the board of directors for the Northcentral Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center.

“I’m excited to work with Shawn as our new board chair as we continue to grow and support the health and well-being of our rural communities in northcentral Pennsylvania,” said Rebecca Charles, executive director for the center.

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President Keeps College in World Spotlight While Going to Bat for LLB
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In her capacity as chair of the Little League International Board of Directors, Gilmour addresses the 25,000-plus crowd at Howard J. Lamade Stadium for Sunday's title matchup.

As chair of the Little League International Board of Directors, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour helped make the 68th annual Little League Baseball World Series one to remember. While tending to Welcome Weekend and other fall startup activities back on campus, the president navigated a cyclonic Little League schedule that began with a campus picnic for the 16 participating teams and ended with Sunday’s championship between Seoul, South Korea, and Chicago. Among her official duties during this 75th-anniversary year for LLB were the enshrinement of retired major leaguer (and Lycoming County favorite son) Mike Mussina and the annual Challenger Division exhibition game. Adding to the college’s visibility were students from the School of Health Sciences, who provided medical care for players and coaches as well as outreach to the thousands of fans on hand for the Series.

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The Power of an Ally: Academic Mentors Provide Another Resource for Success

Joshua I. Bobenrieth meets with his academic mentor, Karen E. Wright, a graduation assistant in the Registrar's Office.

Joshua I. Bobenrieth meets with his academic mentor, Karen E. Wright, a graduation assistant in the Registrar’s Office.

Human services student Stacey L. French, right, praises the support of her mentor Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of commuter services, who encouraged her when she could just as easily given up.

Human services student Stacey L. French, right, praises the support of her mentor Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of commuter services, who encouraged her when she could just as easily given up.

A student faced with leaving school remains, thanks in large part to an academic mentor who went the extra mile to seek help from other staff. Academic mentors are Penn College employees who volunteer to meet regularly with students who seek guidance and moral support. Read the full story in the Fall 2014 One College Avenue.

Newscast Spotlights Penn College Presence at LLWS

Penn College on WBRE

Penn College on WBRE

Eyewitness News reporter Valerie Tysanner visited South Williamsport on Monday for a story about Penn College physician assistant students serving on the medical team for the Little League Baseball World Series. The piece premiered in the 5 p.m. newscast and featured interviews with students Donald Wieder, of Williamsport, and Jason A. Genco, of Middleburg, and Sue Swank-Caschera, assistant professor, physician assistant.

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