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Emergency Scenarios Aid Students’ Real-Life Readiness

While students from other majors observe, nursing student Amanda S. Kopczick, of Mifflinburg, takes the temperature of “patient” Kristina N. Varner, of Lewisburg.

Around 250 students and employees from the School of Health Sciences participated in three days’ worth of emergency simulations on campus this week. In its third year, the exercise is known as the Interdisciplinary Professional Event and provides a unique opportunity for students and faculty from different majors within the School of Health Sciences to collaboratively care for patients.

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Applied Health Dental Hygiene Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Events Exercise Science Faculty & Staff Health Information Technology Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Assistant Physician Assistant Radiography Surgical Technology

Small-Group Discussions Reflect Big-Picture Import of Health Care Collaboration

Whit Worman, director of Penn College's physician assistant program, facilitates a discussion that includes Kyle G. Stavinski, an emergency medical services major from Elysburg (left) and physician assistant student Kevin Z. Richardson, of Williamsport.
Whit Worman, director of Penn College’s physician assistant program, facilitates a discussion that includes Kyle G. Stavinski, an emergency medical services major from Elysburg (left) and physician assistant student Kevin Z. Richardson, of Williamsport.
Scott A. Geist (left foreground), director of the surgical technology program, and Cletus G. Waldman Jr. (right-center), clinical director of radiography, engage their roundtable participants.
Scott A. Geist (left foreground), director of the surgical technology program, and Cletus G. Waldman Jr. (right-center), clinical director of radiography, engage their roundtable participants.
Heather S. Dorman, clinical director of physician assistant, lays out a scenario during the interactive exercise.
Heather S. Dorman, clinical director of physician assistant, lays out a scenario during the interactive exercise.
Mark A. Trueman (center), director of paramedic technology programs at the college, follows the flowing conversation.
Mark A. Trueman (center), director of paramedic technology programs at the college, follows the flowing conversation.

As part of an event that spanned northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania and involved more than 1,000 students at various locations across the region, the sixth annual Collaborative Care Summit convened at Penn College on Wednesday. Nineteen dedicated  faculty/staff facilitators from a variety of health professions, including physicians, led discussions in the Bush Campus Center among students from several colleges and universities who are pursuing studies in a wide range of health disciplines. The Collaborative Care Summit is arranged by the Northeastern/Central Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition – of which Sharon K. Waters, associate dean of health sciences, is a member. Waters coordinated the Penn College event, and co-presented the opening session with Dr. Keith Shenberger, Susquehanna Health TCMC, which brought together about 100 students from Penn College, Lock Haven University, Wilkes University and The Commonwealth Medical College. The students participated in roundtable discussions of a medical case, learning from one another how each discipline contributes to a patient’s care. “The goal of interprofessional learning is to prepare all health professions students for deliberatively working together, with the goal of building a safer and better patient-centered and community-orientated health care system,” Waters explained. “It was impressive to hear what each student contributed to the interprofessional discussion and rewarding to know our students are being prepared to work  as a collaborative team toward quality patient care.” Student participants represented 10 professions, from paramedic to pharmacy to medicine to nursing. Simultaneous events were held in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre at Marywood University, The Commonwealth Medical College, The University of Scranton, Kings College and Misericordia University.

Applied Health Dental Hygiene Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Exercise Science Health Information Technology Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Assistant Physician Assistant Radiography Students Surgical Technology

Health Sciences Students Talk Team Approach to Patient Care

Tushanna M. Habalar (right foreground), learning laboratory coordinator for nursing education, was among the facilitators for Friday's interdisciplinary exercise.
Tushanna M. Habalar (right foreground), learning laboratory coordinator for nursing education, was among the facilitators for Friday’s interdisciplinary exercise.

