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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
Life & Health - December 2012 |
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Mount Nittany Health increases its capacity as a teaching institution
Students from State College Area High School's critical observation class in the health professions program visit sterile processing. Left to right: Lisa "Buffy" Bickle, students Meghan Graham, Gina Torretti and Tony Park

Mount Nittany Health has an educational tradition which is being exemplified more and more each year with more than 255 students serving in clinical experiences and internship posts this fall. Many students are from the local community, including 201 Pennsylvania State University nursing students and 10 State College High School students in the clinical observation class offered through the health professions program. This year also marks the first year for 13 residential full-time medical students who are in their third year at Penn State College of Medicine.

Carol Kennedy, MS, BSN, RN, clinical educator at Mount Nittany Medical Center, has her work cut out for her. It is her job to match students with the right experiences and settings. "Our role in the community is to help future professionals," says Kennedy. Besides the Penn State nursing students, there are students who come from Lock Haven University, Clearfield Campus; Pennsylvania College of Technology; and Central PA Institute of Science and Technology, to name a few.

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Research provides effective tools for bringing "mom" back to baseline and back to her life
The poster presentation, "Integrating language processes in a multi-site study with different electronic health records."

Let's say your 80 year-old mother, who lives in an assisted living home, has been admitted to a hospital due to an infection. She has been pretty successful in her living arrangement so far, even though she has dementia. Caretakers have been able to help her with any problems. But, now you are worried because mom has been acting really different ever since she came to the hospital.

She is suddenly agitated. Although she had been showing signs of dementia for several years, especially with her limited short-term memory, she is now very, very confused. Some days she thinks she is back home on the farm of her youth! You wonder if mom will be able to go back to the assisted living home when she is discharged.

The above scenario is actually fairly common. The condition that "mom" is experiencing in the hospital is "delirium superimposed on dementia." Delirium occurs in 40 percent of hospitalized older adults with dementia.

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Centre Region Partners for Health Summit

Where are the gaps? Who needs food, clothing, and shelter? How do we provide healthcare to all? These and other questions will be discussed at the first health summit sponsored by the Centre County Partnership for Community Heath (CCPCH) in collaboration with Mount Nittany Health on January 14 at the Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Auditorium, Mount Nittany Medical Center.

The CCPCH was formed in 1999 to help local residents obtain quality healthcare. In 2001, the CCPCH was recognized by both the Department of Health and State Health Improvement Plan to address local priorities. Since then, its focus has been to help residents in the Centre county region experience healthier lifestyles.

That mission coincides with the mission of Mount Nittany Health - to make people healthier. The partnership with CCPCH allows Mount Nittany Health to accomplish an important task - rally support and collect the data for the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) which must be completed by June, 2013 and reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

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Anthony Cardell, MD, named executive director and chief medical officer of Mount Nittany Physician Group
Anthony Cardell, MD, executive director and chief medical officer, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Anthony Cardell, MD, to the position of executive director and chief medical officer for Mount Nittany Physician Group.

Dr. Cardell is a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his residency at Temple University Hospital and his fellowship at Hershey Medical Center in cardiology, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine - Cardiovascular Disease.

A cardiologist with Mount Nittany Physician Group, Dr. Cardell has served as medical director of the Physician Group since its inception. He has been an integral part of the management structure, as well as the medical staff as a whole.

"With years of clinical and administrative experience and expertise, Dr. Cardell brings to his new role a limitless passion and commitment to the growth and success of Mount Nittany Physician Group, and we are simply delighted to welcome Tony to the management team," said Steve Brown, FACHE, president and CEO of Mount Nittany Health.

Mount Nittany Physician Group currently employs approximately 65 physicians who provide a variety of primary and specialty care services at a growing number of offices throughout Central Pennsylvania. For more information, visit

Great grandma's inspiration brings donation to the Medical Center
Eileen Leibowitz, co-chair for the campaign for emergency medicine for Mount Nittany Medical Center, and her grandson, Alex Marshall

Ten-year-old Alex Marshall sold hand-made bracelets and key chains at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts last summer. He made $400 and he knew exactly what he wanted to do with a portion of the money - donate it to Mount Nittany Medical Center.

"My mom suggested I have a booth, and when we talked about what to do with the money I earned, we decided to donate part of it," said Marshall. "I chose the hospital because I knew my great-grandmother was involved there."

