Foundation Updates | Published June 18, 2009

Joe & Sue Paterno Pledge $1 Million to The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center for Commitment to Distinction Campaign

Joe and Sue Paterno announced a $1 million pledge before more than 200 guests gathered at Mount Nittany Medical Center today to watch the final steel beam hoisted atop the Medical Center’s east wing. Their gift is part of the most ambitious fundraising effort in the Medical Center’s history—Commitment to Distinction: The Campaign for Mount Nittany Medical Center The Paternos’ announcement came just minutes after they signed the steel beam, along with the other guests gathered, and before it was placed at the top of the multi-million dollar east wing expansion during what the Medical Center dubbed its “Sky Breaking” ceremony.

As residents of State College for more than 50 years, Joe and Sue Paterno have been long-time supporters of the Medical Center. Most recently and in addition to serving as co-chairs for the campaign, Joe and Sue Paterno were also heavily involved in the employee giving campaign, matching donations made by employees.

“This gift demonstrates our continued pride in this community and gratitude for the profound expertise and care of our physicians, Jon Dranov and Wayne Sebastianelli," said Joe Paterno. “We see great things for this community and its future growth, and we are excited to be part of assuring continued excellence in our local healthcare now and for generations to come.”

A kickoff announced the Commitment to Distinction campaign goal last June. Significant gifts had already been committed by generous members of the community in support of a vital facilities expansion aimed at improving the patient experience at the Medical Center.

The cornerstone of the expansion will be the three-floor, 42,000 square foot build-up of the existing East Wing. Projected to open in 2010, the addition of two in-patient floors and one intensive care floor will offer single-patient rooms and increase intensive care capacity.

With an eye on patient safety and satisfaction, the Medical Center expects to construct all new rooms as single-patient rooms. This shift to private rooms follows a national movement toward providing patients with more privacy and space, with added benefits such as greater productivity of staff and improved quality of care.

Model single-patient rooms were built at an off-site location to help to guide the final design process. Healthcare staff and physicians then toured the models to provide feedback to ensure the best ergonomics and ease of patient care.

Commitment to Distinction is led by The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center under the direction of the Board of The Foundation and its Steering Committee. For more information on The Campaign or how to give, call 814.234.6777, e-mail or visit

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Located in State College, Pa., Mount Nittany Medical Center is a not-for-profit, community-owned, 207-bed acute care facility leading the region in medical, surgical, outpatient, diagnostic and cancer care services. The Medical Center employs about 1,300 skilled healthcare professionals and support staff, and has more than 240 credentialed, independently-employed physicians in 43 specialties and subspecialties. Committed to moving Life Forward, Mount Nittany Medical Center is dedicated to the health and wellness of the community we serve. For more information, visit