Students representing nearly all of the majors in the School of Health Sciences gathered in the Thompson Professional Development Center on Friday to learn from one another as they discussed their differing roles in a medical case. The “tabletop” Interdisciplinary Professional Event is designed to help Penn College students understand the perspectives and duties of others on a medical team in the interest of holistic treatment for their future patients. The school provides its students with a hands-on IPE in the spring, when actors simulate medical emergencies across campus.
Photo by Kim A. Speicher, dental hygiene instructor

Dental Hygiene Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Health Information Technology Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Assistant Physician Assistant Radiography Students Surgical Technology

Simulated Emergencies Help Students Hone Treatment-Team Roles

A crew deals with a kidney-stone attack in the Bush Campus Center TV lounge, preparing to transport the "patient" to the ATHS radiography lab.
A crew deals with a kidney-stone attack in the Bush Campus Center TV lounge, preparing to transport the “patient” to the ATHS radiography lab.
An emergency response, as seen from overhead in the ATHS
An emergency response, as seen from overhead in the ATHS
A simulated angina patient, stricken in the dental hygiene clinic, talks with physician assistant and nursing students after transport to the ER.
A simulated angina patient, stricken in the dental hygiene clinic, talks with physician assistant and nursing students after transport to the ER.
Adam J. Miller, a Penn College instructional development specialist and pre-physician assistant student, captures a scenario on video.
Adam J. Miller, a Penn College instructional development specialist and pre-physician assistant student, captures a scenario on video.
Communication with the "injured"
Communication with the “injured”

To facilitate collaboration among various health disciplines, the School of Health Sciences staged a series of mock health emergencies on campus this week. Approximately 195 students from eight of the school’s programs – Dental Hygiene, Health Information Technology, Paramedic, Physician Assistant, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radiography and Surgical Technology – participated in the event as health professionals, actors and observers. The event presented an opportunity for the students to develop relationships with other health care students and a better understanding of their role. More than 50 faculty and staff members facilitated the event across three days.
Photos by Cletus G. Waldman, clinical director, radiography; and Kim A. Speicher, dental hygiene instructor

Applied Health Dental Hygiene Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Events Health Information Technology Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Assistant Physician Assistant Radiography Surgical Technology

Annual Summit Spotlights Interdisciplinary Approach to Health Care

Shannon D. Synoracki, a Penn College physician assistant student, offers input.
Shannon D. Synoracki, a Penn College physician assistant student, offers input.
Small-group facilitator Barbara J. Natell, director of Penn College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, and Darren Mensch, a student from Wilkes University, listen to another student’s perspective.
Small-group facilitator Barbara J. Natell, director of Penn College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, and Darren Mensch, a student from Wilkes University, listen to another student’s perspective.
Walt Eisenhauer (with mustache), program chair for Lock Haven University’s physician assistant program, leads a discussion.
Walt Eisenhauer (with mustache), program chair for Lock Haven University’s physician assistant program, leads a discussion.
Small-group discussion fills the air in the Bush Campus Center.
Small-group discussion fills the air in the Bush Campus Center.

As part of an event that spanned northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania and involved 805 students, the fifth annual Collaborative Care Summit convened at Penn College on Wednesday. Twenty-two facilitators from a variety of health professions, including physicians, led discussions in the Bush Campus Center among students from several colleges and universities who are pursuing studies in a wide range of health disciplines. The Collaborative Care Summit is arranged by the Northeastern/Central Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition – of which Sharon K. Waters, associate dean of health sciences, is a member. Waters facilitated the Penn College event, which brought together about 135 students from Penn College, Lock Haven University, Wilkes University, The Commonwealth Medical College and Marywood University. Dr. Keith Shenberger, of Susquehanna Health and The Commonwealth Medical College’s Williamsport Campus, co-presented both opening and closing presentations with Waters. The students participated in roundtable discussions of a medical case, learning from one another how each discipline contributes to a patient’s care. “The goal of interprofessional learning is to prepare all health-professions students for deliberatively working together, with the common goal of building a safer and better patient-centered and community/population-orientated U.S. health care system,” Waters explained. “It was so impressive to hear what each student contributed to the collaborative care interprofessional team approach in representing their respective health care discipline.” Student participants represented 15 professions, from dental hygiene to pharmacy to medicine to social work. Simultaneous events were held in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre at Marywood University, The Commonwealth Medical College, The University of Scranton, Kings College and Misericordia University.

