Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

01/22/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/22/2021 09:32

Weekly Updates: Week of Jan. 18


Continue COVID-19 safety precautions, even after second dose of vaccine

The work continues.

January 22, 2021Penn State Health Daily Brief

Already, thousands of Penn State Health and College of Medicine employees have weighed the consequences and chosen to roll up their sleeves to help protect themselves and those they care about. Front-line health care professionals who received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in December are already receiving the last of their two shots. Many of their colleagues have received their initial injections. Others are signing up every day.

The effort has moved beyond front-line, direct patient care roles to personnel in other crucial areas.

'Think about everything that happens in a hospital or ambulatory setting. Those providers are on the front lines and as such, they are our priority,' said Penn State Health CEO Steve Massini. 'But also think of a world where you don't have Supply Chain, Information Services, Environmental Health or other support areas. Our ability to provide the highest level of care to our patients and keep our operations functioning depends on every member of our Penn State Health team. Our efforts go well beyond front-line folks and extend to everyone who works diligently behind the scenes.'

As efforts to protect the people who care for Penn State Health and the College of Medicine's communities push forward, everyone - those who have been inoculated and those who haven't - must continue to follow safety precautions the health system and College have been fine-tuning since the pandemic began.

Read the full story.

Hershey Medical Center changes COVID-19 Surge Plan

To ensure additional bed capacity, Hershey Medical Center leaders have modified the COVID-19 Surge Plan. The new plan adjusts the order in which units across the hospital should be used to meet care needs during the pandemic. The modifications also affect adult capacity for each surge level.

In addition, new guidance addresses when staff should place complex floor patients ― higher-acuity patients with challenging medical conditions who are on a regular adult hospital floor ― on the 6th Floor rather than in the Intermediate Care Unit.

Hershey Medical Center managers and clinical staff can review the revised COVID-19 Surge Plan carefully to ensure smooth and efficient patient placements.

Read full story.

Hershey Medical Center, College of Medicine add meal, break spaces

Hershey Medical Center has added three additional break/meal spaces at 30 Hope Drive, and the College of Medicine has added one space.

In addition, changes have been made to some existing spaces. Adjustments include making the spaces available longer or changing their hours of availability.

Here is a list of all spaces available. Safety and cleaning protocols are in place for these areas. Remember to adhere to room-occupancy requirements and social-distancing requirements of six feet or more. Wear masks when you are not eating and drinking.

College of Medicine pandemic response Friday round-up ― week of Jan. 11-15

College of Medicine leaders updated faculty, staff and students on Jan. 15 about the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • COVID-19 vaccination update: At this time, all faculty, staff and students should have received emails to sign up for the vaccine. The email will be from 'covid19vaccine,' and the subject will read 'Important COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling Information.' For more information on the vaccine, please refer to the FAQ document.
  • Coronavirus benefit ended Dec. 31: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act benefit ended on Dec. 31, 2020, and is no longer available. If you need to take time off for COVID-related reasons, the best option is to use your sick leave. If you have questions, please contact Occupational Health at 814-863-8492.
  • Continued pause on in-person interaction clinical research studies: Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health continue to have a pause all clinical research studies involving in-person interaction with participants who do not have a direct drug or device therapeutic benefit. See details from the 23, 2020, announcement.

Read the full email.

Lime Spring Outpatient Center changes hours at COVID testing tent

Penn State Health Lime Spring Outpatient Center will change the hours of its drive-thru COVID-19 testing tent beginning Monday, Jan. 25. The new hours will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. Lime Spring is located at 2211 Noll Drive, Lancaster.


Remlinger named director of provider services, credentialing at Penn State Health

Kathy Remlinger has accepted the newly created position of director of provider services and credentialing for Penn State Health, reporting directly to Peter Dillon, executive vice president and chief clinical officer.

In this role, Remlinger is responsible for establishing and maintaining a standardized and centralized credentialing process in accordance with regulatory standards for all health system entities. She also will focus on standardizing provider onboarding in areas not covered by Human Resources, oversee provider enrollment with payers and collaborate on all credentialing and provider-related issues.

Read the full story.

Mickalonis named Penn State Health system emergency management, business continuity director

Scott Mickalonis has joined Penn State Health in the newly created role of emergency management and business continuity director. His responsibilities include oversight, strategic direction and leadership of the emergency management program, as well as business resilience and continuity for the health system.

Previously, Mickalonis served as Penn State Health's manager for emergency preparedness from 2014 until 2017, until joining The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) as vice president of emergency management. He was also the regional manager for preparedness during HAP's contract with the statewide hospital preparedness program.

Read the full story.

Hanna named vice president operations at Hershey Medical Center

Maher Hanna will join Hershey Medical Center as a new vice president of hospital operations beginning Monday, Feb. 22. In this role, he will be operationally responsible for Family and Community Medicine, Heart and Vascular Institute, Organ Transplantation, the Simulation Center and Pathology.

