News | Published November 3, 2009

Penn State Hershey Physicians Enhance Hospitalist Program at Mount Nittany Medical Center

Pictured (left to right): Hospitalists: Ben Steward, PA-C; Tom Covaleski, MD; and Folarin K Sogbetun, MBBS

Hospitalist services at Mount Nittany Medical Center recently expanded with the addition of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center physicians. Specialists in caring for inpatients, hospitalists work with the patients’ physician to provide high quality, comprehensive inpatient care. Thomas Covaleski, MD, recently named director of the program, is the first Penn State Hershey Medical Center physician to join the Mount Nittany Medical Center hospitalist program, which is made possible by the Master Affiliation agreement between Penn State University, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Mount Nittany Medical Center.

The service, expected to sign on several additional Penn State Hershey physicians, allows primary care physicians to refer patients requiring admission to the hospitalist, who will then work in partnership with the patient’s primary care physician to provide care until discharge. The service is not new to Mount Nittany Medical Center. Geisinger patients currently receive care from its hospitalists at Mount Nittany Medical Center. However, the addition of Penn State Hershey Medical Center physicians to Mount Nittany Medical Center’s hospitalist program will significantly expand care to a broader physician and patient base.

“Dr. Covaleski not only brings considerable experience to our team, but also the opportunity to continue to expand patient care services and join efforts with other physicians to provide top-quality healthcare to the community,” said Richard Wisniewski, CPA, president and chief executive officer of the Medical Center. “This is one more way that our partnership with Penn State is helping us to bring state-of-the-art healthcare to our community.”

"The new hospitalist partnership between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Mount Nittany Medical Center advances our shared goal of improving access to high-quality health care for people in the Centre region, including Penn State employees, retirees and students," said Harold L. Paz, MD, chief executive officer of Penn Hershey Medical Center, Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs and dean of Penn State College of Medicine.

Mount Nittany Medical Center, The Pennsylvania State University and Penn State Hershey Medical Center entered into the Master Affiliation Agreement in 2006. In addition to the hospitalist program, the teams developed the master campus plan to ensure that the existing 29-acre site could accommodate flexible expansion of Mount Nittany Medical Center over the next 50 years, and implemented a life-saving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) program, which has dramatically decreased treatment time for heart attack patients and provided care close to home.

Covaleski brings more than 15 years of internal medicine and emergency medicine experience from Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Centre Medical and Surgical Associates, Harrisburg Hospital, and Altoona Hospital, where he practiced as a hospitalist. Covaleski and his family are relocating to State College.