Mount Nittany Health’s Physician Group Establishes Tuition Reimbursement Program with the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology

Partnership will cover tuition for full-time and part-time LPN and CMA students

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to announce a partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI) to provide tuition assistance to students enrolled full-time or part-time in the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Certified Medical Assistants (CMA) programs. As part of the program, students will receive employment agreements to work at Mount Nittany Physician Group upon graduation, if they meet the eligibility requirements.

“Mount Nittany Physician Group is looking to the future,” said Kathleen Rhine, President and CEO of Mount Nittany Health. “As we continue in our mission of ‘Healthier People, Stronger Community,’ it is a priority for us to increase our clinical staff to continue providing high-quality care to our patients. This partnership with CPI will help create a pipeline of LPNs and CMAs as we continue to innovate ways to serve the local community.”

The program will cover full tuition for eligible and selected full-time and part time students of the LPN program and the CMA program offered by CPI.

“We’re excited to provide this educational opportunity to the local community,” said Amy Trithart, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, SHRM-SCP, Chief Human Resources and Ancillary Services Officer, Mount Nittany Health. “As an employer of choice in the area, Mount Nittany Physician Group is an important part of Mount Nittany Health which has over 2,400 employees at our 19 locations in the Centre region. This partnership is an innovative way to continue to attract top talent to our healthcare system.”

“We are very pleased to expand our long-standing partnership with Mount Nittany Physician Group” stated Todd Taylor, Vice President, Post-Secondary Education for CPI. “In addition to outstanding career opportunities available at Mount Nittany Physician Group at graduation, participating CPI students will now have tuition sponsorship funding available to them to focus on their studies and graduate with little to no student debt. It really is a great time to be thinking about a career in the medical field. CPI looks forward to working closely with Mount Nittany Health as we grow our campus and expand our health-related degree programs.” said Taylor.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact please contact Megan McKalips, Manager, Talent Acquisition, Mount Nittany Health at More information about the program is also available at

Do personal stories help or hurt your business? 


  • Telling personal stories is an effective way to engage customers and humanize your brand.
  • Make sure the story relates to your company’s values or mission. Use HubSpot’s guide to business storytelling as a resource when crafting stories.
  • Personal stories do not have to be about you—they can be about your customers too.
  • When done well, telling personal stories can help you become known for what makes your business special and attract ideal clients.
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Telling a story is one of the oldest ways humans have of connecting with each other. When it comes to your business, how you share personal stories in public spaces such as social media matters. Recounting life lessons or turning points can inspire and uplift your audience. However, sharing your deepest or darkest experiences with an audience that encompasses long-time friends, employees, clients, and industry partners can negatively affect your business. So, how do you know which stories inspire trust and build your brand and which to avoid? Read on to learn more about how to ensure your personal brand aligns with your business.

Your Mission is Personal
A personal story is different from a ‘confessional’ story. And this distinction can help you separate what goes too far from what supports your business goals. For example, an inspiring story about overcoming an injury to win your college track competition is great, but if the focus is on your college awards or the fascinating details of your surgery it may come across as self-absorbed or out of touch. On the other hand, when you connect overcoming obstacles to your company’s values or even your reason-for-being, it works toward creating a positive image of your business and shines a spotlight on your company’s mission.

Social media is a busy place and most consumers are there for deals and entertainment. Ensuring your content connects sends a clear message to your customers: you can trust me with your time.

Hubspot’s guide to business storytelling is a great resource for telling more engaging stories. They advise keeping the following points in mind to keep your stories—even personal ones—on target.

  • Captivating stories keep the reader engaged and invested.
  • Plausible tales create a believable version of reality for the reader.
  • Educational pieces encourage curiosity and further knowledge.
  • Relatable content connects readers with familiar people and places.
  • Memorable stories use humor, inspiration, even shock.

Use Stories to Reveal Lessons
The best leaders share personal stories that inspire and reveal lessons about how they overcame obstacles and achieved success. Richard Branson does this well in his recent Master Class, where he describes his battle with dyslexia which effectively blocked his formal education. He turned this personal setback into a positive learning experience by sharing how his ability to collaborate, delegate, and see the world in a unique way helped build his business empire. The implied lesson to his audience is that your perceived weakness can become a strength, when you adapt a new mindset. Branson’s course is called “Disruptive Entrepreneurship,” which makes his personal story perfectly aligned. This connection is important because now his dyslexia is more than a confession but a source of inspiration.

Get Personal with Customer Stories
Not every story needs to be about yourself or even your team. Your customer’s lives are a great source of inspiration. Get strategic when you share stories that correspond to your customer avatars. Sometimes customers will voluntarily share their story with you, but expect to devote intentional time following up with customers. Use these tips, provided by Forbes’ contributor Stephanie Burns, to collect compelling testimonials and tell better success stories.