Hanna will serve as administrative and business officer to his core group of clinical departments and strategically partner with nursing leadership and other stakeholders to enhance and support clinical programming.

He is currently regional vice president of professional services at the University of Vermont Health Network - Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Alice Hyde Medical Center. Hanna previously held leadership positions for Departments of Laboratory Medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar, and King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Read the full story.

Surgery resident Greene honored for exceptional teaching

Dr. Alicia Greene, a surgery resident at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, was honored in January 2021 as part of the Exceptional Moments in Teaching program of Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine.

'Dr. Greene was a fantastic resident and teacher,' a current student wrote. 'As a resident, it was amazing to watch her consistently address the needs of all of the patients on her service, demonstrate respect for team members, deliver impeccable presentations and consistently close loops of communication. She also demonstrated an exceptional degree of resilience and light-heartedness that I really admired.'

Read the full story.

Holmes wins first Holy Spirit Medical Center BEE Award

The recipient of Holy Spirit Medical Center's BEE (Be Extraordinary Every day) Award is Ariele Holmes.

Holmes, a patient care assistant on 8 Main, earned the award for always having a cheerful, helpful attitude and giving kind, compassionate care to patients.

'Ariele gives quality time to each patient and receives many comments of appreciation from them,' her nominator said. 'The nursing staff can always count on Ariele to bring a change in mental status, vital signs and skin issues to their attention. Ariele checks on newer nurses to see if they need assistance. She is a true team member from assisting with repositioning and getting post-procedure vital signs to setting up a room for admissions.'

The Nursing Department presents the award four times a year to non-nurse team members who provide extraordinary care to patients, visitors and each other. Recipients receive a pin, honey, chocolate and a certificate.

Employees honored for work milestones

Congratulations to the following Penn State Health employees who are celebrating a milestone work anniversary between Jan. 13and Jan. 19. They put our values ­into action every day:

40 Years of Service

  • Barbara Kreiser, Supply and Distribution, Hershey
  • Lisa Skishalley, Patient Financial Services, Hershey

30 Years of Service

  • Marcia Broskey, Surgery Center, St. Joseph
  • Debra Klein, 6th Floor Medical, Hershey
  • Janet Sassaman, Penn State Children's Hospital, Hershey

25 Years of Service

  • Kathleen Zeigler, Labor and Delivery, Holy Spirit

20 Years of Service

  • Mary Louise Baerg, Risk Management, Hershey
  • Tammy Marcin, Respiratory Therapy, Holy Spirit
  • Andrew Waxler, Penn State Health Medical Group - Berks Cardiology

10 Years of Service

  • Amy Anderson, Infusion Center, Hershey
  • Jessica Bevans, 5th Floor Acute Care Unit, Hershey
  • Ryan Bucher, Information Services Business Applications, Hershey
  • Kaitlyn Campbell, Orthopaedics Clinic, Hershey
  • Jason Fragin, Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute, State College
  • Heather Holloway, General Administration, Medical Group
  • Derartu Kelifa, 6th Floor Medical Intensive Care Unit, Hershey
  • Laurie Lawrenson, Penn State Health Medical Group - Camp Hill
  • Kelly Miller, Clinical Staffing Office, Hershey
  • Tammy Miller, Orthopaedics, Hershey
  • Jewell Parise-Greco, Marketing and Communications, Hershey
  • Briana Phillippy, Labor and Delivery, Hershey
  • Katharine Quickel, Clinical Staffing Office, Hershey
  • Marci Renoll, 7th Floor Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Hershey
  • Sara Schlotthauer, Penn State Health Medical Group - Mount Joy
  • Amy Skinner, Information Services Governance, Hershey
  • Rebecca Stoltzfus, Penn State Cancer Institute, Hershey
  • Lori Zarefoss, Pediatric Care Management, Hershey

Employees are recognized for their time at Penn State Health. Recognition begins on the 10th anniversary and is given in five-year increments. Employees from every entity within Penn State Health are included in these recognitions, but not every entity may have an employee with a work anniversary during this time period. For questions about work anniversary dates, contact the HR Solution Center at [email protected] or 717-531-8440.

College of Medicine employees mark work milestones

Congratulations to College of Medicine employees who celebrated a milestone work anniversary between Dec. 1 and today.

