News about Health Sciences

A World Away, Students Make Do … and Make a Difference

Penn College students gather with schoolchildren in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

On the steps of a school in Las Terrenas, Santo Domingo, Penn College students join a group of teachers and administrators. The students conducted clinics in four schools in four days at Las Terrenes.

Jenna N. Tippy, a student from Langhorne, outfits a curious child with gloves, glasses and face mask to be her “helper.”

The students provided their young clients with Penn College backpacks, courtesy of the Admissions Office.

Pretty in pink: Instructor Rhonda J. Seebold snapped a photo of students with children whose outfits just happened to be a perfect match to the students’ bright lab jackets. The students were providing sealants.

Students in Penn College’s dental hygiene bachelor’s degree major made a summer stop in the Dominican Republic, where they provided free dental services to between 250 and 300 children in underserved neighborhoods. The students first visited the town of Las Terrenas, on the northeast coast, where they spent four days providing free dental clinics at four schools before traveling south to Santo Domingo, the nation’s capital, to serve a school there. A highlight of the trip happened in Santo Domingo, where the students’ accommodations were within walking distance of the school in which they would establish a clinic. On their way back from the school, with supplies in hand, the students came upon a dirt alley where small children were playing. “Some of the students sort of dropped everything and started playing with them,” said Rhonda J. Seebold, part-time instructor of dental hygiene, who led the study abroad trip. With the help of Seebold’s son, who speaks fluent Spanish, the children’s parents excitedly accepted an offer to provide fluoride treatments to the children, and the students went about setting up a clinic. “Part of what I teach the students is that you make do with what you have,” Seebold said. While in the Dominican Republic, Seebold estimates that the 12 students treated about 75 children a day. The students were enrolled in a summer elective course called International Oral Health Care Experience.
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Physician Assistant Alumnus Honored by Penn College

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presents the Alumni Achievement Award to Kevin A. Hickman, a 2008 physician assistant graduate.

A 2008 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physician assistant major was honored with the college’s Alumni Achievement Award at Summer 2017 commencement ceremonies, held Aug. 5 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Kevin A. Hickman, of Avon, Connecticut, and a Luzerne County native, received the award in recognition of his contributions to the physician assistant field and his alma mater.

Hickman serves as director of Physician Assistant Services for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, in Hartford, Connecticut. The medical center employs over 200 physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses, and is part of Trinity Health Of New England, a regional health system serving Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

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Newswatch 16 on Hand for Students’ Rescue-Training Finale

Along the shore of the Susquehanna, WNEP’s Kristina Papa interviews emergency medical services student James A. Babinetz.

Students receive a pre-activity overview from Williamsport Bureau of Fire’s Ken Smith.

A full slate of hands-on learning: Two Williamsport Bureau of Fire boats take students out to practice pulling their classmates out of the water, while students on the dock practice throwing lines to their classroom colleagues.

A paramedic student perfects her pitch, throwing a line to a waiting classmate.

Under watch by Williamsport Bureau of Fire personnel, a student pulls a classmate toward the boat.

WNEP’s Kristina Papa visited Penn College’s paramedic program on Wednesday as first-year students completed their final day of Rescue Awareness and Operations training. Under the lead of the Williamsport Bureau of Fire and the Central Area Fire Chiefs’ Association, the students dove into the Susquehanna River for a hands-on lesson in boat-based water rescue operations at Susquehanna State Park, using equipment lent by the Williamsport Bureau of Fire. During the morning, the students practiced shore-based water rescue along Lycoming Creek near Bowman Field. The four-day Rescue Awareness and Operations activities also included field trips to the CAFCA facility for training in vehicle rescues and rope rescues and to Frito-Lay for confined-space operations, along with lessons in handling carbon monoxide incidents and gas leaks. The events are the finale of a summer course in Operations and Rescue Practices for the Paramedic, which entailed emergency vehicle driver training, a visit to the Life Flight hangar, training for hazardous materials and crime scene incidents, and a tactical emergency casualty course. Throughout the summer, the students were taught not only by Penn College faculty, but by area professionals that included the Penn College Police, Lycoming County coroner, UPMC Susquehanna emergency department, Geisinger Life Flight, CAFCA and the local fire bureau. Papa interviewed Bambi Hawkins, interim director of paramedic technology programs, students Ali T. Alnasir, of Williamsport, James A. Babinetz, of Doylestown, and Michelle K. Waughen, of Montgomery, and Assistant Fire Chief Mark Killian. The story aired during Wednesday evening’s newscasts.