  1. Make sure to ask the right questions. Instead of ‘Would you recommend me to a friend or family,’ try asking ‘How is your life better now that we’ve worked together?’
  2. When a client sends an email telling you about their success or posts a rave review online, follow up. Set up a time to ask more questions and gather details for your story.
  3. Don’t wait until the end of the process. Let your audience experience what it’s like to work with you by chronicling the customer journey in real time.

The Takeaway
Telling personal stories can be a great way to humanize your brand and connect with your customers. When you ensure your stories support your business’s goals and connect with your audience, you’ll become known for what makes your business special and attract your ideal clients.

Geisinger’s new Addiction Medicine Program welcoming applicants

Training is for physician assistants and nurse practitioners to provide addiction care in primary care settings


Geisinger’s Addiction Medicine Program has received a $2.5 million federal grant to support an  Addiction Medicine Advanced Practitioner Training Program for physician assistants (PA-Cs) and certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNPs).

The goal is to train advanced practitioners to identify and care for patients with substance use disorder and opioid use disorder — especially people living in rural areas where other options for care are limited.

The first training class will launch in January, with new classes beginning each July and January over the course of the five-year grant. Applicants must be board certified and maintain an active Pennsylvania advanced practitioner license. 

“Studies have shown that Pennsylvania communities — particularly those in rural areas — struggle with access to substance use disorder treatment options, putting more strain on our hospitals,” said Margaret Jarvis, M.D., chief, addiction services for Geisinger Addiction Medicine and the Geisinger Neuroscience Institute. “Putting well trained advanced practitioners in primary care sites will provide a stable environment for long-term treatment of addicted patients. Because they’re treated in their communities, it’s easier to help them stay on course.”

The 12-month program includes lectures and in-clinic training. It will focus on mental health and substance use and opioid use disorder services, including the use of medications to treat opioid use disorder.

To receive an application, visit

The Best Business Tax Strategy? Being Tax-Free, of Course. Here’s How.

In 2006, second generation business owner Ken Baker needed to create some liquidity to address some financial obligations. His company, NewAge Industries in Southampton, PA was a small but successful manufacturer of plastic tubing and hose. The company was started from scratch by his father, who decided to retire after many years at the company.

Ken looked into taking on a loan, but was not enamored with the additional debt. He then learned about an “ESOP” an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. After much research and deliberation, Ken sold 30% of the company to his employees. Because an ESOP is part of an ERISA sanctioned trust, with employee shares held within that trust, the profits of Ken’s company were now 30% tax free. That’s right, TAX FREE, both Federal and State of PA. And in addition, the employees pay nothing. Not a penny.

 Immediately after converting to employee ownership, Ken’s company began to grow. The employees now had a real stake in the organization’s profits. Employee owned companies are, on average, as much as 8-12% more productive, year-over-year, than traditional companies, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership. Over the next 12 years, the company share price grew over 1,100%, with Ken still owning the vast majority of the profits. In 2019, Ken sold the balance of the company to the employees at a dramatically higher share price, reaped tremendously greater rewards than he would have, and NewAge is now a 100% tax free organization. Ken remains as CEO, managing all day-to-day operations, and even owns shares as an employee in the ESOP. The tax benefits have created additional cash and contributed to the growth of the company.

Here is how it all works.

Employee Ownership rewards owners, preserves legacy, creates real financial futures for workers, keeps businesses here in Pennsylvania and bolsters the economy. And yet very few know about ESOPs.

ESOPs are not a trick or a loop-hole device. They are a US Department of Labor program, established in 1974 by Senator Russell Long and economist Lewis Kelso. Generally designed for businesses with 20 or more employees, the goal was to create a deferred tax program that would allow business growth and address the ever concerning problem of retirement for workers. When employees leave the business, via retirement or otherwise, they can cash in their shares and pay ordinary income tax, just like a 401(k). The difference is that employees pay nothing for this benefit.

 The Exit Planning Institute estimates that, due to the aging of the Baby Boomers, as many as 4 million companies, large and small, will transact within a 10-year period. It is further expected that up to 30% of those businesses will simply disappear. These facts make succession planning a critical business issue. So what is your strategy for succession? For growing the business? For caring for your family? Employee Ownership is not only an exit/succession planning alternative but is also a business growth strategy. 