35 Years of Service

30 Years of Service

  • Michelle Herr, Physiology
  • Marie Graybill, Clinical Trials Office
  • Marc Sartoni, Controller
  • Deborah Tregea, Fitness Center

20 Years of Service

  • Christina Stetter, Public Health Sciences
  • Kristen Brandt, Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute
  • Shelley Gestl, Gittlen Cancer Research Laboratory
  • Kim Schaeffer, Controller

15 Years of Service

  • Kala Venkiteswaran, Neurology

10 Years of Service

  • Gregory Holmes, Neural and Behavioral Sciences
  • Gilbert Joseph, Public Health Sciences
  • Casey Pinto, Public Health Sciences
  • Douglas Stairs, Pathology
  • Stacy Carmo, Education Program Specialist

Employees are recognized for their time at the College of Medicine, and recognition is given in five-year increments starting on their 10th year. For questions about work anniversary dates, contact HR Shared Services at 814-865-1473 or submit an inquiry via


Ferrari to discuss Data4Action project Jan. 26

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute will present 'Data4Action: The Centre County COVID-19 Cohort Study' at its next Recent Topics in Research Methods Seminar Series Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 4 to 5 p.m.

The series features statisticians and methodologists from multiple Penn State departments. Registration is required.

Attend COVID-19 vaccine education town hall Jan. 27

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine employees and students are invited to attend a special COVID-19 Vaccine Education town hall on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at noon. Three faculty from Hershey Medical Center and the College of Medicine - Dr. Thomas Ma, chair of the Department of Medicine; Dr. Cynthia Whitener, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Hershey Medical Center; and Dr. Umar Farooq, associate chief medical officer for Penn State Health Medical Group Academic Practice Division - will discuss common concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine and answer employee questions. Other panelists will include leadership from the health system and college.

Staff are invited to submit their questions about the vaccine in advance. Email them to [email protected] and include 'Vaccine Town Hall' in the subject line.

McCormick to discuss 'Informed Consent: Beyond Compliance' Jan. 28

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute presents 'Informed Consent: Beyond Compliance' on Thursday, Jan. 28, from noon to 1 p.m., part of its Translational Science Seminar series.

Jen McCormick, the institute's ethics expert, will delve into the reasons for informed consent in human subjects research and share ethical insights into the importance of keeping consent the foundation of solid research. Registration is required.

Penn State Health Medical Group presents town hall Feb. 2

Penn State Health Medical Group leadership will host a town hall for the Academic and Community Practice divisions on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 5:30 p.m.:

St. Joseph Medical Center hosts Feb. 8 blood drive

St. Joseph Medical Center will host a blood drive Monday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on its Bern Township campus, 2500 Bernville Road. Donors can register in the hospital lobby before entering the American Red Cross Bloodmobile, which will be parked in the main visitor parking lot, to donate.

Schedule an appointment here. Donors can also call the American Red Cross at 800-733-2767 or Cheryl Gipe, St. Joseph's blood bank manager, at 610-378-2187.

For blood donor eligibility requirements, visit the American Red Cross website.

FacultyXchange offers research collaborations Feb. 10

Penn State Center for Biodevices will host the second annual FacultyXchange on Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Faculty, clinicians, fellows, students and staff members from all Penn State campuses are invited to attend this virtual event and establish collaborations, share research expertise and develop ideas for new projects. Click here to learn more. Register online by Monday, Feb. 8.

Hershey Medical Center offers Inspired Nursing Program virtually

Hershey Medical Center will present its Inspired Nursing Program virtually on Monday, Feb. 15, from 8 to 10 a.m.

The free program is for any high school student who is at least 15 years old, college student or other individual who is not in a health care-related program of study and is interested in exploring a career in nursing. The event highlights nursing's diversity of roles and opportunities.

Register by Monday, Feb. 8. Upon registering, participants must submit the required paperwork in order to receive the webinar information.

Other news

Penn State Health presents Hampden Medical Center expansion plan to Hampden Township

The Hampden Township Planning Commission has recommended approval of a preliminary land development plan for the second phase of development of Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center.

The health system is seeking approval for several permitted-use projects at the site, including a medical office building and parking garage, as well as three potential hospital additions that may be needed in the years to come to accommodate additional anticipated growth in the region.

Read the full story.

McKenna: Holy Spirit transition continues in face of ongoing pandemic

Don McKenna, regional president of Holy Spirit and Hampden medical centers, emailed Holy Spirit employees on Jan. 14 to acknowledge that the pandemic has impeded Holy Spirit's integration into Penn State Health and thanked employees for their continued patience.

Among the key points:

  • Unlike the transition we expected, we find ourselves building relationships, learning new processes and solving challenges not in person but through Zoom and other socially distant interactions. At the same time, the daily precautions necessary to keep us safe have proven challenging to sustain.
  • I want to join you in celebrating our recent 'A' rating for patient safety on The Leapfrog Group's semiannual safety ranking report card. That same commitment to high-quality care also led to The Joint Commission recertifying Holy Spirit Medical Center as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and Capital BlueCross designating the hospital as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.
  • Penn State Health would like to know if you are reading Daily Brief and Manager Update and what other ways you prefer to get your news. Please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey and let us know what works and what doesn't.

