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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
Life & Health [December 2011] |
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Parents and Children with Special Health Care Needs Have Support Through Medical Home Approach
Gwynne Decker, RN, BSN, medical home patient care coordinator

"As a parent of a child with special needs, your plate can become very full. As your health care provider, we are here to help your family," says Gwynne Decker, RN, BSN, medical home patient care coordinator at Mount Nittany Physician Group, Pediatrics.

"It begins when a family walks through the door. We are a medical home," says Decker. A medical home is not a place, but rather an approach. It is a teamwork approach to health care between the family and the physician, and team of caregivers.

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Oncology Care Navigators Help Guide Cancer Patients Through Their Journey
Cheri Woll, RN, BS, CCM, oncology nurse navigator

In November, the Pennsylvania Patient Navigator Network held its inaugural symposium in State College. The event brought together navigators, program managers, care coordinators and other patient-navigation professionals from across the state.

"Navigation is a service to help reduce the barriers to timely and coordinated care, and to address health disparities," said Aileen Galley, ACSW, LSW, administrative director of the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute at Mount Nittany Medical Center. "Research has found that patients who use cancer care navigators during their diagnosis, treatment and survivorship can improve their outcomes, because they are receiving additional support and resources during a very challenging time."

Keynote speakers at the event addressed the role of navigators in oncology clinical trials and the importance of effective communication. Session topics included self-care, using social media, finding and implementing resources for patients, and developing strategies to overcome challenges in this line of work.

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Your Donation Can Help Local Children Stay Warm

"Last year, Coats for Kids gave 450 coats to local children who did not have the clothes necessary for staying warm in the winter," said Captain Charles Niedermyer of the Salvation Army. "Many community members do not realize the number of children in our community who go through winter without a coat or other essential items of warm clothing."

Coats for Kids, an initiative sponsored by 3WZ Radio,, Cable 4 News, Balfurd Cleaners and The Salvation Army to collect new or gently used coats, hats, gloves and scarves, was founded three years ago. To date, the organization has provided nearly 700 coats to children in need.

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"Insights Into Choices" Provided to Expectant Parents

Mount Nittany Medical Center HEIR & Parents Class, which began in the 1990's, provides prospective parents with a preparation guide that gives insights into choices they're facing, such as deciding on a baby name, a birth plan, and how to find a pediatrician.

"We are so happy when expectant parents give us the privilege of caring for them and their baby at Mount Nittany," said Diane Elliott, clinical educator. "To help ensure that our patients get pertinent pre-labor information, we developed the HEIR (Hospital Education, Information and Resources) & Parents class.

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Lactation Consultants are Available to Help New Moms

Breastfeeding provides the perfect nutrition for a baby, and provides many health benefits for both mother and baby. Mount Nittany Medical Center and Mount Nittany Physician Group, Pediatrics has a total of five lactation consultants who are skilled and qualified to educate new parents about this option.

Elizabeth Klinke, MD, pediatrics, became board certified in November, joining the following team of consultants:

  • Diane Elliot, MS, RN, C, clinical educator, PI & E
  • Wanda Mertick, RN, IBCLC, practice advancement specialist
  • Susan Chase, MS, RN, IBCLC, CD (DONA), ICCE
  • Teresa Timmerman, PAC, IBCLC

For more information, call Mount Nittany Physician Group - Pediatrics at 814.466.7921.


Moving Lab

Starting December 12, 2011, Mount Nittany Physician Group Laboratory Collection Services will operate out of Suite 302 at the Centre Medical Sciences Building, at 1850 E. Park Avenue.

By moving to this new location we will be able to offer our patients:

  • Additional staff for faster service
  • Improved wait times
  • Comfortable waiting areas
  • More privacy during check-in

This location will be drawing labs Monday - Friday from 7:30 am - 5:30 pm. For questions, call 814.234.7800.


