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Weekly updates: Week of July 20

Hershey offers Inspired Nursing Program virtually

Hershey Medical Center will present its Inspired Nursing Program virtually on Friday, Aug. 14, 8 to 10 a.m.

The free program is for any high school or 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, for people age 15 and older, highlights nursing’s diversity of roles and opportunities. Register by Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Upon registering, participants must submit the required paperwork in order to participate and receive the webinar information.

Penn State Health OnDemand — right care, right time, right place

Since its inception in August 2018, Penn State Health OnDemand has surpassed 67,000 patient enrollments and completed (numbers as of July 13):

  • 5,770 COVID-19 screenings
  • 2,922 urgent care visits
  • 30,794 scheduled virtual visits
    • Patient provider rating: 4.84 out of 5 stars
    • Patient technology rating: 4.73 out of 5 stars

OnDemand and telehealth are becoming key offerings in the continuum of patient care for Penn State Health, including scheduled virtual visits. Virtual visits offer Penn State Health patients an easy way to see their provider from the comfort of their home for certain appointment types and services.

If you are interested in learning more about OnDemand and telehealth email or call 833-PSH-DOCS.

Employee Engagement Pulse Survey 2020 launches Aug. 10

Penn State Health and College of Medicine employees will receive an email invitation on Monday, Aug. 10, from Press Ganey Associates to participate in the 2020 Employee Engagement Pulse Survey.

The email will contain a unique link to complete the survey anonymously. This “pulse check” survey is a shorter version of the 2019 survey, which provided crucial insights into our organization. The 2020 Pulse Survey encourages employees to share additional insights and lessons learned from this year so we can strengthen what we’re doing well and continue to make improvements where we need it.

For more information on the survey, visit mySolutions.

Class of 2020 joins virtual orientation

Penn State College of Medicine welcomed the incoming medical student class of 2020 during a virtual orientation July 15 to 17. The class consists of 152 new students, including 12 who will participate in the University Park Curriculum and seven who have joined the MD/PhD Physician Scientist Training Program.

The orientation began with welcome remarks from Dr. Kevin Black, interim dean, and Dr. Terry Wolpaw, vice dean for educational affairs, and included sessions on diversity, finances, curriculum and resources available to students. The incoming class received a welcome box consisting of helpful resources, a Penn State-themed mask and a Hershey’s Chocolate bar.

“We won’t go back to how things were before COVD-19 both in health care and in education,” Wolpaw said in her opening remarks. “You’re starting medical school in the new and present normal and will help shape the future.”

Read more about the incoming class.

Conversation game may reduce disparity in end-of-life care for African Americans

A Penn State College of Medicine research team found that playing a simple conversation game may encourage African Americans to make plans for their end-of-life care. Researchers say the game may be a useful tool in addressing the disparities in end-of-life care in African American communities.

Dr. Lauren Van Scoy, an associate professor of medicine, humanities and public health sciences said that after playing the game, 98% of participants engaged in some form of advanced care planning, including conversations about care preferences with family members and completing or updating advanced directives, where an individual outlines their preferences for end-of-life medical care.

Van Scoy says that the current COVID-19 crisis has amplified the need for individuals, especially African Americans who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, to engage in advance care planning.

“Before the pandemic, people were adamant about not talking about end-of-life care because they had beliefs that they would not get sick,” Van Scoy said. “COVID-19, a disease that continues to affect people of all ages and health conditions, has shed a light on the fact that everybody should think about their end-of-life wishes.”

Join the next Penn State Health town hall Aug. 18

Mark your calendar for the next Penn State Health town hall at noon, Tuesday, Aug. 18. Please feel free to share this:

Email questions to

Sanabria named February DAISY Award winner

Andrew Sanabria, a nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Hershey Medical Center, was selected as the February DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award winner. Due to COVID-19, the presentation of Andrew’s DAISY Award was delayed until June.

Andrew was nominated by the family of a patient who is nonverbal. The patient’s mother wrote: “Andrew was very attentive to my daughter’s needs. He was very interactive and explained everything he was about to do. He explained things in my language without making me feel less for not being educated.”

She continued: “I was leery of having a male nurse take care of my daughter, but Andrew exceeded my expectations…He is definitely a top-rated nurse, and I was so very thankful he was here for us.”

Read about the DAISY Award.

RedCap Survey for Hershey clinical staff ends July 27

On Monday, July 27, Hershey Medical Center will discontinue the RedCap Survey that staff completed via QR code or online while performing COVID-19 care. This system has become redundant in the context of Hershey’s screening process.

Staff should continue to self-monitor for symptoms through their unit screening process and on their own. If you have questions about your symptoms, please contact the Employee Health COVID Call Center, 717-531-4208. If you have questions about the discontinuation of the RedCap survey for COVID-19, contact Kimberly Pierre at

Wellness Wednesday: Helping kids cope with stress

Is your family feeling the stress of COVID-19? Learn to recognize when your children are stressed and how to create a safe and calming environment.

Encouraging daily downtime, proper nutrition, physical activity and sleep may be some easy ways to help children cope. Here are some  additional resources for how to support children at home. Visit the PRO Wellness BeWell Employee Wellness website for information on stress reduction, meditation, easy recipes and more.

Katzman to present on antimicrobial stewardship program July 29

Dr. Michael Katzman will present “Hershey Medical Center’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program” at the Clinical Documentation Improvement Lunch and Learn Wednesday, July 29, noon to 1 p.m. More details here.

  • Zoom: 92989172263
  • Phone: +1 929 205 6099 or +1 301 715 8592
  • Meeting ID: 929 8917 2263
  • Password: 171805

Read the full story.

Baron Award nominations open Aug. 3

Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine staff may submit nominations for the annual Steven and Sharon Baron Leadership Award from Monday, Aug. 3 through Friday, Aug. 21. The award recognizes a nonsupervisory employee, manager/supervisor and faculty member with Hershey Medical Center or College of Medicine for his or her ongoing commitment to improving care, culture and team performance.

Winners will be selected by a committee using the following criteria:

  • Professional achievement — making a lasting contribution that enhances or advances patient care, patient satisfaction, education, research or organizational effectiveness
  • Cooperation — creating a culture that promotes the development of others and allows all people to feel appreciated and included and to reach their full potential
  • Teamwork — transforming his or her group into a high-performing unit

Beginning Monday, Aug. 3, fill out the form on the Baron Award website to nominate a deserving co-worker, manager or faculty member.


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