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Penn College dedicates Wellsboro instructional facility


WELLSBORO – A facility gifted to Pennsylvania College of Technology by UPMC Susquehanna is serving a new purpose as a site for instruction in practical nursing, medical assistant and other health care careers, as well as customized training for business and industry.

The 8,400-square-foot Penn College at Wellsboro facility, located at 22 Walnut St., was formally dedicated today in ceremonies that included members of the Penn College community, representatives of UPMC, elected officials and stakeholders, and others.

Gathered during dedication ceremonies for the new Penn College at Wellsboro facility are (from left) Steven P. Johnson, president of UPMC Susquehanna; Davie Jane Gilmour, president of Pennsylvania College of Technology; state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors; and Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors and UPMC Cole.
Gathered during dedication ceremonies for the new Penn College at Wellsboro facility are (from left) Steven P. Johnson, president of UPMC Susquehanna; Davie Jane Gilmour, president of Pennsylvania College of Technology; state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors; and Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors and UPMC Cole.

Previously, the college leased space from the Wellsboro Area School District for instruction. The newly renovated Penn College at Wellsboro facility can accommodate an increase in enrollment capacity for the full-time Practical Nursing Program from 18 to 24 students initially, with room for further expansion.

“As we dedicate Penn College at Wellsboro, we also celebrate and recognize UPMC Soldiers + Sailors and UPMC Susquehanna as esteemed partners,” said President Davie Jane Gilmour. “This facility, and the education offered within, are helping to reduce the critical nursing shortage regionally and beyond. We offer special recognition to UPMC for its confidence in our mission and for investing in the future of the nursing industry. Your gift is more than a building – it is a partnership that influences lives for the better.”

“The partnership between UPMC Susquehanna and Pennsylvania College of Technology in Wellsboro is an investment in the future of health care in Wellsboro and across the region,” said Steve Johnson, president of UPMC Susquehanna. “Nursing students are getting quality hands-on training and a practical education they can put to work locally right after completing their programs. This is a win, win, win: the health care industry wins by addressing the need of a workforce shortage, PCT wins by receiving a needed home for its Wellsboro base, and the region wins by having these skilled graduates become an integral part of our community.”

The Practical Nursing Program at Wellsboro, with roots tracing to 1983, prepares graduates to take the Practical Nursing National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to become licensed practical nurses in Pennsylvania.

Practical nursing student Heather DeHaven (center), of Mansfield, tours guests through a lab.
Practical nursing student Heather DeHaven (center), of Mansfield, tours guests through a lab.

LPNs may seek employment in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, physician offices, clinics and home care agencies. Instruction features more than 1,500 hours of classes and clinical experiences, which take place in a variety of acute and long-term care settings in the region.

LPNs are in demand in the Northern Tier and statewide. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of LPNs nationwide is expected to grow 12 percent through 2026, faster than the average rate for other professions. Pennsylvania is experiencing the second-largest shortage of LPNs nationwide, with the impact hitting rural communities the hardest.

Beyond the immediate need, the new curriculum allows graduates to transition to programs within Penn College’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences for advanced nursing education.

The new Penn College at Wellsboro facility is the product of a partnership between the college and UPMC Susquehanna. (Photo by Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist/photographer)
The new Penn College at Wellsboro facility is the product of a partnership between the college and UPMC Susquehanna. (Photo by Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist/photographer)

With clinical experiences at UPMC Soldiers + Sailors, UPMC Cole, the Green Home, Broad Acres Health and Rehabilitation Center, Sweden Valley Manor, and nurse’s offices in the Wellsboro Area School District, Penn College nursing students benefit from a partnership that provides a solid foundation and inspires a secure future.

Penn College at Wellsboro also offers customized courses to business and industry for supervisory training, conflict resolution and prevention, team building, diversity in the workplace, project management, successful meetings, Microsoft computer classes, and more. Specialized training for the natural gas industry is also available.

More about Penn College at Wellsboro is available online or by email.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call 800-367-9222.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor

Historic textbooks found within the building, dating to 1893 and 1922 – with handwritten notes gracing the margins throughout both volumes – are presented to Johnson and Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors and UPMC Cole.
Historic textbooks found within the building, dating to 1893 and 1922 – with handwritten notes gracing the margins throughout both volumes – are presented to Johnson and Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors and UPMC Cole.

