Penn State College of Medicine
Alumni Update
Issue #10September 2012

Stories This Issue

Medical Education Update from

Dr. Eileen Moser  


Called to Serve the Underserved

Mentoring Lays the Foundation for a Life of Achievement


David Quillen, M.D., Named 2012 Penn State Alumni Fellow


Paying it Forward at the College of Medicine


Alumni Weekend 2012 Highlights


Welcome to
Penn State Hershey!

Medical Center, College of Medicine, and Penn State News



Grant to fund research into cancer-fighting technology


Penn State Hershey takes the lead in implementing new care model 



Share Your News

and Stay Connected 

Have you changed your email or mailing address recently? Did you get married, have a baby, or have you taken part in medical missions abroad? We want to hear from you, and so do your fellow alums! Send your updates to the
Alumni Relations Office 

Suggested Links



Contact Us

Alumni Relations Office by email or 717-531-7063 
Upcoming Events

Saturday, Sept. 29

2012 Chocolate Tour to Support Cancer Research -

Hershey, PA


Monday, Oct. 1
Surgery Alumni & Friends Reception - Chicago, IL

Thursday, Nov. 1
Getting Personal:
a New Era in
Medicine -
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov. 2
Getting Personal:
a New Era in
Medicine -
San Francisco, CA
Sunday, Nov. 4
AAMC Alumni & Friends Reception - San Francisco, CA 

Saturday, Nov. 10
Ophthalmology Alumni & Friends Reception -
Chicago, IL 

Saturday, Nov. 17 Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital 
Grand Opening 
Celebration - Hershey, PA 

Tuesday, Nov. 27
Radiology Alumni & Friends Reception - Chicago, IL

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 21-23
Winter Academy -
Naples, FL

For more information about the events, including locations and times, please email the Alumni Relations Office.
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Share The News  

Please pass along the Penn State College of Medicine Alumni Update to friends and encourage them to join the mailing list. Forward this email by using the link at the bottom of the page.
Thank You
Class Reunion 2012 Volunteers
The Alumni Office appreciates the efforts of the alumni volunteers who helped to ensure Alumni Weekend 2012 was a great success. Those involved include: 
Class of 1972
Jack Cahn, MD
Marianne Felice, MD 
Thomas Godfrey, MD 
Jane Petro, MD 
Tom Risser, MD 
Harris Stutman, MD 


Class of 1977 
James Caggiano, MD 
Robert Goldstein, MD 
John Messmer, MD 
Martin Scheinholtz, MD


Class of 1982 
Debbie Durisek, MD 
Wayne Geller, MD 
Fred Harchelroad, MD 
Robert Schnarrs, MD 


Class of 1987 
Eric Bour, MD 
Michael Cummings, MD 
Margaret Donahue, MD 
John Duda, MD 
Dave Hulbert, MD 
Alberto Laureano, MD 
Bernie Moglia, MD 
Sue Nuber, MD


Class of 1992
Anne Dall, MD

Elizabeth Lange, MD 
Andrea Murphy, MD
James Powell, MD


Class of 1997 
Todd Campbell, MD 
Suzanne Van Ness
   Caccamese, MD
Gail Hertz, MD 


Class of 2002 
Heather Davies, MD 
Robert Gallo, MD 
Matthew Silvis, MD 
Josh Tice, MD 


Class of 2007 
Garrick Baskerville, MD 
Adriana Quinones- 
   Garcia, MD 
Ninad Pendharkar, MD

Make a Gift



With the rising cost of a medical education, now more than ever scholarship support is a fundraising priority at Penn State College of Medicine. Please consider making a gift.

Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital
Medical Education Update


Eileen Moser MDThe start of a new academic year at the College of Medicine brings excitement, growth, and renewal. Our matriculating first-year medical students are ushered in by the poignant White Coat Ceremony, then trade their white coats for scrubs as they enter anatomy lab. Second-year students share their advice with wide-eyed first-years, while they themselves study reams of material in their organ system courses and clinical skills in their Foundations of Clinical Medicine course. Third-year students immerse themselves in patient care, as they attempt to discern a mitral from an aortic murmur or assist in a surgical procedure. Fourth-year students eagerly perform acting internships while planning their residencies and careers. Yet just as medical students grow and evolve into physicians, so too does the College of Medicine as it continues to refine and update the undergraduate medical education curriculum.


