Portraits of Philanthropy

Shaner Shares Gift of New Hope with Cancer Patients

Lance Shaner is an entrepreneur. As chief executive officer of Shaner Companies, he drives the company’s overall management and strategic direction. His many professional successes include hotel and redevelopment projects throughout the world, as well as in Hershey and at the Harrisburg International Airport.

But Lance’s greatest personal success has been helping to shape his community through philanthropy. He and his family have made considerable professional and personal contributions to organizations in the greater State College and Centre County community. Their passion and commitment to community service is evidenced by their support of numerous causes, including the Easter Seals Lance and Ellen Shaner Child Development Center, the Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion, the JB Griffin Foundation, and Operation Backbone. Lance encourages his more than 3,000 employees to also embrace a giving spirit.

Raymond J. Hohl, MD, PhD, director of the Penn State Cancer Institute, had the opportunity to meet with Lance in August 2017. He talked to Lance about what inspired him and his wife to put their names on the Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion at the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College and thanked him for his support of advanced treatment for cancer patients.

The Mount Nittany Medical Center has been the premier health care institution in Centre County since opening in 2003. Part of the Penn State Cancer Care Partnership (CCP), the center provides state-of-the-art cancer treatment services, including:

  • Benign and malignant hematology
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Infusion services
  • Coagulation medicine
  • Palliative medicine
  • Treatment of oncologic malignancies

Three of the four medical oncologists recruited to CCP were Penn State faculty members.

Outstanding clinical services and research activities occur every day at the Penn State Cancer Institute. As the institute grows, these activities have become more visible at Penn State colleges. Developing key affiliations with clinical oncology practices enables the institute to provide cutting-edge, personalized therapies cancer patients throughout central Pennsylvania, offering them new hope to win the battle against this dreaded disease.

The Easter Seals Lance and Ellen Shaner Child Development Center in State College, PA, is committed to bringing high-quality, inclusive early child care and education to families in Centre County. Easter Seals provides a nurturing environment in which typically developing children and children with varying needs learn and grow together.

JB Griffin Foundation

In 2012, Shaner formed the JB Griffin Memorial Foundation in memory of his friend and colleague, JB Griffin, the former chief financial officer of the Shaner Group. This nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization provides financial support to charitable organizations that assist people in need in the Centre County community. Working in conjunction with the annual Shaner Golf Classic, the foundation serves as the beneficiary of the tournament proceeds and disburses funds to qualified charities throughout the county.

Operation Backbone is a nonprofit organization that helps active-duty soldiers and Department of Defense, Special Forces and Special Operations veterans with debilitating spinal and brain injuries receive specialized treatment at centers around the country. The organization was created to provide the most advanced brain and spine care to soldiers but also to provide support for the spouses and families that work nonstop to maintain a healthy and balanced life for their wounded family member. Lance Shaner serves as a board member of Operation Backbone.

The Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center provides patients with a state-of-the-art facility for cancer care. The facility provides:

  • Dedicated space for the current intensity modulated linear accelerator, which allows physicians and physicists to deliver exact forms of radiation up to eight times faster than other delivery systems, pinpointing radiation to the tumor and preserving healthy tissue.
  • The Lady Lion Basketball Cancer Resource Center (library and resources)
  • Clinical research space for the Penn State Cancer Institute at Mount Nittany Medical Center, bringing cutting-edge clinical research and experimental new therapies to the Centre County region
  • Patient-focused exam rooms, chemotherapy suites and consultation areas for multidisciplinary teams essential to the patient’s care (dietitians, patient and nurse navigators, social workers, occupational and physical rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, chaplain, and physician and clinical specialists)
  • Consultation areas for support services such as pharmacy and laboratory services
  • Disease-specific consultation, meeting and treatment areas
  • Amenities to enhance patient and visitor comfort, such as natural lighting and green areas
  • A dedicated entrance for patients with cancer and their families
  • Meeting and support group spaces

The Penn State Cancer Institute provides world-class physicians and staff. With the expansion of the Cancer Institute clinical research enterprise to Centre County, the potential to offer clinical trials is now being realized.

Through the Shaners’ generosity and their desire to make comprehensive cancer facilities and treatment available to the greater State College community, they not only support the Cancer Care Partnership at the Mount Nittany Medical Center but continue to support the Penn State Cancer Institute. We are deeply grateful for their partnership in the fight against cancer.

50 Shades of Pink

Kathy and her husband celebrating at her 50 shades of pink party.On January 30, 2016, Kathy celebrated a milestone birthday just one year after receiving a scary diagnosis of breast cancer. From the day of her diagnosis, Kathy and her family were determined to fight, and by the time her birthday arrived, they had much to celebrate. Read more about the inspiring way in which Kathy used her experience to benefit others battling breast cancer.