Read the full email.

Penn State Health Pharmacy offers tips for getting prescriptions filled

Highmark-covered employees who want to fill prescriptions at Penn State Health Pharmacy should follow these steps:

  • Visit the pharmacy website and complete the New Employee Mail Order Prescription form. This will enter employees and their family members into the pharmacy database. The form is not a prescription order.
  • Send the completed form to the pharmacy via mail, email or fax. This information is located in the top right-hand corner of the form.
  • To fill a prescription, employees should contact their provider to e-prescribe prescriptions to the Hershey Medical Center Outpatient Pharmacy by selecting provider 'PSHMC Mail Employee 90 Day.'
    • The pharmacy staff is not able to transfer existing prescriptions.
  • For refills, call the pharmacy directly. If employees need to speak to a staff member about anything else, they should select zero, and they will be transferred to a pharmacy staff member.

Employees who have not received their medical insurance card login can register at where they can print temporary cards and request new insurance cards to be mailed to their home.

The pharmacy is reporting delivery delays due to USPS and FedEx backlogs. Employees should plan in advance and order their new prescriptions or refills earlier than usual to ensure they receive the medications in time. If an employee does not receive their mail order medications due to shipping delays or is low or out of medication, contact the pharmacy at 717-531-3909.

For more information on how to order employee prescriptions, go to and select Outpatient Pharmacy Services.

Holy Spirit retires SureWash Jan. 31

The SureWash hand hygiene kiosks at Holy Spirit Medical Center, used by Nursing and Infection Control, will be retired as of Sunday, Jan. 31, and replaced by Penn State Health's hand hygiene module located in Compass. To access Penn State Health's hand hygiene module in Compass:

  • Launch PSH StoreFront, then open the Infonet and select Holy Spirit Medical Center.
  • Click the Human Resources link, then click Compass.
  • When the Training Resources page opens, click Compass and log in with your PSHealth User ID and password when prompted.
  • Enter 'hand hygiene' in the search, then click Hand Hygiene: Wash In! Wash Out! - e-Learning.
  • Click Launch to complete the training.

Holy Spirit Medical Center seeks Provider of the Quarter nominations

Holy Spirit Medical Center is accepting nominations for its Provider of the Quarter award.

The award recognizes physicians, physician assistants, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners who have privileges at the hospital and exemplify its mission, vision and values, as well as its SPIRIT standards of Service, Privacy, Integrity, Respect, Involvement and Teamwork.

Staff are asked to complete the nomination form, available on the Infonet, and send it to Malee Maurer no later than Tuesday, Jan. 26. The Medical Executive Committee will vote on the nominations on Tuesday, Feb. 2, and announce the winner at a later date.

Watch Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. service replay

Watch a replay of the Penn State Health Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. service presented on Jan. 18. The pastoral care departments of Penn State Health hosted the service to remember the life and work of the civil rights leader. The event kicked off Inclusion Week 2021, which features virtual sessions presented by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through Friday, Jan. 22.

Wellness Wednesday: Six ways to make New Year's resolutions stick

  1. Be clear and realistic. Scrap those vague resolutions such as 'I'm going to get fit' or 'I'm going to eat healthy.' Make clear, realistic goals such as 'I'll exercise for 30 minutes at least three days a week' or 'I'll eat five or more servings of fruits or vegetables every day.'
  2. Change one behavior at a time. Let that behavior become a habit before you tackle another one. Most unhealthy behaviors develop gradually. And for staying power, it's best to change them gradually.
  3. Share your resolutions. The encouragement of friends and family can help you stay motivated. It's harder to break a promise to yourself when those around you are aware of what you're trying to accomplish. You might even pair up with a 'resolution buddy'-someone who shares the same goal.

Here are additional tips on sticking to your New Year's resolutions. Check out the BeWell Employee Wellness Toolkit and for information on wellness resources, visit the PRO Wellness BeWell Employee Wellness website.

Penn State Health reinstates access to Google Docs Friday

On Friday, Jan. 22, Penn State Health will restore access to Google Docs on the Penn State Health network.

Google Docs is not approved for business use or to store sensitive information, such as protected health information or personally identifiable information.

If you need to collaborate with business partners or researchers outside of Penn State Health, the approved method for sharing files securely is KiteWorks.

In October 2020, due to an imminent and credible cyber threat targeting the health care sector, the Office of Cybersecurity and Privacy deployed preventative measures to safeguard Penn State Health and the College of Medicine. This included blocking access to Google Docs when connected to a Penn State Health network.

Employees can continue to help protect Penn State Health by:

  • Checking for the external email banner and being cautious of messages from an external source.
  • Not opening unexpected email attachments or clicking on unexpected links.
  • Reporting any suspicious emails using the Manage Unwanted button in Outlook or by emailing Cybersecurity.

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