Foundation commits $3 million for endowed department chair position

November 22, 2011

The Rocco and Nancy Ortenzio Foundation, based in Mechanicsburg, Pa., has committed $3 million to establish The Rocco Ortenzio Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine. The endowed position will enable the institution to recruit a nationally recognized leader for its newest department as it addresses the growing need throughout Pennsylvania for physical medicine and rehabilitation. Established in July 2010, the department was the first to be added at the Medical Center and College since 2003.

“We are deeply concerned about increasing the accessibility of quality physical medicine and rehabilitative care in central Pennsylvania,” said Rocco Ortenzio, trustee of The Rocco and Nancy Ortenzio Foundation. “As members of this community, our family is proud to partner with Penn State Hershey Medical Center to build on the institution’s proven ability to provide outstanding care and treatment and develop a nationally recognized department of physical medicine and rehabilitation.”

“This transformational investment, which comes amid healthcare reform that calls for a greater emphasis on the continuum of care, will establish Penn State Hershey Medical Center as a model for future rehabilitative care in central Pennsylvania,” said Harold L. Paz, M.D., chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center, senior vice president for health affairs at Penn State, and dean of the Penn State College of Medicine. “Rehabilitative medicine crosses over into virtually every area of medicine, since restoring function and quality of life touches almost every specialty. We are profoundly grateful to the Ortenzios, as the Foundation’s gift will enable great advances in medicine and afford our patients the best care, shaped by the insights and experience of academic research,” Paz said. “We are confident that their generosity will provide enhanced coordination of rehabilitation services across medical programs and fields and help build a healthier tomorrow for the citizens of our region.”

Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital, a collaborative venture between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Select Medical Corporation, works in tandem with the Medical Center to provide quality care for patients with disabilities, chronic conditions and acute care needs, an ever-growing concern in a state that has the second highest elder population in the country.

In addition to their most recent gift, the Ortenzio family, the Foundation, and Select Medical Corporation have long been generous community partners of Penn State University and Penn State Hershey Medical Center, supporting scholarships and numerous initiatives to advance pediatric medicine. “Rocky and Nancy are true benefactors who understand the growing need for integrated physical medicine and rehabilitative care and the value of receiving this care close to home,” Paz said. “They have generously committed not only their financial support, but also their time to help Penn State Hershey Medical Center develop this comprehensive department that will prepare generations of physicians and scholars to advance rehabilitative care."

In addition to financially supporting Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, Rocco Ortenzio also serves on the For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Hershey Medical Center Cabinet. “As life-long residents of central Pennsylvania, Nancy and I have always felt compelled to give back to this community. We are thrilled to provide our talents and resources to outstanding initiatives like establishing the Rocco Ortenzio Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. We could not be happier and look forward to watching this vital department grow and thrive,” Ortenzio said.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 28, 2011