LLWS Medical Team to Include Nearly 50 Penn College Students

A large group of Pennsylvania College of Technology students is set to join the medical team at the 2017 Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport this August.

The students are pursuing careers as physician assistants and paramedics. During the 11-day tournament, they will serve both participants and spectators of the series, which draws 16 teams from around the world, and tens of thousands of fans each day.

“Our paramedic and physician assistant programs deeply appreciate the clinical practice our students gain from such an exciting annual international event as the Little League World Series just across the river from campus,” said Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences.

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Penn College Summer Commencement to Take Place Aug. 5

Penn College’s Summer 2017 Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Nearly 250 students have petitioned to graduate in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Summer 2017 Commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Community Arts Center.

The student speaker for the ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m., is Michael Raymond Harer, of Williamsport, who will be awarded an Associate of Applied Science in surgical technology. He will be presented with the Surgical Technology Outstanding Academic Achievement Award before commencement. Harer will be employed as a surgical technologist with UPMC Susquehanna following graduation.

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Life Flight Maintenance Doesn’t Pre-Empt Learning Opportunity

Health Sciences students traveled to Williamsport Regional Airport, where one of Geisinger's Life Flight helicopters was being serviced.

Students in the paramedic technician and emergency medical services majors visited the hangar for Geisinger’s Life Flight helicopter on Wednesday, where the three-person crew gave them an overview of its services and talked about safety protocols when on the scene of a Life Flight landing. Each year, as part of a summer Operations and Rescue Practices for the Paramedic course, students learn about crime scene awareness, medical incident command and emergency vehicle operations, including a landing by Life Flight and hands-on Emergency Vehicle Driver Training. On Wednesday, because the helicopter was undergoing a parts replacement, the Penn College students visited the helicopter at its hangar at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville. There, flight medic Kevin Niedzwiecki, a part-time instructor at Penn College, and other crew members provided insight and a hands-on demonstration. The photo was provided by Andrew L. Mattocks, a part-time Penn College instructor and Life Flight employee (and full-time ICU nurse) who received Penn College degrees in paramedic technology (’06), applied health studies (’11) and nursing (’17) and provided an on-campus lecture in fight operations earlier this summer.

Paramedic Director Receives DeWire Lifetime Achievement Award

Mark A. Trueman

The Lycoming Tioga Sullivan Emergency Medical Services Council recently presented its 2017 Kline A. DeWire Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s director of paramedic technology programs.

The award is the most prestigious honor that the council presents, said Wendy S. Hastings, director of the LTS EMS Council, as she introduced its recipient, Mark A. Trueman, at a recent awards ceremony. It was established to recognize an EMS provider who has exhibited an ongoing and extraordinary dedication to the community and whose significant contributions to emergency medical services and the community personify the selfless giving, compassion and commitment that are DeWire’s legacy.

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‘Biggest Loser’ Nutritionist Shares Healthy Recipe

Juliette Yeager, '10

From the Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine: Juliette Yeager, ’10, is the nutritionist at a Biggest Loser Resort. There, she provides knowledge, encouragement and a healthy menu while she coaches clients to steady health gains. Get her recipe for grilled chicken with quinoa tabouli and beet turnip slaw. Read “Feeding Healthy Lifestyles.”

Penn College Nursing Honor Society Inducts First Members

Some of the first inductees into the Pennsylvania College of Technology Bachelor of Science Nursing Honor Society gather on stage during a recent ceremony honoring their accomplishment.

On April 28, 31 students became the first inductees to the Pennsylvania College of Technology Bachelor of Science Nursing Honor Society.

Together, the students pledged to fulfill the society’s “commitment to nursing excellence, knowledge, service and leadership” throughout their careers.

The founding of the Penn College Bachelor of Science Nursing Honor Society is an initial step in establishing a chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing at the college. (Chapter establishment is a six-phase process that begins with forming a local honor society.)

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Nursing in a New Culture: College’s First Study-Abroad Experience for Nursing Students

Nursing student Kelsey L. Maneval interacts with a child in the clinic's dental area.

From the Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine: The college’s first short-term study-abroad program for nursing students takes them to a clinic in a small Guatemalan town. Read “Nursing in a New Culture.”

