CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP is a partnership between Mount Nittany Health and Penn State Cancer Institute. CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP provides state-of-the-art, personalized care for outpatient hematology, medical oncology and infusion services. Our patients benefit from the combined resources and expertise of Mount Nittany Health, the community's trusted healthcare provider, and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the region's leading academic health center.

Located in the Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion, patients benefit from a variety of resources including patient-focused exam rooms, chemotherapy suites, the Lady Lion Basketball Cancer Resource Center, and more. To learn about the Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion, please click here.

Coronavirus Preparedness

We are committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of our community. Visit mountnittany.org/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information on this rapidly changing situation.

How can I protect myself from the virus?

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces often. Regular household wipes and sprays will kill the virus. Be sure to clean places that people touch frequently: door handles, phones, keyboards, and light switches.
  • Practice social distancing: avoid handshakes, hugging, and standing or sitting close to others. Stay home as you are able.
  • Be as healthy as you can. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and manage your stress.
  • If you are sick:
    • Call before going to your medical appointments. Let them know about recent travel or if you have had contact with a person with COVID-19.
  • See Mount Nittany Health’s website section: How to Protect Yourself

What should I do if I have cancer?

Some people with cancer might have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 or having a serious infection from it. Do your best to follow the steps listed on the Mount Nittany Health website section entitled: How to Protect Yourself. Ask your doctor or nurse if they have special recommendations based on your health or type of treatment.

Call your doctor right away if you have these symptoms:

  • You have a fever higher than 100.4 degrees F.
  • You feel short of breath.
  • You develop a cough, runny nose, or congestion.

What if I care for or live with a cancer patient?

If you are caring for or living with someone with cancer, do your best to keep them from getting the virus. Follow the steps to protect yourself listed on Mount Nittany Health’s website section entitled: How to Protect Yourself.

If you become sick yourself, call your doctor to see what more you should do to protect your loved one.

What about people visiting?

If the person who usually accompanies you is sick or has been exposed to COVID-19, do not have the individual accompany you to CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP. Please find someone who isn’t sick to join you for your appointments.

What is CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP doing to protect me from getting COVID-19?

  • We will ask questions about overall health and recent travel.
  • We may ask some patients to wait in a separate room or to reschedule until they are feeling better, if they have symptoms.
  • We provide “sanitation stations” at all entrances. These stations have tissues and hand sanitizer.
  • We have re-arranged our waiting areas to increase social distancing.
  • We are evaluating scheduled appointments and delaying those that can be rescheduled.

Will you still care for me if I get sick?

Yes. Your care is our top priority. Although we may change some ways we care for you, we will never put your care or health at risk.

Are we screening people before they enter the facility?

Beginning the week of March 23, all employees, providers, patients and others accessing Mount Nittany Health facilities will be screened before entering. This new screening process is another measure that Mount Nittany Health is taking to protect our patients, staff and community against the spread of COVID-19.

The screening process will include key questions based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Temperature checks will be available.

During the screening, the following questions will be asked.

In the last 14 days, have you:

  • Had a new onset cough or shortness of breath?
  • Been in contact with a patient who tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Traveled outside of the US?
  • Had a fever?

Screenings at Mount Nittany Medical Center
On Monday, March 23, screening will begin for individuals accessing the Medical Center through the main entrance. Screenings will take place on Hospital Drive for people accessing the main entrance.

Beginning Tuesday, March 24, all employees, patients, providers, and others will be screened before being permitted to enter any entrance of the Medical Center. All vehicles, except emergency vehicles and patients traveling to the emergency department (ED), will be stopped for a screening, then directed to turn to the right to access any entrance of the Medical Center, including: the main entrance, auditorium entrance, Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion, entrance C, the Shared Services Building, loading dock entrance, parking garage and the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation entrance. All traffic will be one-way to access any entrance of the facility, except the ED. The ED will screen Emergency Medical Service personnel and ED patients at the ambulance and ED entrances.

Screenings at all Mount Nittany Health facilities, including Mount Nittany Physician Group
On Wednesday, March 25, screenings will be extended to all employees, providers, patients and others accessing any Mount Nittany Health facility, including all Physician Group and outpatient locations, and Bellefonte Corporate Services. Screenings will take place at the entrances to these locations.