This year, the College of Medicine's undergraduate medical education curriculum is undergoing an expansive renewal process to prepare Penn State College of Medicine graduates to practice patient-centered medicine in the ever-changing health care landscape. Founding Dean George Harrell, M.D., shared his vision of graduating medical students equipped with "hearts and handbags." Even as health care continues to rapidly change in ways we cannot completely predict, Harrell's vision is as applicable today as it was forty years ago. These changes enhance the humanities and professionalism curriculum and prepare students to work in teams, better understand health care systems, and drive improved quality and safety. Longitudinal experiences with physician-mentors start early in medical school to support professional role formation. Increased integration of clinical sciences early in the curriculum and basic sciences in the later clinical years supports integrative thinking and medical decision-making. The curriculum encourages habits of lifelong learning and reflection that medical students then use throughout their careers.


As practicing physicians, our own growth and education is ongoing, and Penn State Hershey Continuing Education at the Medical Center strives to be a center of 'lifelong learning' available for all alumni. For example, in 2011 Penn State Hershey offered 214 continuing medical education (CME) activities to a total of more than 59,000 participants including 108 live CME events, eighty-seven grand rounds/case conferences/morbidity and mortality conferences, and nineteen online or printed article CME offerings. Penn State Hershey Continuing Education provides a variety of programs for physicians, nurses, and allied health personnel within the central Pennsylvania region and nationally. In July, the department was delighted to receive ACCME reaccreditation with commendation for six years-the highest level of accreditation achieved by only 20 percent of continuing education departments in the country.


The continuing education department includes Associate Dean of CME William Hennrikus, M.D., Director of Continuing Education Tracy Algier-Baker, and a creative and energetic team of conference planners, publication editors, grant managers, and registrar specialists. Upcoming CME conferences of interest to alumni include two coming up this fall both being held at the Hershey Country Club: Friday, October 5, 2012-"Heartbeats in Hershey", and Wednesday, October 17, 2012-"When healthcare and business intersect." Additional, online CME programs are also available. For more information, please contact the CME office at 717-531-6483, via email at, or visit the website at


Health care is always evolving. However, the constant among our community of alumni, faculty, students, and residents, is our shared willingness to grow, learn, and remain committed to providing the best evidence-based and compassionate patient-centered care possible. The College of Medicine is poised to meet future challenges in education. We hope to see you at some of our upcoming CME events. Thank you for remaining connected with our ongoing College of Medicine events.



Eileen M. Moser, M.D., M.H.P.E.

Interim Vice Dean for Educational Affairs

Associate Professor of Medicine

Called to Serve the Underserved


Willenbring photoKnown as Dr. Karen to her patients and Sister Karen elsewhere, Karen Willenbring, M.D., '98, has been clear about her life's purpose since graduating from college.


Accepted to medical school at the University of Minnesota, her home state university, Willenbring deferred for a year to volunteer with Young People Who Care, a mission-driven organization providing social services to rural poor in Appalachia.

She landed in central Pennsylvania, where she spent time painting houses, visiting elderly, handling errands for homebound individuals, and running children's programs. She loved it so much that she deferred medical school for a second year, then a third, thereby losing her spot.


During this time she discerned a calling to become a sister in community. After much prayer and reflection, she entered the Community of Anawimn in Frenchville, Pennsylvania.


MORE >>> 

Mentoring Lays the Foundation

for a Life of Achievement


Charney, Dennis

"Being a dean is like a big mentoring job," says Dennis S. Charney, M.D., '77, who-as the Anne and Joel Ahrenkranz Dean at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Mount Sinai Medical Center-has helped elevate Mount Sinai to become one of the top medical schools in the nation.


He adds, "I've always enjoyed helping other people do their best, and being a dean is all about doing that: providing a great environment to educate our students, for our physicians to provide extraordinary care, and for our scientists to conduct breakthrough science."

