Alumnus supports rural health solutions through gift for future health leaders

April 18, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Shane Flickinger, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health policy and administration in 2010 through a five-year, dual-degree option; and his wife, Mallory Flickinger, have pledged a gift to the College of Health and Human Development, which will support a health policy and administration undergraduate student who is completing an internship involving rural health initiatives and shows exemplary promise in the field.

“Mallory and I are hopeful this award will allow an undergraduate health policy and administration student with an interest in rural health to complete an administrative internship with a rural health organization that may not have been otherwise able to support them financially,” Flickinger said. “In a time when the financial pressure on health care organizations is at its highest point, it is the obligation of health care leaders to establish different solutions to ensure the development of future health care leaders, and we believe this is one way of doing so.”

While at Penn State, Flickinger served as a graduate intern at the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH), which is housed in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State. Through this internship, Flickinger gained practical experience by working in a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, which allowed him to apply research he was completing to fulfill his thesis requirements for the Schreyer Honors College. He also served as a member of the Pennsylvania Critical Access Hospital Consortium, which allowed him to network with rural health care leaders across the state.  

“Through this experience, I gained first-hand knowledge of the health care challenges faced by rural communities, including social determinants of health and the healthcare delivery system,” Flickinger said. “The need for innovative and passionate leaders in rural health is greater than ever and there is so much for students to gain by focusing on rural health.”

Lisa Davis, director of PORH and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration at Penn State, believes the Flickingers’ gift will have a positive impact on a future health care leader.

"Shane was one of the most outstanding graduate students to be supported by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health during his tenure in the Master of Health Administration program. We feel fortunate to have been part of this growth as a health care leader and are deeply appreciative of the establishment of an internship in rural health,” Davis said.

Larry Baronner, PORH rural health systems manager and deputy director, who oversaw Shane’s internship while at PORH, said, “Shane continues to inquire and comment on rural health issues both in Pennsylvania and nationally. We have been fortunate to keep in touch and I am always looking for a way to get Shane reengaged in rural health. The Flickingers’ commitment to this award is certainly one avenue to do this.”

The Flickingers are hopeful the award will inspire other health policy and administration alumni who benefited from administrative internships to support current students.

“It's a great way to give back to Penn State and support internships, which is the foundation of all departments in the College of Health and Human Development,” Flickinger said. “Mallory and I are excited about the opportunity to support a student's educational journey and to get to know them on a personal and individual level as well.”

Flickinger is director of patient flow management center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc. and a lecturer at Jefferson College of Population Health. He serves on the College of Health and Human Development Philanthropy Council and co-chairs the Task Force on Recent Alumni Engagement.

Gifts from Penn State's alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University's historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university: Private support will keep the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; create transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impact the world by fueling discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit

  • Shane and Mallory Flickinger stand outside Henderson Building next to some bushes

    Shane Flickinger and his wife, Mallory Flickinger, have pledged a gift to the College of Health and Human Development to support a health policy and administration undergraduate student. 

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated April 26, 2018