The fourth grader at Park Forest Elementary made approximately 80 multi-colored paracord bracelets and key chains that he sold during Children and Youth Day, which kicks off the festival held in State College each July. Paracord is highly elastic and can withstand immense weight, making it perfect for hiking and camping. Its common use in the wilderness inspired the name of Marshall's booth: "Survival in Style."

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Mount Nittany Medical Center registered dietitian receives “exclusive training”
Michele Rager, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC

Michele Rager, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC, works primarily in the ICU, with a focus on nutrition support. Nutrition support refers to enteral (tube feeding) and parenteral (IV feeding) nutrition. Recently, she became one of only ten other Registered Dietitians (RDs) across the United States who completed the Nestle Nutrition Institute's Advanced Enteral Nutrition Program.

"I really appreciated the dynamic presentations that the instructors provided and the opportunity to receive individualized feedback on how to improve my practice. It was a great opportunity to be able work closely with two renowned nutrition support physicians," said Rager.

The Advanced Enteral Nutrition Program is an exclusive educational opportunity for RDs hosted by Nestle Nutrition Institute, which is a continuing professional education (CPE) accredited provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The goal of the program is to give dietitians the opportunity to learn how to communicate effectively with a healthcare team and to build leadership skills that can then be used to advance and improve patient care and outcomes. The unique program provides a small and interactive educational experience that is designed to promote learning and enthusiasm for enteral nutrition while providing beneficial experience.

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Save a life this holiday season

This holiday season, give something that means something: the gift of life. You can save up to three lives by donating blood.

Sign up for the American Red Cross blood drive at Mount Nittany Medical Center. The drive will take place Friday, December 28, from 10:30 am - 4:30 pm in Conference Rooms 1, 2, and 3 on the ground floor.

Pizza Mia provides free pizza and all presenting donors will receieve a special holiday-themed white long-sleeve t-shirt (while supplies last).

To make an appointment, please call 1.800.Red.Cross. You can also visit and click "make a blood donation appointment."

Holiday specials at Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery

Make the entire holiday season special by treating yourself to a new look and be seen at your best with friends, family, and co-workers. Emily Peterson, MD, performs many cosmetic enhancements while placing her patient's needs and desires first.

Come in now for these holiday specials:

Free $50 gift certificate
Book your non-surgical treatment with Dr. Peterson for December and get a $50 gift certificate to use January 2 - February 28, 2013.*

Use the gift certificate on any non-surgical treatment, including Botox®, Juvederm®, and Sculptra®, aesthetic services with Camille Brown, or any of our high-quality skincare or cosmetic products.

50% off Dysport® in December
Dr. Peterson is offering 50% off Dysport injectable treatments for treatments completed in the month of December only.*

Dysport is designed to provide relief from moderate to deep frown lines on your forehead - primarily between the eyebrows.

For more information about these specials or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Peterson, call 814.231.7878.

Dr. Peterson and Krystan Shimmel, PA-C, appeared on WTAJ-TV 10's Central PA LIVE Life & Health segment and talked about Juvederm, a non-surgical approach to facial treatment. Click here to view the video segment.

*Limit one gift certificate per guest.
*Treatment must be complete by December 24, 2012 to receive discount. Cannot be combined with any other discount or special.

Laura Minteer named director of human resources for Mount Nittany Physician Group
Laura Minteer, MHRM, PHR, director of human resource, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to announce the addition of Laura Minteer, MHRM, PHR, to its staff as director of human resources for Mount Nittany Physician Group.

Minteer received her bachelor of science in business administration, majoring in human resource management, from Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa. and received her master's in human resource management from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa.

A native of the Harrisburg area, Minteer previously led the human resources function for Coventry Health Care's Northeast region, including two health plans across three states with a total of seven offices, and most recently served as director of human resources for a non-profit hospice organization with seven locations throughout the North Florida region.

Mount Nittany Physician Group currently employs approximately 65 physicians who provide a variety of primary and specialty care services at a growing number of offices throughout Central Pennsylvania. For more information, visit

How can people with diabetes eat healthy during the holidays?
Written by Heather Harpster, MS, RD, LDN, CDE
Heather Harpster, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, Mount Nittany Health Diabetes Network

As the holiday season rolls around, freshly baked treats, office parties and big meals make this a challenging time to stay on track with healthy eating goals. Research shows that most adults gain some weight over the holidays. To make matters worse, most of us don't drop that extra weight before the next holiday season.

