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Hampden Medical Center continues buildout of leadership team

With the recruitment of three directors, Hampden Medical Center leadership has begun the process of building its operational team prior to its summer 2021 opening.

“We are actively recruiting for multiple positions and expect to post many more after the first of the year as the process moves into high gear,” said Aimee Hagerty, vice president and chief nursing officer. “Although 2021 is just around the corner, we are encouraged by the quality of candidates, both internally and externally, who are seeking new career opportunities within Penn State Health.”

On Sunday, Dec. 20, Jill Arnold will take on the role of director of Women’s and Children’s Services, overseeing operations and personnel within labor and delivery, triage, postpartum, antepartum and the nursery.

The same day, Krista Williamson will start as director of Inpatient Services, administering adult inpatient medical surgical nursing units, nursing float pool, house supervisors, daily bed management and patient flow and IV services.

On Monday, Jan. 4, Nicole Gautsch will take on the role of director of Emergency Services, overseeing the emergency department, observation unit and emergency department outreach.

All three join the hospital’s existing leadership team of Hagerty, Don McKenna, regional president of Hampden Medical Center and Holy Spirit Medical Center, Dr. Safa Farzin, vice president for medical affairs and staff development, and Dick Welsh, vice president of human resources for the West Shore region.

Each candidate has strong leadership characteristics that will be helpful as the new hospital’s operations take shape, Hagerty said.

“They all have the clinical experience and skills required. But, at the end of the day, they demonstrated through the interview process a strong ability to build the highly collaborative, team-oriented culture we want to create at Hampden Medical Center,” she said.

Arnold has been with Penn State Health for 19 years, the last six as nurse manager of the Penn State Health Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She successfully sustained operations while participating and leading several expansion teams in preparation for opening the new, 56-bed, Level IV NICU. She also holds several leadership positions within the Nursing Education and Professional Development Nurse Leader Orientation Program, including lead nurse manager and primary preceptor for the Children’s Hospital division and primary presenter for budget, finance and peer review courses. She also serves as the nurse manager representative for the Standardized Nursing Handoff Task Force and the Plan of Care Task Force.

For the last 20 years, Williamson has served Penn State Health, most recently as nurse manager of a 49-bed telemetry acute care unit where she partnered with the Department of Surgery to improve interprofessional collaboration, teamwork and relationships. Under her direction, the unit earned the Premier Recognition In the Specialty of Med-Surg (PRISM) Award presented by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses to units that sustain exceptional outcomes. She also serves as lead for the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Program for the Colorectal Service Line, acute care representative of the Adult Resuscitative Council, lead for the Collaborative Forum and co-lead for the acute care Patient Experience Taskforce.

A board-certified emergency nurse, Gautsch has served UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg Hospital since 2016 as unit director of its Emergency Department, where she has responsibility for140 staff members. She joined Pinnacle Health in 2009, taking on positions of increasing responsibility, such as nursing supervisor, clinical manager and interim unit director – a position she held while concurrently managing a second UPMC hospital’s Emergency Department. She also serves as an adjunct clinical instructor at Messiah University.

“Penn State Health is committed to fostering employee growth across the system, whether for long-term employees or those new to our health system,” said David Swift, Penn State Health’s senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “We are confident by offering a supportive environment where staff feel empowered to seek new challenges beyond their individual work units, we will reinforce our position as a preferred employer in the region and attract the area’s finest talent.”

Recruitment will continue with additional leadership appointments expected soon. For more information as additional positions are posted, visit

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