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Penn State Health selects president for its new Hampden Medical Center

Penn State Health has appointed Don McKenna president of Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center, the 300,000-square-foot, acute care hospital in Cumberland County scheduled to open in 2021. He will begin on April 13.

In his new role, McKenna will onboard and oversee an initial workforce of approximately 650 full- and part-time clinical and support staff, with expectations that the workforce will grow to 1,000 within three years. He will also play a key role in hiring the chief nursing officer and other leadership positions for the Hampden Township facility. McKenna joins Dr. Safa Farzin, who was appointed vice president for medical affairs and staff development for Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center in December 2019.

“We are excited that Don will head up the executive team at our new medical center in Cumberland County,” said Alan Brechbill, executive vice president, hospital operations, Penn State Health. “His proven leadership and vision will be invaluable as Penn State Health creates a distinctive hospital program to meet the unique needs of the communities on the West Shore.”

McKenna previously was the president and chief executive officer of Jupiter Health in Florida, where he created a comprehensive stroke center with neuro-surgical and interventional services and developed an open-heart surgery program that included dedicated operative suites and a nursing unit. He also opened two new urgent care centers. McKenna managed more than $125 million in capital projects while with Jupiter Health.

Prior to leading Jupiter Health, McKenna served for 10 years as the president and chief executive officer of St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, Ga., where he acquired two additional hospitals to expand the health system’s presence throughout northeast Georgia. McKenna received his master’s in public administration and a bachelor of science in business administration/marketing from Long Island University.

“I am honored to help Penn State Health open this new community hospital, as a very real symbol of the system’s commitment to expanding access to West Shore area residents,” McKenna said. “Their promise to provide people greater access to high-quality, comprehensive, primary and specialty care services closer to their home inspires me, and I look forward to contributing to that mission.”

Hampden Medical Center will feature an open staffing model. Local independent physicians, faculty physicians from the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and faculty and community physicians from Penn State Health Medical Group locations in Silver Spring Township and Camp Hill will work together to ensure continuity of care and access close to home for residents of Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and York counties.

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