News about Applied Health

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.

Online Learning Options at Penn College Offer Enhanced Flexibility

Penn College offers a beautiful, modern campus in Williamsport, but for students who need the flexibility of online programs, the college provides a variety of options.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is renowned for its “degrees that work,” and for those needing additional flexibility to attain a degree from the college, online options abound.

Online learning at Penn College offers more choices to students who are balancing work and family responsibilities. The offerings feature the same academic rigor and accreditation as on-campus programs, but there is no requirement to ever attend class on the campus in Williamsport. Online students may choose to enroll full time or part time.

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Grace, Gratitude Imbue Lecturer’s ‘Last Words’

Anthony J. Pace, director of student activities, welcomes the crowd and introduces this year's "My Last Words" presenter.

Penn's Inn offers an intimate setting ...

... for Tina M. Evans to impart "12 Words That Will Change Your Life."

Sandra Lakey (right foreground) the faculty member who delivered the My Last Words lecture in 2008, is among those attending Evans' presentation.

The speaker talks with Charles T. Crawford, a pre-physician assistant major from Chadds Ford.

Tina M. Evans, an associate professor of applied health studies, delivered this year’s David London My Last Words lecture Tuesday night, providing her Penn’s Inn audience with a dozen deceptively simple words that are profoundly powerful enough to change lives: “I love you,” “I forgive you,” “Please forgive me,” “Thank you” and “Goodbye.” The series – which asks each nominated speaker to share purportedly parting thoughts – memorializes London, an associate professor of speech communication/composition who died in May 2008.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

‘My Last Words’ Lecture to Offer Insight, Inspiration on Sept. 27

Tina M. Evans

Tina M. Evans, an associate professor of applied health studies at Pennsylvania College of Technology, will present this year’s David London My Last Words lecture.

Penn College’s My Last Words Lecture Series challenges each year’s selected faculty member to offer thoughts to the community as if they know it was their last opportunity to share insight and offer inspiration. Speakers are nominated by students and alumni.

Evans’ talk is titled “12 Words That Will Change Your Life.” The lecture is scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Penn’s Inn, on the second floor of the Bush Campus Center. It is free and open to the community.

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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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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.

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.

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.

Gallery Announces People’s Choice Winner for ‘100 Works’

Ronni N. Warner, winner of the People's Choice award for "100 Works! - The Centennial Exhibit," stands next to her winning entry, "Past, Present, Future," a blend of three digital photographs, in The Gallery at Penn College.

The creative work of a Pennsylvania College of Technology student captured the People’s Choice award at the close of “100 Works! – The Centennial Exhibit” at The Gallery at Penn College.

Ronni N. Warner, a junior enrolled in pre-applied health studies, won the honor for her work, “Traveling Through Amelia,” a black-and-white print relating to the exhibit’s “Past, Present, Future” theme.

“This photo, which is actually a blend of three digital photos, reminds me of the theme because I can see the past in the sand and the shells, the present by the footprints imprinted on the sand, and the future in the tree reaching toward the light in the sky,” said Warner, a resident of Muncy and native of Bellefonte. “The blend of the photos reminds me of life as a process, and that process includes all of the elements of this theme.”

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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.

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

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

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.

‘Pay It Forward’ Dinner: Comfort Food From a Caring Community

Students Cassandra B. Mohr, left, and her roommate Paige E. Monk, handle pans of meatloaf.

Dental hygiene students made their annual visit Saturday to Williamsport’s Christ Episcopal Church, where they prepared a free dinner for the community.

Known in the Dental Hygiene program as the “Pay It Forward” dinner, what began as a class project for students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Community Dental Health course has evolved into a volunteer experience open to all second-year dental hygiene students, arranged by faculty member Barbara K. Emert-Baldwin. Seven dental hygiene students were joined in the effort by culinary arts and systems student Scott L. Neff (one of Emert-Baldwin’s two sons who helped) and Paige E. Monk, a student in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration.

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Annual Summit Spotlights Interdisciplinary Approach to Health Care

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.

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.

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.

Veteran Coaches Say ‘Goodbye’ to Penn College Athletics

With a combined tenure of 26 years, women’s volleyball head coach Bambi A. Hawkins and men’s cross-country head coach Michael J. Paulhamus have announced their retirement from their respective positions at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“Both of these coaches have brought much success to Penn College,” said Director of Athletics Scott E. Kennell. “I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for what they have done here and how much they will be missed. The type of dedication and excellence they have exhibited is something that will be hard to replace.”

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Katherine P. Wylezik Chosen as ‘Student of the Month’

Katherine P. Wylezik

Katherine P. Wylezik, enrolled in the applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration, has been chosen as the Student of the Month at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Wylezik, of Bernville, serves as a Community Assistant for off-campus housing and has been a Residence Life Office clerk for more than three years. She is also an Information Desk clerk for Susquehanna Health.

“Katie is an excellent representative of Penn College,” her nominators wrote. “She is a great student who is focused on her goals and proactive in her approach to achieving those goals. She is hardworking, dedicated, prioritizes her responsibilities and puts forth her best effort in whatever she does.  She is focused on academics, possesses wonderful customer-service skills, has an outgoing and warm personality, and does everything with a smile.”

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University