Alumni Business & Hospitality Health Information Technology Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Returning Health Information Student Awarded Scholarship

Scholarship recipient Tiffany M. Farran, of Drums, with Daniel K. Christopher, department head for health information at Penn College. (Photo provided)

A recent Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate, who will continue studies toward a four-year degree in her chosen field, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association.

Tiffany M. Farran, of Drums, who received an associate degree in health information technology and a certificate in health information coding specialist during May commencement, was presented with the scholarship several days earlier during the PHIMA annual meeting at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College.

Farran plans to obtain the national Registered Health Information Technician credential, and will be returning to Penn College in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in health information management.

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Health Information Technology Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Penn College Students Spruce Up Area Camp

Phi Mu Delta's Dustin C. Bailey, of Petersburg, enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration, pitches in.
Phi Mu Delta’s Dustin C. Bailey, of Petersburg, enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration, pitches in.

More than 40 Penn College students recently contributed their time to help Camp Victory prepare for the opening of its season. The Millville facility hosts several camps for children with special needs – including chronic health problems, mental or physical disabilities, or the aftermath of catastrophic illness – and ensures that the proper medical staff are on hand so that the youngsters’ needs are met during their stay. Students dedicated the afternoon of Saturday, April 20, to mulching, cleaning windows and general maintenance at the camp. A large contingent from the college’s Greek community took part; student organizations such as the Wildcat Events Board, Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Health Information Association also lent their helping hands. More photos can be found at the student photographers’ blog.
Photo by Mitchell J. Berninger, an information technology: network specialist concentration major from Williamsport

Business & Hospitality Health Information Technology Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Penn College Health Information Students Advocate on Capitol Hill

U.S. Rep Tom Marino (back row, second from left) meets with the Penn College group: Back row from left, Debra J. Lupert, Daniel K. Christopher and Brittany Temple, and, front row from left, Alia M. Smith, Erin L. Waltz and Tiffany M. Farran.
U.S. Rep Tom Marino (back row, second from left) meets with the Penn College group: Back row from left, Debra J. Lupert, Daniel K. Christopher and Brittany Temple, and, front row from left, Alia M. Smith, Erin L. Waltz and Tiffany M. Farran.
Gathering in the Capitol are, from left, Daniel K. Christopher; students Alia M. Smith, Brittany Temple, Erin L. Waltz and Tiffany M. Farran; Margarita Valdez, AHIMA's manager of congressional relations; and Wannetta Edwards, PHIMA president.
Gathering in the Capitol are, from left, Daniel K. Christopher; students Alia M. Smith, Brittany Temple, Erin L. Waltz and Tiffany M. Farran; Margarita Valdez, AHIMA’s manager of congressional relations; and Wannetta Edwards, PHIMA president.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson meets with, from left, Daniel K. Christopher, Alia M. Smith and Erin L. Waltz.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson meets with, from left, Daniel K. Christopher, Alia M. Smith and Erin L. Waltz.

More than 200 members of the American Health Information Management Association gathered in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 19, to deliver important advocacy messages about health information management. Along with members from 41 other state associations – and Daniel K. Christopher, assistant professor and department head for health information at Penn College – students Alia M. Smith, of Centre Hall; Brittany Temple, of Elysburg; Debra J. Lubert, of Northumberland; Erin L. Waltz, of Muncy; Kayleigh M. Stonecipher, of Lamar; and Tiffany M. Farran, of Drums; met with their representatives and senators to  discuss key advocacy issues.  Lubert is enrolled in the health information management bachelor’s-degree major; the others are two-year health information technology students. AHIMA members understand the need and benefit of sharing their expertise with policymakers, Christopher said, adding that attendees from the Pennsylvania Health Information Association discussed Recovery Audit Contractor program reforms, the need for uniform patient identifiers and the importance of the HIM profession for achieving quality health care through quality information. “Being at our nation’s capital and meeting personally with our congressmen was an amazing experience,” Farran said, “and AHIMA and our state association, PHIMA, helped make it happen!”
Photos provided

Business & Hospitality Health Information Technology Nursing & Health Sciences Sports Students

Powell Week’s Top Women’s Volleyball Player in PSUAC

Tara M. Powell
Tara M. Powell

Outside hitter Tara M. Powell, of Burgettstown, was named the Penn State University Athletic Conference women’s volleyball Player of the Week for the period ending Sept. 16.  In four games, Powell racked up 35 kills and 37 digs for the Wildcats. Penn College went 3-1 on the week with wins against Penn State Hazleton, Penn State DuBois and Valley Forge Christian College.  This is the first Player of the Week selection for Powell, a senior in the college’s health information technology major. The Wildcats are ranked 19th in the latest United States Collegiate Athletic Association poll with a 4-3 overall record.  Powell is leading the team in kills (58) and service aces (23).

