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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
Life & Health - February 2013 |
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Mount Nittany Physician Group Heart Failure Clinic offers help and hope
Written by Leanne Czekaj, PA-C
Leanne Czekaj, PA-C, cardiology, Mount Nittany Physician Group

The diagnosis of heart failure can be devastating. Why did this happen? What does the future hold? Can I still live a full and active life? These and other questions are dealt with on a regular basis in the Mount Nittany Physician Group Heart Failure Clinic. What better time to bring attention to this program than during the month of February - American Heart Month?

First of all, what is heart failure? The word “failure” makes it sound as if the heart has quit working, but that is not so. Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood through to meet the body's needs for blood and oxygen. Basically, the heart can't keep up with its workload. It can involve the left or right side of the heart, or both. Common signs or symptoms of heart failure are shortness of breath, persistent cough, swelling of the lower legs or feet or abdomen, unexplained weight gain, or fatigue and weakness with the inability to do your normal activities. The primary diagnostic test is an echocardiogram or heart ultrasound.

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Mount Nittany Medical Center program emphasizes stroke symptom recognition in young and old

In light of recent findings that suggest that there has been an increase in stroke in the under age 55 population, it is imperative to be aware of stroke symptoms, and that they can occur in young as well as older people.
Anyone showing symptoms of a stroke should go to the emergency department immediately for care — “time is brain” – that’s the most important message, according to Jen Vance, RN, stroke coordinator at Mount Nittany Medical Center.
Act F.A.S.T. - Symptoms of stroke include:
Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, is she/he unable to speak, or is the person hard to understand? Ask the him/her to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time to call 911 If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, and get him/her to the hospital immediately.

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You're Invited: 2013 Pink Out event

Join us for a special pep rally in honor of the Pink Zone game, which will be held Sunday, February 24. Game day tickets and t-shirts will be available for sale. Pink Out Day attendees can also shine a light* in honor of themselves or a loved one during our pep rally for a $5 donation to the Pink Zone.

Mount Nittany Health Pink Out event
Mount Nittany Medical Center
Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Auditorium (near entrance D)
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Doors open at 11:30 am, pep rally starts at noon

*If you would like to participate, please contact or call 814.234.6773 by February 18.



Anticoagulation Clinic patient pleased with people and services

Bruce Rutter is a marketing professor at Penn State University, a position he has been able to retain thanks to Mount Nittany Medical Center’s Outpatient Anticoagulation Clinic.

“I haven’t had a blood clot in the past six years,” said Rutter. “Since I started going to the Anticoagulation Clinic, I haven’t had any difficulties. The clinic saved my life.”

Rutter had good health up until about twelve years ago when he experienced three blood clots within five years. His doctor thought the fluctuations in his INR levels, which assess the degree of clotting in blood, could be taken care of and monitored more efficiently at the Anticoagulation Clinic.

Rutter now visits the Anticoagulation Clinic at Mount Nittany Medical Center once every two or three weeks for appointments lasting about one half hour. While he has had many positive visits with instant results and no bloodletting, Rutter says the people are the highlight of his experiences.

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Free diabetes prevention and awareness series

Announcing the return of our popular two-part series held by Fit For Play Physical Therapy & Fitness Center, Mount Nittany Health, and Harrison's Wine Grill & Catering:

  • Part 1: Tuesday, March 12, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm - Free diabetes screening (non-fasting A1c will be drawn) and snacks; drop in any time between 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm to be screened
  • Part 2: Tuesday, March 19, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm - Refreshments, results and interpretation of your A1C screening; nutrition and fitness seminars; healthy cooking demo and tasting by Chef Harrison

Fit For Play Physical Therapy & Fitness Center
2160 Sandy Drive, Suite A
State College, PA

This event is FREE and open to the public. Pre-registration requested but not required. For more information, please call 814.861.8122.



American Red Cross extends invitation to all

The combined effects of winter weather and widespread colds and flu have increased the need for blood donations now more than ever. The American Red Cross invites everyone to donate blood at the upcoming blood drive at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

The drive will take place Monday, March 4 from 10:30 am - 4:30 pm in Conference Rooms 1, 2, and 3 on the ground floor of the Medical Center.