But what if your business does not have 20 employees? What if you are a Main Street or Commercial Corridor business? A café, hardware store, retail, or service organization? There’s a relatively new program called an Employee Ownership Trust that is designed specifically for smaller organizations. Just like an ESOP, a business owner can sell some or all of the shares to the employees for an agreed upon amount. The shares of the business are held in a Perpetual Trust, and the profits of the business belong to the employees in a way designed by the selling owner and the employees.

 The owner(s) reap value from their years of work and the employees now profit from their daily efforts. Although relatively new in the US, EOTs have been common in the UK for generations. The large UK Department Store, John Lewis, has been employee owned for over 100 years! You can read about them here.

The Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that exists for one reason, to raise awareness about a remarkable program that can benefit business and business owners. We sell nothing and charge nothing for our work. We do not provide accounting or professional services. We are a volunteer collective of CEOs with experience in various forms of employee ownership; professionals in the industry (CPA’s, Attorneys, Wealth Managers, etc.); and Foundations and Universities (Rutgers, University of California San Diego, University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University). We are dedicated to simply helping to raise awareness about an important program.

If you would like to learn more about ESOPs and employee ownership, join us for the Chamber’s next Coffee Conversations on Thursday, September 7, from 8:30 – 10:00 am at the Chamber office, 131 S. Fraser Street, Suite 1, State College, PA 16801.

Email Marketing Trends to Grow Your Business


  • Email marketing remains a crucial tool for businesses due to its direct reach to subscribers, bypassing algorithms of social platforms.
  • Businesses should focus on nurturing relationships through emails by providing value-added content, including insider tips, trending news, and solutions to customer problems.
  • Pairing email marketing with regular website content updates can increase traffic significantly. 

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Every day four billion people open email. While social media posting and paid advertising can play a significant role in small business marketing campaigns, experts agree that emailing subscribers remains one of the best marketing tools available. Why? Emails go directly into your subscriber’s inbox and bypass the mysterious algorithms associated with social platforms and paid traffic. And if your business knows how to leverage the latest email marketing trends, you have an instant advantage over your competition. 

Here’s what you need to know about using email to grow your business. 

Nurture Audience Relationships through Email 

Beyond sales and promotions, email marketing is a great way to demonstrate your value to subscribers. Avoid sending too many emails just for the sake of ‘staying in touch.’ Instead, obsess about your customer’s problems and create email content that includes insider tips, trending news and ways to help your audience get ahead. Also, a smart website strategy should also include email. Whenever you add new content to your website, make sure to nudge subscribers with highlights and direct them to read more online. 

How often should you post new content to your website? According to the content marketing experts at HubSpot, it depends. They recommend first running a website audit to determine how often you should post. Then, it’s all about your goals. If your goal is to drive more traffic to your site, then you might need to post 3-4 times a week. If your strategy is to raise brand awareness, then publishing less frequently may work just fine. By pairing email marketing with website publishing you naturally increase traffic to your website without paid advertising.

Find Your Next Content Idea with AI

You’ve probably heard by now that AI is equipped to help you do everything from compose mysteries to finish your kid’s homework. But the truth is AI is only as smart as its user. Many businesses are finding that the best use of tools like Open AI’s ChatGPT and Jasper isn’t to do your work for you, but to do some thinking for you. Rather than starting with a blank page, try utilizing AI as a ‘content assistant’ that can pitch email subject lines or outline email content. 

Know How Privacy Changes Affect Deliverability 

Measuring the success of email marketing used to be a lot easier. However, a side effect of tech giants like Apple creating Mail Privacy Protection (MMP) to help users guard their personal information is that traditional metrics like open rates and click-to-open rates have become less reliable. As of June 2022, 89% of iPhone users adopted iOS 15 which gives users this option.

These updates don’t change the reality that email remains a highly effective marketing strategy. The difference is that you’ll want to look at other metrics such as ROI, list growth, email forwards, and unsubscribe rates to help determine what’s working and when to adjust. 

Turn Subscribers into Fans 

The reason people subscribe to your list varies, but we know that most subscribers are motivated by access to deals, shortcuts, rewards, discounts and hot tips. In other words, they love special treatment. 

You can nurture customer loyalty and repeat sales when you treat your email subscribers differently than everyone else. Rather than making special offers to everyone, reward email opens with exclusive opportunities. This strategy will also help you determine which sales are coming from email versus promotions running on your website, ads or social media posts. 

Are you growing your list? 

Your email marketing efforts are only as good as the health of your email list. To keep your list growing, make sure you have a variety of lead magnets designed to trade exclusive content or discounts for a person’s email address. After you have new subscribers added to your list, your email marketing strategy begins. Far more than a trend, you can kickstart your new email relationship with a series that both initiates and rewards new subscribers. Connect it all to automation, and you have a simple, reliable email marketing campaign to help you make more sales and grow your business.