Our team will work as quickly as possible to safely and effectively complete the screenings; however, patients and visitors should prepare accordingly and allow extra time for this process.

Cancer Services

Malignant Tumors

Malignant solid tumors may require chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. A person may receive only one treatment or have a combination of the three. Malignant solid tumors are a group of cells that form a solid abnormal mass, which usually does not contain liquid in ways that a cyst would. This mass can invade into adjacent structures and has the ability to spread to other areas of the body.

Examples of malignant solid tumors include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Colon cancer

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a class of drugs used to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is used for several purposes. Chemotherapy may be given before surgery or radiation to shrink the tumor so that other therapies will be more successful. It may also decrease the need for a larger surgery or radiation field.

Chemotherapy can also be used to control the growth of a tumor to decrease pain and relieve other symptoms the cancer may be causing.

Sometimes chemotherapy is used after surgery to ensure there are no microscopic cancer cells left. This helps to prevent the reoccurrence of cancer.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a class of drugs that help a person’s immune system assist in fighting cancer. These are substances that trigger the immune system to release chemicals that will attack the tumors. They could also come in the form of a vaccine. The vaccine works by causing the body to recognize cancer cells. The body notes that it is a foreign substance and attacks the tumor.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapies were developed to attack cancer cells while causing little-to-no side effects on healthy cells. These agents target specific functions in the cell by going after specific pathways in or on the cell. Often, the pathways in cancer cells are different or absent in normal cells. Therefore, these agents will not affect the normal cells. These therapies are able to pass into the cell via the pathways and disrupt the ability of the cancer cell to function properly, causing it to die.


Pediatric Services

Pediatric Oncology

Pediatric oncology services includes the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of pediatric hematology disorders. We assist in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood and adolescent malignancies and cancers. We also evaluate children and adolescents with lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, petechiae or bruising, and persistent, unexplained fevers.

We also follow patients in a long-term survivor’s clinic after the cancer treatment has been completed.

Pediatric oncology patients treated at the CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP clinic are eligible for support through the Four Diamonds Fund.


Other Services

Hematology Services

Hematology services include both benign and malignant hematology services.

Benign Hematology

Benign hematology disorders are not cancers of the blood. These disorders can affect the white blood cells that help fight infections, the red blood cells that transport oxygen, and the blood platelets that help your blood clot. Some of these disorders may require therapy, but others may only need observation over time.

Some hematology disorders may resolve completely with therapy and do not cause symptoms or affect life span.

Other hematology disorders are chronic and lifelong but do not affect life expectancy. Examples include:

  • Anemia due to vitamin deficiencies
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Thalassemia (mild)
  • Hemophilia (mild)
  • Von Willebrand disease
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) (mild)
  • Hypercoagulable states
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
  • Leukopenia
  • Leukocytosis

More serious hematological disorders that can affect life expectancy include:

  • Sickle cell
  • Hemophilia (severe)
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Bleeding disorders

Malignant Hematology

Malignant hematology refers to cancers of the blood and/or bone marrow. When cancer is present, bone marrow can become damaged or displaced by malignancies. This can lead to decreased production of blood, which can cause thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet counts), anemia (low red blood cell count) and leukopenia (low white blood cell count). These are sometimes referred to as liquid tumors. The majority of these malignancies will require treatment, but a few may be managed with medical observation.

Examples of hematological malignancies include:

  • Leukemia (acute and chronic)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Lymphomas
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms (myelofibrosis)

Infusion Services

We offer infusion services for non-cancer treatments. Diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and others may require medications that are infused directly into a vein. Please contact us about these available services.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is a type of specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support.

This type of care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a serious illness. Palliative care is often provided alongside curative treatment. It focuses on symptoms, such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and depression, among others. Palliative care also helps the patient gain the strength to carry on with daily life, and it improves the patient’s ability to tolerate medical treatments. 

In addition, palliative care can help provide more control over any care by improving the understanding of ongoing therapy.


Meet Our Team


"When many of my patients walk through the door here their minds are full of fear and worry, but my job is to help them leave with optimism, and hope and, most importantly, a plan for a cure.” - Sean O'Donnell, MD

"I truly feel like this is where I'm supposed to be. So, I love my job.” - Lynn Whittaker, CRNP, AOCNP