Penn State Hershey Medical Center recognizes various accolades

To recognize the achievements of faculty, staff, students and volunteers at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, the following list of new hires and promotions and awards and honors that may be of public interest, has been compiled for the quarter of January 1 to March 31. Photos may be available upon request.

New Hires and Promotions

Elliot M. Epner, professor of medicine, has joined Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute and the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology. He will care for patients with hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia and lymphoma, and stem cell transplant patients. Epner also has been asked to create a lymphoma program for the Cancer Institute, under which he will develop clinical guidelines and research studies. Epner's clinical specialty is mantle cell lymphoma, an aggressive cancer found in lymph nodes, the spleen, bone marrow, blood, and sometimes the gastrointestinal system.
Most recently, Epner worked as associate professor, medicine, at the Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland.

Virginia Robbins was recently named the director of Provider and Patient Access Services at the Medical Center. In her new role, Robbins will identify and analyze the various points where patients and providers gain access to outpatient services and develop a common philosophy and vision on how to promote, organize and streamline that access.

Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute has appointed Gavin P. Robertson, associate professor, pharmacology, pathology, and dermatology, to associate director, translational research. In this new role, Robertson will continue his work of fostering translational studies in the Cancer Institute. His duties are to bridge the gaps in novel cancer drug development that exist between basic research and clinical areas within the Institute, thus making better cancer therapies available to patients. More specifically, he will be in charge of formulating the overall direction and development of the Cancer Institute drug portfolio, developing and overseeing internal and external corporate interactions that are necessary to enable novel experimental cancer drugs to be tested in our clinics, managing interaction with the Food and Drug Administration regarding drugs for which Investigational New Drug status is being sought, and interacting with potential donors to facilitate funding for development of novel drugs to better treat particular cancers.

Awards and Honors

Edward H. Arnold and Jeanne D. Arnold, volunteers at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital (PSHCH), are the Healthcare Heroes award winners in the Children's Health Advocate Individual category. The Arnolds are recognized for their dedicated time and energy to advancing the health and wellness of children in the central Pennsylvania area. The Arnolds have donated money to create the Hummingbird Program designed to meet the needs of Children's Hospital patients diagnosed with chronic and complex medical conditions. Additionally, the Arnolds contributed $5 million to the new Children's Hospital and other funds towards the Cleft Lip and Palate Program, Children's Miracle Network and Pediatric Obesity Weight Management Camp.

Jennifer Groff, director of the Children's Miracle Network at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, won the 2009 Nonprofit Innovation Awards, in the category of Nonprofit Leadership Excellence. She was nominated because of her innovative leadership and contribution to the organization and community.

David Hartman, professor of radiology, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society of Uroradiology. The award is bestowed to a society member in recognition of a career of excellence in teaching, research and the clinical practice of uroradiology. Hartman is active in medical student, resident and post-graduate education. He earned his medical degree from UCLA and has been a professor of radiology at the Medical Center since 1991.

Tamara Murphy, has been awarded the 2008 Innovations in Practice Award for "An Innovative, Portable, and Interactive Falls Education and Prevention Tool for the Elderly: The Fun House." The Innovations in Practice award recognizes innovative approaches to best practice in clinical nursing. Co-presenters were So Young Shin and Victoria Schirm. Murphy is a gerontological clinical nurse specialist.

Travis D. Watson received the H. Arnold Muller Scholarship award. This award is given to an individual in an emergency residency program who exemplifies outstanding qualities of compassion, empathy for others and dedication to the profession. Watson is a strong patient advocate and has worked tirelessly to improve the residency program and the emergency department.

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Last Updated April 17, 2009