MORE >>>

David A. Quillen, M.D., '90g, '94 R,
named 2012 Penn State Alumni Fellow

Quillen, DavidDavid
A. Quillen, M
.D., '90g, '94 R, is director of Penn State Hershey Eye Center, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and holds the title of George and Barbara Blankenship Professor at Penn State College of Medicine. Quillen has been named a 2012 Penn State Alumni Association Alumni Fellow becoming the twenty-sixth graduate of the College of Medicine to earn the honor. The awards ceremony will be held at University Park on October 16.


Recognized as a leader in his profession, Quillen has focused his efforts on the growth of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine. Penn State Hershey Ophthalmology saw a revitalization when he was named chair in 2005, and his dedication to the next generation of doctors is clear as he is a driving force in medical education. Over the past two decades, Quillen has also served as ophthalmology residency program director at the College of Medicine and as chief of ophthalmology at the Lebanon VA Medical Center in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

MORE >>>

Paying it Forward

at the College of Medicine


Frederick Michel, M.D., '71, has always enjoyed a challenge. He chose to attend Penn State College of Medicine over other more established colleges because he could see the adventure in being educated at a brand new medical school. He quickly found this new medical school was a perfect choice. "Everything here was in development. There were no interns, no residents; so the medical students became acting interns and worked directly with the faculty." 


This opportunity to be closely connected to faculty members created a unique learning experience and strong bond with his mentors like Graham Jeffries, M.D., and Ed Hopton, M.D. These mentors helped guide him toward his interest in the diagnostic work of internal medicine. 


MORE >>>


Alumni Weekend 2012 Highlights


Alumni Weekend 2012If you joined us for Alumni Weekend 2012, you experienced firsthand the excitement of returning to where it all began. More than 250 alumni, guests, and friends were on-hand as the classes of 1972, 1977, 1982 (Crescent Society), 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, and 2007 marked their respective reunions. If you weren't able to join us, here are a few highlights of at what you missed:


Convocation kicked-off Friday evening's celebration with David A. Quillen, M.D., '90g, '94R, chair of the Penn State Hershey Department of Ophthalmology, and 2012 Penn State Alumni Fellow as the featured speaker. Following convocation, the evening's events continued with the scholarship reception and "Welcome Back" dinner where alumni had the opportunity to reconnect with one another, as well as meet scholarship recipients. In addition, Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Educator, and Director of the Program on Education in Human Structure, Ian Zagon, Ph.D., was awarded the 2012 Cheston M. Berlin, Jr., M.D. Service Award.

Saturday included the traditional mentoring breakfast with more than 100 alumni, faculty, and students attending, tours of Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, and the renovated emergency department, as well as the annual All-Alumni Picnic. The weekend was capped off with the individual class dinners.


Alumni Weekend 2013 is set for September 20-21, 2013. The classes of 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, and 2008 will celebrate reunions, however all alumni are encouraged to attend the two-day event. If you would like information on becoming involved in your upcoming reunion, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at 717-531-7063 or by email.


(Click here to view photos from Alumni Weekend 2012)


Welcome to Penn State Hershey!


The College of Medicine welcomed its newest medical and graduate students to campus this summer with two time-honored traditions: the White Coat Ceremony (held on August 3) and the Graduate Student Oath Ceremony (held August 24). These events symbolize the students' entrance into their new professions and emphasize the values of professionalism and integrity.  


The incoming classes include 144 medical students, thirty-two Ph.D. students, fourteen Master of Science students, and eleven M.P.H. students, from across the country and abroad.


For medical students, the White Coat Ceremony emphasizes humanism in medicine. It is a rite of passage where incoming students publicly affirm their commitment to provide skilled, compassionate care to their future patients, as they uphold the highest standards of ethics and professional responsibility.

(Click here to view ceremony photos and video)


During the Graduate Student Oath Ceremony, students pledge to uphold the values of integrity, professionalism, and scholarship in biomedical research. The goal of the Oath Ceremony is to ensure graduate students maintain a certain level of ideals, regardless of their background, degree, or graduate program.
(Click here to view ceremony photos)