Penn State College of Medicine
Alumni Update
Issue #11January 2013

Stories This Issue

A Message from

Dean Harold Paz


New Children's Hospital: Long-Held Dream Becomes a Reality

Pioneering Hematologist Elaine Eyster, M.D.,
Proud Member of Penn State Hershey Family

Graduate Alumni Weekend: Mark your Calendars


Calling all College of Medicine Alumni


Alumni Weekend 2013

Medical Center, College of Medicine, and Penn State News

College of Medicine Appoints New Vice Dean 


Remembering Lois Forney 


Children's Hospital Dedication Photo Gallery 


Penn State Hershey Captures 2nd Place in National Video Competition 


Penn State Hershey Faculty Member Awarded Fulbright Grant 


Individual Gene Differences Can be Tested in Zebrafish  


Keil Honored by AAMC 


Paz Elected to AAHC Board Leadership Role 


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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


Make a Gift 


Contact Us

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

Wednesday, Jan. 16
Penn State Hershey Institute for Personalized Medicine Dedication -
Hershey, PA

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 21-23

Winter Academy -
Naples, FL

March 1-2

Graduate Student Research
Forum and Graduate Alumni Weekend
Hershey Medical Center -
Hershey, PA

Friday, March 15

Match Day
Hershey Country Club -
Hershey, PA
Friday, March, 22 Orthopaedic Surgery Alumni
& Friends Reception -
Chicago, IL

Sept. 20-21

COM Alumni Weekend
Hershey Medical Center -
Hershey, PA

For more information about the events, including locations please email the Alumni Relations Office.
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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.

PSHCH Building
A Message from the Dean
Dr. Paz June 2011This November, our campus in Hershey marked the beginning of a new era in pediatric medicine as we celebrated the dedication of the new, freestanding Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. The new facility, designed around the principles of family-centered care, provides a state-of-the-art environment in which our physicians and staff can care for seriously ill children and their families. It also provides an ideal setting in which our faculty can train future generations of clinicians.

More details on what the new building has to offer are included in this edition of your alumni e-newsletter. While the article and images will give you an appreciation for our new Children's Hospital, I hope that many of you will have the opportunity to see the new facility, with its many innovative features, first-hand.


The new Children's Hospital building is complete, but we have only just begun our efforts to transform the future of medicine and health care. As we look to the future, our focus is on the transformational potential of research: in particular, on translating research discovery into advances in patient care and public health. Private philanthropy, including the invaluable support we receive from our dedicated alumni, will play a vital role in supporting innovative biomedical research and enabling our students and faculty alike to expand the frontiers of medicine.


Through the innovative collaborations fostered by the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, as well as research conducted under the auspices of our Penn State Hershey Institute for Personalized Medicine, we are finding ways to accelerate the pace at which research discoveries are translated into clinical applications. And it's not just our faculty who are engaged in this effort; as you'll see in the article on our upcoming Graduate Research Forum, our graduate students are conducting research into many exciting areas of biomedical science. Together with their faculty mentors, they are poised to unlock the secrets to a healthier future.


I hope that this issue of the e-newsletter reaffirms your confidence in how Penn State College of Medicine is shaping the future of medicine. As always, thank you for all that you do, as alumni, to represent Penn State College of Medicine in your profession and in the communities where you live and work.


For the future,


Harold L. Paz, M.D., M.S.

Chief Executive Officer, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and

Health System

Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Penn State

Dean, Penn State College of Medicine


New Children's Hospital:
Long-Held Dream Becomes a Reality

This month's opening of the new, state-of-the-art $207 million Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital represents the realization of a long-held dream. "We talked about having a children's hospital from the very beginning," recalls Cheston Berlin, Jr., M.D., a professor of both pediatrics and pharmacology who was just the second pediatrician recruited by the Department of Pediatrics before Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center opened in 1971.

Constructing a free-standing children's hospital sometime in the future seemed logical. "Most of us who are active in pediatrics in a medical center-teaching and research environment received our training in a children's hospital," explains Berlin, who came to Hershey in 1971. "In fact, during the first three years one of our first faculty members, Frederic Garner, M.D., drew up plans for a three-story circular children's hospital that would have been situated just off the original hospital building."

For decades, however, concerns existed about both the need for a stand-alone children's facility and how to finance it. Says Berlin: "The question was always, 'Do we have enough patients, enough activity, and enough faculty to justify having a free-standing hospital?' Over the years it has become clear that the answer to all those questions is 'Yes'."

