Geisinger College of Health Sciences establishes ‘first of its kind’ preventive medicine residency program in Pennsylvania

Only four of the 64 accredited PH/GPM programs are in rural regions and access to this training is unavailable in Pennsylvania

 Geisinger College of Health Sciences’ Graduate Medical Education has been awarded a three-year, $750,000 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant focused on the development of a public health/general preventive medicine (PH/GPM) rural residency program — the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.

Based at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, the residency program will primarily serve the communities of Mifflin, Juniata and surrounding counties, while creating opportunities for health promotion and disease prevention across Geisinger and in the Commonwealth.

According to Michelle Thompson, M.D., chief education officer and vice dean for graduate medical education, Geisinger’s program is the first of its kind to receive funding from HRSA’s Rural Residency Grant Planning Program. The residency will support development of physicians who are knowledgeable in the unique care needs of rural populations and trained specifically to offer preventive care.

According to Dr. Thompson, the residency program has three goals:

  • To develop physicians to meet the unique health needs of individuals and populations in rural communities
  • To better prepare residents to practice in rural and underserved areas
  • To increase health promotion and disease prevention by developing rurally trained physicians with public health skills

“Only four of the 64 accredited PH/GPM are located in rural regions, and access to this training is unavailable in Pennsylvania,” Dr. Thompson said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Geisinger College of Health Science’s

School of Graduate Education to design a public health, preventive medicine residency program dedicated to improving health in Geisinger’s Western Region and making better health easier for all Geisinger patients — no matter where they live.”

Dr. Thompson said Geisinger anticipates initial residency accreditation for the three-year program in 2026, with the first class of two residents matriculating in 2027. “To best accomplish this, we plan to collaborate with our own Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, The Primary Health Network and the Pennsylvania Department of Health,” she said.

Mount Nittany Medical Center receives national recognition

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to share yet another national recognition, with Mount Nittany Medical Center acknowledged by U.S. News & World Report as a High Performing Hospital in six procedures/conditions: Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, Stroke, Knee Replacement, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Notably, Ryan Burton, DO, and the Emergency Department at Mount Nittany Medical Center were just recognized for setting a new paradigm in stroke care. Their ability to diagnose stroke symptoms, initiate appropriate protocols, and administer thrombolytic treatment within a short timeframe ensures the best possible outcomes for our patients.

“At Mount Nittany Health we pride ourselves on our commitment to outstanding clinical, patient-centered care,” said Kathleen Rhine, President and CEO of Mount Nittany Health. “This national recognition is a testament to our team who consistently goes above and beyond to provide exceptional care to our patients.”

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Best Hospitals 2023-2024 procedures and conditions ratings evaluate almost every hospital in the U.S. that admits patients in 21 of the most common procedures and conditions. U.S. News evaluated more than 4,300 hospitals to generate procedure and condition ratings.

“For 34 years, U.S. News has provided data-informed rankings to help patients and their doctors find the best hospital to treat their illness or condition,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News. “Fewer than half of evaluated hospitals earned any High Performing rating. Hospitals that are High Performing have excelled in providing high-quality care in specific procedures and/or conditions.”

Mount Nittany Medical Center recently received a Five-Star Quality Rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the fifth consecutive reporting period, and was also recently named a “World’s Best Hospital 2023” and “America’s Best Maternity Hospitals” by Newsweek and has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for quality care and patient safety. In addition, the American Heart Association has honored Mount Nittany Medical Center with the 2023 Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Award.