Mount Nittany Welcomes New Dietitian with Geriatric Specialty
Kristy Koelle, RD, CSG, LDN, CDE, nutrition and culinary services

Kristy Koelle, RD, CSG, LDN, CDE, has joined Mount Nittany Health System in the nutrition and culinary services department.

Kristy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University. She completed her Dietetic Internship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and is a Board Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition. She became certified as a diabetes educator in November.


Mount Nittany Physician Group has New Location in Mifflin County
Mount Nittany Physician Group announces its newest location at 301 S. Logan Boulevard in Burnham. Mount Nittany Physician Group - Mifflin County brings urology and cardiology services to the area. To schedule a cardiology appointment, please call 814.689.3140. To schedule a urology appointment, please call 1.800.837.6062. For more information, visit

Diabetes Symposium Teleconferenced at Mount Nittany
Jan Ulbrecht, MD, endocrinologist, Mount Nittany Physician Group

"The United States is currently facing an epidemic. According to a study conducted by health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, Inc., more than half of Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by 2020," said Lynn Parker Klees, MA, RD, CDE, LDN of Penn State Hershey Diabetes and Obesity Institute, a speaker at its recent Diabetes Symposium.

The Diabetes Symposium was created to help health care professionals fight this widespread disease by providing them with the latest information on prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Nearly 300 health care professionals attended the 12th annual symposium on Saturday, November 19 through a teleconference. The symposium was held simultaneously at The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Pa., Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College, Pa. and at Penn State Great Valley Campus, Malvern, Pa. Lecturers from the three sites took turns presenting.

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A Holiday Gift for You

Don't miss out on these great holiday specials from Emily Peterson, MD, plastic surgeon, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.


Volunteer Can’t Stop Teaching Others
Dan Stern, volunteer, emergency department

Most people might consider retirement at age 77, but for Dan Stern, a resident of State College, retiring from teaching at nearby South Hills School of Business four years ago, meant he needed something new to do with his free time. He discovered that volunteering at Mount Nittany Medical Center's Emergency Department fit the bill.

"Dan is a superb trainer of new volunteers. He is always finding new ways to improve processes within the emergency department and passing them along to others," said Alice Clark, volunteer services coordinator.

Some of Stern's teaching methods are now used in conjunction with the emergency department's system of Volunteer Flip Cards - permanent cards that were developed to help people navigate their way through each day of volunteering.

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Bellefonte Area Middle School Girls Soccer Raise Money to Support Breast Cancer Awareness and Research
BAMS Girls Soccer team went undefeated this season 10 wins 0 Losses! Pictured left to right: Kailey Bone, Megan Bird, Elle McCartney (kneeling),Katelynn Walker, Sarah McClure, Taylor Lair, Emma Mills, Mara Tamminga, Kiara MacMath, Morgan Brooks, Emma Finley, Emma Bannach, Madisen Paige, Brietta Rutecki, Jessica Book, Courtney Crable, Coach Keith Lair, Coach Doug Bates. Front left to right: Molly Borowski, Jennah Krout, Sadie Woodring. On the ground left to right: Heather Hughes, Nicole Peggs.

The Bellefonte Area Middle School (BAMS) Girls Soccer Team held their annual fundraiser to help support Breast Cancer Awareness and Research during the month of October. BAMS Girls Soccer Team aligned their fundraising with the Pennsylvania State University Women's Soccer Team who had their Pink Game on October 14, 2011. BAMS Girls Soccer Team raised $432. They are pictured here wearing the t-shirts that they sold. The PSU Women's Soccer Team will donate the proceeds from their fundraiser to the Lady Lions Pink Zone to be held on February 26, 2012.



Have you checked us out on Facebook yet? Look for Mount Nittany at next time you log on to Facebook.

Our Facebook page is a great resource for news about Mount Nittany, fun health facts, and details about health and wellness events we're holding in the community.

Feel free to share your own Mount Nittany related posts on our wall, and encourage your friends and family to do the same!

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