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



New Children and Families with Type 1 Diabetes support group

Mount Nittany Health will host a new support group as part of its mission to keep people healthier through health prevention, outreach and education. The new Children and Families with Type 1 Diabetes support group will provide education, information, and support for people who are living with or know someone living with type 1 diabetes. The support group is free and open to all - including family members and friends - who want to meet to share experiences and expertise in managing type 1 diabetes. The support group plans to meet every other month from 6:30 pm -7:30 pm in the Mount Nittany Medical Center main entrance waiting area. For more information contact Hayley Weyhe, RN, at 814.777.4664 or visit



Dawn Wincek joins Mount Nittany Physician Group’s Internal Medicine practice
Dawn Wincek, CRNP, internal medicine, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to announce the addition of Dawn Wincek, CRNP, to Mount Nittany Physician Group’s Internal Medicine practice at Green Tech Drive.

Wincek is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, where she received her master’s degree in health and human development as a nurse practitioner.

Previously a critical care clinical supervisor at Mount Nittany Medical Center, Wincek will provide primary care services at Mount Nittany Physician Group’s Green Tech Drive location at 2520 Green Tech Drive in State College.

To schedule an appointment, please call 814.278.4898, or visit for more information on the internal medicine services offered by Mount Nittany Physician Group.



Cold temperatures should keep us alert to dangers
Written by Rich A. Kelley, NREMT-P, EMS clinical supervisor, Mount Nittany Medical Center, and Lou Brungard, MBA, vice president, facilities and plant operations, Mount Nittany Medical Center

The deep, freezing temperatures as of late are putting smiles on the faces of avid ice fishermen. However, the temperatures are not enjoyed by all; and for some people with pre-existing medical conditions, they can be dangerous. 

Dress for the weather. Always layer so that you can adapt to environments. During extreme temperature events, remember that exposed skin can be compromised in minutes.

The body’s normal temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Every person’s body works hard to maintain that temperature. When the body temperature begins to fall, the body begins to shiver in an effort to produce more body heat. However, when the person’s body temperature falls faster than the body is able to produce body heat, hypothermia develops.

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

Tory Miksiewicz earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Penn State. A native of Allentown, Pa., Tory is the secretary for her medical student class of 2014. She is a member of the American Medical Society, American College of Physicians and the Pennsylvania Medical Society. She is also a representative to the student health insurance committee at Penn State, and worked at the Briarcrest Eating Disorders Clinic in Hershey this year. She is currently involved in a sleep medicine research study through the College of Medicine.

“I chose to come to the regional campus for the opportunity to work one-on-one with physicians on a daily basis,” said Tory. “As a Penn State graduate, State College is my second home, and I’ve enjoyed working with the community on a more intimate level.”



Share your opinion—the community health needs assessment needs you!

Because you live in this community, you have the inside track. You may know what some of the obstacles are that prevent your friends and neighbors from achieving good health.

Reasons could include transportation problems, or lack of insurance coverage, or even a lack of good solid information. Your opinion means a lot for the future of healthcare in Central PA. Mount Nittany Medical Center is currently conducting a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in part for Internal Revenue Service reporting purposes, but also to support Mount Nittany Health's strategic priority of localizing healthcare for our community - an essential part of our vision of becoming the most trusted healthcare provider in Central Pennsylvania.

An integral part of Mount Nittany Medical Center’s CHNA is a health needs survey, created to capture important information about needs and gaps and where they exist in our community.  Please take a few minutes to complete this important health needs survey and share it with anyone you know who lives in Central Pennsylvania. All responses are anonymous and the survey only takes a few minutes to complete.

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Children’s Advocacy Center to open in Bellefonte with Mount Nittany Health

The advisory board for the Children’s Advocacy Center announced that it's one step closer to its vision with a facility and the addition of trained medical staff to its multidisciplinary team.  

On Monday, January 28, the board for Mount Nittany Health and Mount Nittany Medical Center endorsed plans to use its facility on Medical Park Lane in Bellefonte for the Children’s Advocacy Center, as well as supporting the facility design and construction, and the training of its medical staff to provide treatment to children of abuse and/or neglect.

“I am very pleased with this step forward. It’s our responsibility as the region’s health leader to protect the most vulnerable and improve access to care. A regional child advocacy center will provide a safe, private place for children and a centralized resource to bring together the professionals involved in the process of helping the child. It’s simply the right thing to do for children,” said Steve Brown, FACHE, president and CEO, Mount Nittany Health.

The overall goal of the center is to provide a centralized location for all of the necessary services, including medical services. The current process requires multiple interviews of the child with different people at different locations. It also requires the child to travel to receive specialized medical care and exams.

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Table of contents
Upcoming Events

February 13, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Fertility Issues and Loss Support Group

February 14, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Diabetes Support Group

See All Events ›
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