Jessica U. Oberlin, librarian, information technology initiatives, at Penn College's Madigan Library, creatively incorporated the dedication year into the pages – a reflection, the president said, "of our proud history and prosperous future."
Jessica U. Oberlin, librarian, information technology initiatives, at Penn College’s Madigan Library, creatively incorporated the dedication year into the pages – a reflection, the president said, “of our proud history and prosperous future.”

A large crowd gathers in a lecture room for remarks by President Gilmour (at podium) and other dignitaries.
A large crowd gathers in a lecture room for remarks by President Gilmour (at podium) and other dignitaries.

An expansive lab for learning
An expansive lab for learning

Commemorating a far-reaching gift are (from left) Gilmour; Tioga County Commissioners Mark C. Hamilton and Erick J. Coolidge; Deb Rudy, field representative for state Sen. Joe Scarnati; Johnson, also a member of the Penn College Board of Directors; state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the college board of directors; Hilfiger; state Rep. Clinton D. Owlett; Tioga County Commissioner Roger C. Bunn; and Jason P. Zielewicz, director of workforce development at Wellsboro.
Commemorating a far-reaching gift are (from left) Gilmour; Tioga County Commissioners Mark C. Hamilton and Erick J. Coolidge; Deb Rudy, field representative for state Sen. Joe Scarnati; Johnson, also a member of the Penn College Board of Directors; state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the college board of directors; Hilfiger; state Rep. Clinton D. Owlett; Tioga County Commissioner Roger C. Bunn; and Jason P. Zielewicz, director of workforce development at Wellsboro.

Shannon Munro (right), vice president for workforce development, talks with Brenda G. Abplanalp, former director of Penn College at Wellsboro, who was thanked for her steadfast leadership and continuing support of workforce training.
Shannon Munro (right), vice president for workforce development, talks with Brenda G. Abplanalp, former director of Penn College at Wellsboro, who was thanked for her steadfast leadership and continuing support of workforce training.

Coolidge chats with Brenda M. Freeman, Wellsboro Area School District superintendent, gratefully acknowledged for her district's 35-year hospitality to the college.
Coolidge chats with Brenda M. Freeman, Wellsboro Area School District superintendent, gratefully acknowledged for her district’s 35-year hospitality to the college.

Whatever the collaboration brings, Johnson said, "I know we’ll be at the forefront, combining higher education with hands-on experience, innovative medicine and state-of-the-art technology."
Whatever the collaboration brings, Johnson said, “I know we’ll be at the forefront, combining higher education with hands-on experience, innovative medicine and state-of-the-art technology.”

Practical nursing student Amanda Hand (right), of Wellsboro, shows Johnson and Bonnie Thompson, Wellsboro Area School District business manager, an impressive computer lab available to students.
Practical nursing student Amanda Hand (right), of Wellsboro, shows Johnson and Bonnie Thompson, Wellsboro Area School District business manager, an impressive computer lab available to students.

Hilfiger, whose 40-year health care career includes every nursing graduation at the Wellsboro campus, shares her enthusiasm for the Penn College/UPMC partnership.
Hilfiger, whose 40-year health care career includes every nursing graduation at the Wellsboro campus, shares her enthusiasm for the Penn College/UPMC partnership.

A plaque in the entranceway documents a regional milestone.
A plaque in the entranceway documents a regional milestone.

Zielewicz charts the long, productive history of nursing education at Wellsboro, from the first graduates' uniform fittings in January 1983 to Thursday's reiteration of success.
Zielewicz charts the long, productive history of nursing education at Wellsboro, from the first graduates’ uniform fittings in January 1983 to Thursday’s reiteration of success.

Signage directs dedication attendees from the impressive exterior to the instructional spaces within.
Signage directs dedication attendees from the impressive exterior to the instructional spaces within.

 

Comments

Linda Strous,

Congratulations.

Bill Williams (Retired VP of Human Resources for Ward Manufacturing),

Great to see my old friends from Tioga County in yet another great project resulting in more opportunities in education.

Linda S. Williams,

So pleased to see a “North Campus” of Penn College again!

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