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Pioneering Hematologist
Elaine Eyster, M.D., Proud Member of Penn State Hershey Family

Elaine Eyster When M. Elaine Eyster, M.D., F.A.C.P., arrived at Penn State College of Medicine in 1970, she was the first female clinical faculty member. Three years later, the renowned and beloved hematologist became Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center's first female division chief when she was appointed head of the Division of Hematology.

But by then, being a female trailblazer was nothing new for Eyster, whose subsequent pioneering biomedical research on hemophilia, HIV and AIDS, and hepatitis C was instrumental in helping to establish Penn State College of Medicine's strong national reputation. After earning her A.B. in chemistry from Duke University in 1956, the winner of the 2011 Duke Medical Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumna Award was just one of three women in her 1960 Duke University School of Medicine graduating class. It was more of the same at what is now the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, where she was the only female out of a dozen residents in her internal medicine residency class.

"I guess you could say I've always been outnumbered," says the Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Pathology. "I guess I learned how not to be intimidated very early. Being a minority helped me to build the self-confidence that I needed to succeed in academia. But my colleagues were always very good to me and gave me a lot of support."

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Graduate Alumni Weekend:
Mark your Calendars

Penn State College of Medicine has a rich history of graduating outstanding researchers and scientists, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in health care and industry. As part of our efforts to reconnect with our graduate alumni, the College of Medicine is hosting a Graduate Alumni Weekend this spring.
The two-day celebration is scheduled for March 1-2, 2013, beginning with the twenty-fifth annual Graduate Student Research Forum and culminating with alumni celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of their graduation from the College of Medicine, and therefore, the inaugural induction into the Lois W. Forney Society.

The Graduate Student Research Forum, affectionately referred to as Forum, is sponsored by the College of Medicine Graduate Student Association with a primary goal of promoting interaction and the exchange of ideas between students, faculty, and alumni. Forum introduces students to the format generally used at scientific meetings, and it provides an opportunity to recognize excellence in graduate research at Penn State College of Medicine. Alumni and faculty are invited to serve as evaluators for the research presentations on Friday, March 1.

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Calling all College of Medicine Alumni

Lion Line If you receive a call from a Penn State student at University Park's Lion Line on behalf of the College of Medicine, please take the opportunity to find out how things have changed since you last visited campus, and ask them about their recent visit to Hershey. The excitement they share is sure to be contagious.


Lion Line is Penn State's telefund organization. One of the premier calling centers in the nation, Lion Line student callers contact alumni, parents, and friends on behalf of Penn State's colleges, campuses, and programs.

As an integral part of the University's advancement efforts, Lion Line callers add their own personality and style to Penn State's broad outreach to alumni and friends. The students enjoy talking to everyone in the Penn State family, thanking donors personally, and keeping our alumni connected with the College of Medicine.

In an effort to better engage these student callers, the development and alumni relations team invited them to Hershey to spend the day learning more about the Medical Center and College of Medicine, so they could better relay this information to you.

During their visit, the callers met with Medical Center administrators, toured the hospital, received a hardhat tour of the new Children's Hospital, and had lunch with students to learn about life in medical school. The visit made such an impact, the callers were overheard on the trip back to State College claiming this was the, "best day of work...ever!"

Alumni Weekend 2013: Save the Date

Whether you earned your medical degree five or forty years ago, Alumni Weekend provides College of Medicine alumni the opportunity to come together for a two-day celebration and reconnect with friends, colleagues, mentors, and faculty.

Mark your calendar to attend Alumni Weekend, September 20-21, 2013! Alumni, faculty representatives from the past and present, and current medical students have the opportunity to mingle and reminisce during the All Alumni Welcome Back Dinner on Friday, September 20. Events for families, as well as faculty-led educational sessions are offered on Saturday, September 21.

On Saturday night, the classes of 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, and 2008 will gather to recognize their quinquennial reunion years with individual class dinners. That evening, the Class of 1983 will be welcomed into the Crescent Society, honoring their thirtieth reunion.

If your medical school class year ends in a "3" or an "8," we encourage you to consider serving on your reunion committee. Committee members work closely with the development and alumni relations office to encourage reunion attendance and giving, and are integral to making each class reunion a success. Please contact the alumni relations office at or 717-531-8497 for more information.

We hope to see you at Alumni Weekend, September 20-21, 2013!