Business & Hospitality Health Information Technology Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Health Information Students Undergo Training, Tour Johns Hopkins

Pennsylvania Cancer Registry field representative Stephen Slack trains health information students in Madigan Library Health Information Club travels to BaltimoreStudents and faculty in Penn College’s Health Information majors have had a busy spring, what with bachelor-degree accreditation, Pennsylvania Cancer Registry training and touring a renowned medical facility. Ten students (as well as faculty members Daniel K. Christopher and Michele M. Budnovitch) recently concluded 24 hours of training over three days: Joseph D. Finkel, Christiana M. Snyder, Sally E. Barbera, Kristine A. King, Carolyn M. Wertman, Jayne E. VonDreau, Kelley N. O’Keefe, Allison M. Held, Thomas N. Williams and Eliana R. Keeney. The sessions were held in the Madigan Library and the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center by the PCR represented by Stephen Slack, field representative, and Wendy Aldinger, quality assurance manager which plans to train students on an annual basis. “The training was a great opportunity for us,” said Snyder, of Williamstown. “I liked that they provided the training on campus and the databases were interesting.” Topics included “Introduction to the Cancer Registry Profession” and “Learning the Basics of Cancer Data Collection,” which featured hands-on work with online reference tools that included the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database. Students worked with actual cancer data and were able to plot the incidence of cancer around Pennsylvania nuclear power plants, worked with a sample patient record to abstract cancer data and learned details of National Cancer Data Collection standards. Two semesterlong internships at a health-care site are a required part of the health information curriculum, and the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry is a popular internship location for Penn College students. Graduates of the associate-degree major are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technician exam and graduates of the bachelor-degree program are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Administrator exam. Sixteen members of the Health Information Club, accompanied by Christopher and Budnovitch, traveled to Johns Hopkins Bayview in Baltimore on March 30. The group toured the facility, the emergency room and the Health Information Department; the daylong visit also allowed time in Inner Harbor. The club, which annually organizes a student trip, traveled to New York City in 2011.

Business & Hospitality General Information Health Information Technology Nursing & Health Sciences

Penn College’s Health Information Management Major Accredited

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s health information management degree, which advances students into one of today’s fastest-growing career fields, has received national accreditation.

The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, representatives of which toured the college in late January, recently notified Penn College’s School of Business and Computer Technologies that the bachelor-degree major was awarded accreditation.

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Business & Hospitality Health Information Technology Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Student Awarded $2,500 Scholarship From Charitable Trust

A second-year student at Pennsylvania College of Technology majoring in office information technology: medical office information emphasis has been awarded $2,500 from the Bud Lutty Charitable Scholarship Trust.

The scholarship for Kelsey A. Coppersmith, a 2008 graduate of Kane Area High School, is one of 18 awarded for the 2009-10 academic year on the basis of academic excellence, merit and achievement. Since its inception, the trust has funded $730,000 in scholarships to 292 individuals attending colleges and vocational schools.

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Business & Hospitality Health Information Technology Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Foundation Awards $1,000 Scholarship to Health Information Student

A student in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s two-year health information technology major has been awarded a merit scholarship from the AHIMA Foundation, the philanthropic and charitable arm of the American Health Information Management Association.

Carol E. Withey, of Jersey Shore a frequent dean’s list honoree and recent inductee into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society for associate-degree students was among the latest students to receive a $1,000 award. Withey, who works part-time and volunteers with the college’s Disability Services Office, hopes to pursue further study into the security and privacy of health information in a hospital setting.

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