Mount Nittany Medical Center gala benefits local residency program

bmilazzo@centredaily.comFebruary 15, 2014 

— The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel turned into Paris on Saturday night.

Mimes greeted guests, artists drew paintings, décor mimicked what one might see in France and a band called Paris serenaded 520 guests.

The “Evening in Paris” theme was all part of the 66th annual Mount Nittany Medical Center Charity Ball, which raises money for programs through Mount Nittany Health.

Last year, the gala raised $125,000. This year, Kim Neely, director for The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center, said the goal was to exceed that total.

Penn State College of Medicine and Mount Nittany Health have partnered to develop a family medicine residency program in State College. Neely said that all proceeds this year will go toward the residency program.

The three-year-long program is part of Mount Nittany Health’s mission to become a regional academic teaching facility in family medicine, said Mike Flanagan, professor and vice chairman for family and community medicine at the University Park Regional Campus of Penn State College of Medicine.

Flanagan said the program was accredited in January and will take its first residents in July 2015.

The local residency program is an extension of the family medicine residency program of the College of Medicine in Hershey, according to Penn State.

“We’re hoping to bolster and enhance primary care services around the country,” Flanagan said.

The first year of the residency will focus on general specialties, said Joe Wiedemer, program director. First-year residents will also spend a limited amount of time working in an outpatient setting under the supervision of a Penn State Hershey faculty member.

The second- and third-year residents will have other specialty training and more time with outpatient directed care and electives. Third-year residents also have the opportunity to move into areas such as research and dual-degree programs with other colleges at Penn State.

The regional campus opened in 2011 and welcomed its first group of third-year medical students from the College of Medicine in 2012. The regional campus trains up to 24 new medical students each year, Wiedemer said.

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