Alumni Insight Affirms Career Satisfaction in Health Information

Health information is the backbone of the nation’s health care system, and Penn College’s related portfolio – an associate degree in health information technology and an online bachelor’s degree in health information management – offer diverse and rewarding career opportunities. Those possibilities are represented in a new YouTube video by Joseph P. Travagline (’15) and Lyndsey A. Diehl (’13). Travagline is director of operations for the Centralized Credentialing Office at Johns Hopkins Health System and Diehl is a trauma data quality specialist for the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation.

Penn College Spring Commencement Ceremonies Set for May 12-13

Pennsylvania College of Technology will hold three commencement ceremonies May 12-13 at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport for the more than 900 students who have petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2017 semester.

More than 900 students have petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2017 semester at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Three commencement ceremonies will be offered on May 12-13 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, with more than 780 students expected to march.

At 3 p.m. on Friday, May 12, a ceremony will be held for students from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications.

On Saturday, May 13, two ceremonies are scheduled. At 10 a.m., students from the School of Construction & Design Technologies and the School of Health Sciences will receive their degrees. At 1:30 p.m., a ceremony will be offered for students from the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies.

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Four Camps Added to College’s Exciting Summer Opportunities

A camper pores through images for a make-believe coffee shop during last summer’s Graphic Design Summer Studio at Penn College.

A record number of Pennsylvania College of Technology summer camps, including four new offerings, will allow adventurous young women and men to explore the hands-on careers represented by the institution’s eclectic “degrees that work.”

Students entering grades nine to 12 at the time of participation are eligible for an annual Summer Camp Scholarship to attend Penn College. The registration deadline for all of the camps, whether day camps or residential, is Friday, June 2.

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Nursing Students Visited by Versatile Health Sciences Grad

Alumna Trena Dale returns to Penn College.

With help from the Alumni Relations Office, the Penn College Student Nurses’ Association recently hosted alumna Trena Dale. Dale has received two associate degrees from Penn College: a dental hygiene degree in 2001 and a nursing degree in 2011. Dale, now an emergency room nurse at Evangelical Community Hospital, a part-time RN in Geisinger’s Special Care Unit 5 and, occasionally, a substitute dental hygienist, spoke to nursing students about her experiences as a Penn College student, as a new graduate seeking employment, and about her career in dental hygiene and nursing. She shared stories related to her professional role that highlighted the importance of developing relationships with patients, engaging in teamwork, and paying attention to details when communicating in health care environments. “Of course, Trena also took time to share information about the importance of mouth care for patients in the hospital,” said Tushanna M. Habalar, instructor of nursing and SNA adviser. “Trena’s positive demeanor, real-life stories and energy were appreciated by the students and faculty who attended.”

Emergency Scenarios Translate to Real-Life Benefit for Students

Occupational therapy assistant student Rachel N. Zimmerman, of Pine Grove, shows physician assistant student Zachary S. Kimble, of Bellefonte (acting as a hip-replacement patient who later in the simulation would have a stroke) and other students watching how to use a “reacher” to help with dressing. Observing is Christine A. Tilburg, clinical director of physical therapist assistant.

Emergency medical services student Ian P. McClure, of Littlestown, and paramedic technician student Megan E. Bobby, of Dysart, explain the actions they would take when called to the Dental Hygiene Clinic to help a patient experiencing an allergic reaction to Novocain.

Surgical technology students simulate a laparoscopic gall bladder removal.

Around 250 students in the School of Health Sciences – an academic division that spans 11 distinct health care and allied health fields – are participating this week in a series of hands-on emergency health simulations. The school’s fourth annual Interdisciplinary Professional Event involves 24 student teams, each made up of a cross section of health disciplines, discussing and observing one another’s role in their assigned case. Students in the physician assistant major played roles of patients, whose health problems ranged from an allergic reaction to Novocain in the Dental Hygiene Clinic to a loss of consciousness in the Keystone Dining Room, and surgeries to replace hips and remove gallbladders. As “patients” moved through the health care system, they moved, with their observers, from lab to lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. The purpose of the experience is to prepare the students to deliberatively work together as patients interact with each of them during their health care experience, with an ultimate goal to improve patient care. Also involved were 23 staff and faculty from the school, who planned and managed the event and led groups through their simulations on Tuesday and Thursday.