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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
Life & Health - February 2012 |
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Family Medicine Seminar Series: A Warrior’s Invisible Battle Wounds
Staff Sgt. Megan Krause.

"I was having nightmares and flashbacks from Iraq, but I figured a nightmare here or there was normal. To get rid of the nightmares and flashbacks, I used alcohol - lots of alcohol," said Staff Sgt. Megan Krause. "But I didn't think drinking was wrong, since I was a college student at the time. I was drinking a bottle of wine in the evening just to get to sleep and used college as an excuse to hide my problems. I just wrote it off."

Krause, now 29, had left Iraq in July 2006 after serving as a medic for more than four years. The next month, she was a full-time student at Penn State University. As graduation neared two and a half years later, she experienced some personal issues - her father had lost his job, her brother and sister-in-law had deployed, and she was struggling to find a job associated with her degree. The pressure caused the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder to appear.

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Mount Nittany Medical Center Continues to Improve Door to Balloon Time and Patients Can Help
The catherization lab at Mount Nittany is located only 30 seconds away from the emergency department trauma area. This time-saver contributes significantly to the door to balloon time.

Door to balloon time (DTBT) is one of the principal reasons for NOT driving yourself to the hospital when experiencing chest pain, primarily because life-saving procedures or diagnostics can take place in the ambulance.

First responders in the ambulance can obtain vital information, such as the electrocardiogram results and patient history, which can then be transmitted to the hospital before arrival, allowing for activation of the heart alert team.

DTBT is the time it takes for a patient to arrive at the "door" of the emergency room until the doctors push a tube through an artery to the clot, inflate a tiny "balloon" to flatten it, and place a mesh prop called a stent to keep the artery open.

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Dr. Whitelock Joins Mount Nittany Physician Group’s Bellefonte Practice
Kerry Anne Whitelock, DO, Mount Nittany Physician Group: Bellefonte, internal medicine.

Mount Nittany Physician Group is pleased to announce the addition of internal medicine physician Kerry Anne Whitelock, DO, to its Bellefonte practice.

A graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, Dr. Whitelock completed her internship and residency at UPMC-Mercy. Dr. Whitelock, board-certified in internal medicine, previously worked as the academic internist and associate clerkship director of PinnacleHealth, Harrisburg, Pa.

As an internal medicine physician, Dr. Whitelock will provide primary medical care for adults, generally patients aged 18 years and older. She will manage patients' overall medical care by performing regular health maintenance examinations and health screening tests, as well as by treating common illnesses and chronic conditions.

Dr. Whitelock will provide services at Mount Nittany Physician Group's Bellefonte practice, which is located at 141 Medical Park Lane in Bellefonte. She is accepting new patients.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Whitelock, please call 814.355.7322, or visit for more information on the internal medicine services offered by Mount Nittany Physician Group.


Dr. Ko Joins Mount Nittany Physician Group’s Rheumatology Practice
Judy Ko, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group, rheumatology.

Mount Nittany Physician Group is pleased to announce the addition of rheumatologist Judy Ko, MD, to its staff.

Dr. Ko is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and has a Master's degree in public health from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She completed her residency at UMPC - Mercy and her fellowship at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Board-certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine, Dr. Ko previously practiced at LIFE Pittsburgh.

As a rheumatologist, Dr. Ko will provide patients with diagnosis and treatment of a variety of bone, joint and muscle diseases. Mount Nittany offers a range of rheumatology services, including joint injections, orthopedic devices and synovial fluid analysis.

Dr. Ko will provide services at Mount Nittany Physician Group's Park Avenue practice, which is located at 1850 East Park Avenue, Suite 201, in State College.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ko, please call 814.234.8800, or visit for more information on the rheumatology services at Mount Nittany.


Good News: Don’t Cast Aside Your Box of Chocolates this Valentine’s Day!
Written by Joeleen Stocker, MS, RD, LDN, Clinical Dietitian, Mount Nittany Medical Center

If your valentine gives you a box of chocolate this Valentine's Day, eat your heart out! Chocolate has been a recent topic of conversation because of emerging research investigating its health benefits.

At the conclusion of 2011, a PubMed search on cocoa, chocolate and health reveals over 300 published studies. Interestingly, about half of these studies have been published within the past five years. This recent research has provided the evidence for many independent reviews and meta-analyses that are now supporting that natural cocoa and chocolate may have beneficial effects for those at risk for cardiovascular disease.

The cocoa bean contains a nutrient called flavonoids. Flavoniods have an antioxidant effect and can protect against cell damage and environmental toxins.

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My Story of Survival
Written by Susan Holderman
Susan Holderman (in the white t-shirt) poses for a picture with the Penn State Women's Gymnastics team (in gray sweatshirts) plus Cheri Woll, RN, BSN, CCM, oncology nurse navigator, and Aileen Galley, ACSW, LSW, administrative director, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

On February 23rd, 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage I Invasive Breast Cancer. I have always been an active, fit person with no family history of this terrible illness. Yet, I wasn't surprised by my diagnosis. I knew the lump in my breast shouldn't be there. I immediately turned to my health care providers, and my gynecologist referred me to Mount Nittany Breast Care Center for diagnostic testing. Early detection saved my life.

After being diagnosed, I received surgical, reconstructive and ongoing oncological care at Penn State Hershey Medical & Breast Care Centers. I cannot speak enough about the exceptional care I received and the incredible way I was treated, as a person, not just another cancer patient, by the doctors, nurses and staff at both centers.

