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Five Decades of Good People and Great Medicine

For the better part of five decades, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been training the next generation of health care providers, conducting groundbreaking medical research, and provided life saving care to adults and children throughout central Pennsylvania and beyond.  Click to learn more about our founding history.

According to legend, it all started with one phone call....

Samuel Hinkle, then-president of the Hershey Chocolate Corporation and Eric Walter, president of Penn state from 1956 to 1970, recreate the fabled "$50 Million Phone Call."  Click to learn more about how it all started.

Dean George Harrell founded the first Department of Family and Community Medicine in a U.S. medical school after coaxing a local general practitioner, Dr. Tom Leaman, to give up his practice and join the College of Medicine faculty.  Click to learn more about our innovations.

The world's first mechanical blood pump approved to support patients waiting for heart transplants was developed at the Medical Center in 1976 and is now used around the world.  Penn State Hershey scientists and engineers are well know for having developed other heart assist devices and, in 1985, first used the Penn State Heart.  Click to learn more about our medical breakthroughs.

In 1973, students at Penn State began dancing until they could dance no more to raise money for various charities.  In 1977, the Penn State Interfraternity Coucil/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, better known as "THON", began supporting the Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.  Click to learn more about our service to the community.

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Your physician will prescribe a diet to suit your medical needs. If you have any questions about your meals or your nutrition in general, ask your nurse to call one of the hospital’s registered dietitians or call clinical nutrition at (717) 531-8421.

At breakfast, you will receive a menu for the following day. Please mark your choices and leave your menu on your bedside table (not on your tray).

Meals are served during the following times:
Breakfast: 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Dinner: 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Interpreters for most languages and for the hearing impaired are available through the Care Coordination.

To arrange for an interpreter, please call (717) 531-8306.

Mail is delivered to patient rooms Monday through Friday. Patient mail should be addressed as follows:

Patient’s Name
Room Number
Penn State Hershey
P.O. Box 850
Hershey, PA 17033

Postage stamps are available for purchase in the vending machine area located near the cafeteria on the first floor of the Medical Center.

A variety of newspapers are available for purchase in the vending machine area located near the cafeteria on the first floor of the Medical Center.

Please check with the patient’s nurse before ordering flowers, plants, and balloons. Because of limited space and to maintain infection control, these items are not allowed in some patient care areas of the Medical Center.

Where permitted, flowers, plants, and balloons are delivered to patient rooms Monday through Saturday. (Because some patients have allergies, please request delivery of Mylar® balloons rather than latex balloons.)

About once per week, pet therapy teams bring registered dogs into the Medical Center for visits with patients.

Contact your nurse if you would like a visit from one of our registered dogs during a tour of patient care areas.

Fire Drills - To ensure your safety, the Medical Center periodically conducts fire drills. These drills help familiarize Medical Center staff with emergency practices.

If you hear a fire alarm, please stay calm, remain in your room, and follow the instructions given by the nursing staff.

Hand Disinfection and Hand Washing - All persons in the Medical Center, including patients and visitors, should use hand disinfection and hand washing to prevent the spread of germs to themselves and others.

Dispensers of disinfectant gels are available in patient rooms and in other areas of the Medical Center, including the main cafeteria.

To use the disinfectant gels, squeeze a quarter-size amount of the gel from the dispenser into one hand, and then rub both hands together for approximately ten to fifteen seconds. Rub the entire surface of the hand, including fingernails. The gel will dry on its own; there is no need to dry the hands with a paper towel.

To properly disinfect hands with soap and water, wet hands, apply soap, and then rub both hands together for ten to fifteen seconds to remove any germs and visible soil. Lather every surface, including fingernails. Rinse in running water. Use a paper towel to dry hands and turn off the water faucet.

If you have any questions, please ask your nurse or call Quality and Infection Control at (717) 531-4641.

Infection Control - The purpose of infection control is to reduce the risk of infection among patients and the people who come in contact with them, including family members, visitors, volunteers, students, and health care workers.

Germs such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites cause infectious diseases. Contagious or communicable diseases are those that can be spread from one person to another.

In order for germs to be spread from one person to another, three things must happen:

  • Germs must be present in the environment, either by a person carrying the germ or by infected body fluids, such as eye or nose drainage and digestive tract discharges on a surface. In rare cases, germs traveling through the air can lead to infection.
  • A person who is not immune to the germ must come in contact with or be exposed to the infectious germ.
  • The contact or exposure must be in a way that leads to infection, meaning the germ must have a way to spread from one place or person to another. In a hospital, this usually occurs by direct contact such as skin-to-skin touching that occurs when performing patient care activities. It also occurs by indirect contact such as a person touching infected drainage on dressings and by droplet contact such as an infected person sneezing on an uninfected person. Rarely, an infection is spread through the air such as people breathing the same room air as an infected person.

To keep germs from spreading in our facilities, certain precautions may be taken while patients are hospitalized. All patients will be treated with standard body substance precautions and some patients may be placed into isolation for special circumstances. Body substance precautions means that staff members should wash or disinfect their hands between patients and that they wear gloves to handle body secretions or excretions (except for sweat). In addition, staff may wear gowns, masks, or goggles with some patient care.

Patients in isolation will have informational signs on their room doors so that staff members will be alerted that they need to take additional steps to care for that patient. Information as to why the patient is in isolation is confidential and will not be shared with other patients or visitors.

Preventing Falls - Your cooperation will reduce the risk of an accidental fall during your stay with us.

  • Follow your physician’s orders and your nurses’ instructions concerning whether you may get out of bed, use the bathroom, walk in the hallways, etc.
  • When you need help, notify your nurse by using a call button. Buttons are located at every patient bed and in each bathroom located in the patient care areas.
  • Contact your nurse to lower the side rails of your bed.
  • Use any assistive ambulatory device that you need such as a cane or walker.
  • Wear non-skid slippers while walking in your room and in the Medical Center. Please do not walk barefoot.

It may be necessary during your stay to place you on “falls precautions” so that extra measures are taken to ensure your safety. Your nurse will provide additional information to you if these measures are taken.

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The mission of the Office of Professional Development is to support career and professional development across the academic continuum of the Penn State College of Medicine. A broad scope of programs are designed to benefit the whole academic community as well as to focus on the needs of particular groups.

For more information, please use the links below or browse the website using the navigation bar. You can also link to external sites that have been identified as useful resources in career and professional development. 


  • To promote individual development and advancement through programs designed to build and expand professional skills and knowledge.
  • To retain talented individuals within the College and Medical Center.
  • To engender a culture of mentorship throughout the Unified Campus.
  • To cultivate the next generation of academic leaders.
  • To engage faculty, staff and students in outreach programs and public service.
  • To reward and recognize faculty commitment to and excellence in education and outreach.
  • To be a resource for professional development within the University and College.
  • To create a national model for professional development programs within an academic health center.

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