The key to eating healthy over the six-week interval between Thanksgiving and New Years is balance and moderation. The following are a few small steps you can take to choose healthy foods and avoid overeating.

  • Always plan ahead - Don't go to a party hungry. Although you may be tempted to skip breakfast or lunch so you can splurge on dessert later, skipping meals may cause you to consume more calories than you would if you had eaten something beforehand. Before you head out the door, plan to eat a healthy snack such as a small handful of nuts, a small apple with peanut butter or cucumber slices with hummus. When you arrive at the party, check out all the food options available and develop a plan. This will enable you to sample foods you enjoy without abandoning the good habits you have formed. You can also offer to bring a healthy dish to share. Not only will the host greatly appreciate the help, but you will know that you have at least one healthy item to choose from.
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Meatless Mondays at Mount Nittany Health provides interest and options

What do hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, the city of Los Angeles, an Ironman triathlete and Wes Chicko have in common? They participate and advocate Meatless Mondays.

Wes Chicko is a training/quality assurance supervisor in the patient access department at Mount Nittany Medical Center and also someone who appreciates the growing variety of meatless options available at his place of employment. Chicko chooses to eat plant-strong and is interested in a plant perfect or vegan diet.

Plant-strong refers to a diet that consists mostly of fruits and vegetables. A plant-perfect diet consists only of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. "I became interested in the health benefits of the (plant-perfect) vegan lifestyle after I read The China Study and also saw the film, Forks Over Knives," said Chicko. His living inspiration is Brendan Brazier.

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Annual Pink Zone game returns to beat breast cancer

On Sunday, February 24, 2013 the 7th annual Pink Zone basketball game will take place when the Penn State Lady Lions welcome Michigan to the Bryce Jordan Center at 1:00pm.

"This game is a true reflection of the support in our community for those who have faced breast cancer," said Aileen Galley, ACSW, LSW, administrative director, cancer program.

Each year, the game marks the culmination of yearlong fundraising efforts for the Pennsylvania Pink Zone, a non-profit organization that supports breast cancer research, treatment and education.

Anyone who has had a breast cancer diagnosis may attend the game for free and may also bring three guests. Everyone who attends is encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness.

"The players all wear pink jerseys, which get auctioned off after the game, and there is an amazing halftime celebration. After the game, breast cancer survivors and their guests are invited to meet the Lady Lions at a post-game reception," says Galley. "Our new Pink Zone executive director, Miriam Powell, and Lady Lion basketball head coach, Coquese Washington, and her team have done just a phenomenal job of making the day a true celebration."

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Penn State Hershey medical student profile - Jason Gillon
Written by Lauren Lubus, MHA, strategic services specialist, Penn State Hershey Medical Group - State College
Jason Gillon

Jason Gillon is from Upper Darby, Pa., and earned undergraduate degrees in pre-medicine and international studies in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. During college, Jason did a study abroad program at University of Cape Town in Rondebosch, South Africa. Jason has been a clinic coordinator at Lion Care in Harrisburg for the last year and is currently involved in a number of research initiatives, including studies about glaucoma, pediatric ophthalmology and dermatology. Jason was also a recent star in Penn State Hershey's regional campus video.

Internationally known author speaks to a packed house at Mount Nittany Medical Center on World Diabetes Day
Barbara Rolls signs her book, The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet, at the Live Well event on World Diabetes Day, held at Mount Nittany Medical Center on Nov. 14.

Internationally known author and diet expert Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, brought her science-based weight management program - Volumetrics, to a full house at Mount Nittany Medical Center November 14 - World Diabetes Day - as part of the health system's educational outreach aimed at prevention and management of one of the country's fastest growing diseases.

Professor of Nutritional Sciences and the Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University, Rolls described in detail the features of her program designed to keep people full, and satisfied on less calories.

Dr. Rolls has literally written the book on Volumetrics along with over 250 scientific articles and six books total on the subject. Her work focuses on calorie density - the calories per bite or per any given portion of food. Her findings? If you lower the calorie density without changing the palatability of the recipes, people will "eat less," without really eating less.

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Table of contents
Upcoming Events

December 12, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Fertility Issues and Loss Support Group

December 13, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Diabetes Support Group

See All Events ›
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