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You're Invited to Attend Mount Nittany Medical Center's Pink Out Day!

Mount Nittany Health System's partnership with Lady Lion Basketball is celebrated each year with a Pink Out Day prior to the big game. The auditorium at the Medical Center is turned into a giant pep rally, complete with Lady Lion Basketball players and coaches signing autographs and sponsoring fun give-a-ways. The date of this year's Pink Out Day is Thursday, February 23 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm in the Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Auditorium, Entrance D, in the rear of Mount Nittany Medical Center. Community members are welcome to attend.

The 2012 Lady Lions Pink Zone game will take place on Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 pm at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center. For more information, visit


How Late Is Too Late To Get a Flu Shot?
Written by Craig Collison, MD
Craig Collison, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group, pediatrics.

Every year is unique when it comes to influenza - both the strains that are circulating and the timing of its arrival in a geographic area vary tremendously year-to-year. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continually conduct studies to determine the amount of influenza in all areas of the country, and publish this information on a weekly basis. If you are interested in seeing the map documenting the spread of influenza, you can find it at

The flu shot vaccine for a particular year is typically available in late August or September. You can receive your flu shot once it is available until well into the flu season, which usually occurs between February and March in Central Pennsylvania. In looking at the most current map issued by the CDC, Pennsylvania is listed as "sporadic." This means that there has not been a consistent flu outbreak in the state but that a few cases have been reported.

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Outpatient Registration and Services to Open at New Main Entrance on February 9

Starting February 9, the outpatient lab and registration services will have access to convenient and patient-focused check in at the new Main Entrance. Emergency patients will enter through the ambulance entrance. All respiratory and neurology patients will continue to enter through Entrance C. All cancer center, radiation oncology and PET scan patients will continue to enter through Entrance E.

We apologize for any inconvenience these construction efforts may cause, but invite you to learn more about how we're expanding care with these capital improvement projects.


Sacchetti Salad

Enjoy making and eating this simple yet delicious recipe from the kitchen of Chef Gary Glenn, CEC, director of nutrition and culinary services, Mount Nittany Medical Center.


  • 16 each of sacchetti filled with spinach, parmesan and ricotta. (Substitute - cheese or spinach filled tortellini).
  • 1 head bibb lettuce, cut, wash and dry
  • 1 head of radicchio lettuce, cut, wash and dry
  • 1/2 cup of basil, wash, dry, chop
  • 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian parsley, wash, dry, chop
  • 4 Tbsp. roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • Black pepper and salt to taste

Gently boil sacchetti in water until pasta has reached a semi-soft bite (approx. 1 to 2 mins.). Rinse under slow running cold water until chilled. Refrigerate until needed. Using a blender or food processor, emulsify the fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, parsley and roasted bell pepper. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Pour over sacchetti and toss gently. Arrange cut bibb lettuce and radicchio on four serving dishes. Add four sacchetti to each dish and drizzle remaining basil vinaigrette over sacchetti and lettuce. Chill until served. Garnish with fresh basil sprig.

Download this recipe to print and add to your favorite recipes.


February Events

Diabetes Support Group
Thursday, Feb. 9

Mount Nittany offers a monthly Diabetes Support Group for people with diabetes and their loved ones. The group meets on the second Thursday of each month from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Mount Nittany Medical Center, Conference Rooms 1 and 2, Entrance E. Topics are guided by attendee needs and concerns, and the meetings often feature guest speakers. Friends and family members are encouraged to attend. For more information, email Amy Leffard at or call 814.231.7095.

Prenatal Discussion Night
Thursday, Feb. 9

We invite you to attend our monthly Prenatal Discussion Night at Mount Nittany Physician Group: Pediatrics, 3901 South Atherton Street, State College, where one of our pediatricians will tell you about office and hospital procedures and describe typical infant behavior in the first week of life. You'll also hear about the benefits of breast feeding from certified lactation consultant and pediatric physician assistant Teresa Timmerman, PA-C. You are encouraged to come with any questions or concerns you may have about your new baby. Please call 814.466.7921 to register.

Parent Support Group for Children with Eating Disorders
Tuesday, Feb. 14

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Mount Nittany Medical Center, Conference Room 3. The goal of the class is to gain more understanding of a child with an eating disorder and share the experiences as a parent. For more information, contact Kristie Kaufman, MD at 814.466.7921.

Parents-to-Be: The HEIR & Parents Hospital Tour for Expectant Parents
Thursday, Feb. 16

Expectant mothers and their coaches are invited. Includes an overview of Medical Center maternity services, birthing room tour, rooming-in program, sibling visitation, insurance and more. No registration needed. Program is held at 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm and also 7:45 pm - 8:45 pm. For more information, contact Dianne Barben at or 814.231.3132.

Learn About Hip or Knee Replacement at Mount Nittany
Thursday, Feb. 16

A free informational session on joint replacements called "A Joint Venture" is taught by Val Coakley, RN, orthopedic case manager at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Sessions cover how to prepare for surgery, what to expect before, during and after surgery, the role of providers in your recovery, equipment use and care planning.
Mount Nittany's orthopedic program is nationally ranked for its high standards of care and safety. Pre-registration is not required. Held in Conference Rooms 1, 2, or 3, Main Entrance, Mount Nittany Medical Center. For more information, contact Val Coakley at or 814.278.4810.

To see all of February's events, visit

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