PNC Foundation gifts Penn State and Penn State Health $2 million

October 20, 2020

Penn State and Penn State Health joined with the PNC Foundation today to announce a $2 million grant that will support programming to cultivate wellness and foster economic innovation in communities across the south-central Pennsylvania region and beyond. The announcement marks one of PNC’s largest financial commitments to date in its central Pennsylvania market.

Over the next five years, the funding will make possible University and health system programs like Startup Week, Penn State PRO Wellness and Four Diamonds Mini-THON, as well as enhancements of a number of community health initiatives through the PNC Community Health Impact Endowment.

“PNC has been a remarkable supporter of Penn State over the years,” said Eric J. Barron, president of Penn State. “This latest investment from PNC reflects their shared commitment to building healthy communities and creating economic opportunity. It will have exponential impact as it helps Penn State reach its key goals of education, research and community service leadership and drive economic development, job creation and student career success.”

The PNC Foundation supports a variety of nonprofit organizations to enhance educational opportunities, with an emphasis on early childhood education, and to promote the growth of communities through economic development initiatives.

“As a main street bank, PNC is focused every day on helping strengthen the vitality of the communities where we live and work,” said Jim Hoehn, PNC regional president in central Pennsylvania. “Through their programs, Penn State and Penn State Health are key drivers of economic opportunity and wellness that keep the commonwealth of Pennsylvania thriving. Given the current crisis our country is facing, this investment in health and innovation feels more relevant than ever.”

The following programs will receive funding from the PNC Foundation:

  • Penn State PRO Wellness: Penn State PRO Wellness, an integral part of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s community service mission, provides nearly 1,000 schools in Pennsylvania, as well as businesses and communities, with assistance, partnerships and access to proven wellness intervention strategies. With PNC’s support, PRO Wellness will be able to create a new program for school-aged children -- modeled after PNC’s Mobile Learning Adventure traveling exhibit -- that integrates health and learning, as well as the exploration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). PNC’s commitment will allow PRO Wellness to develop the curriculum and engage medical students, residents and faculty and staff of Penn State Children’s Hospital in its implementation. Ultimately, PNC’s gift will enable PRO Wellness to reach more schools and communities.
  • PNC Community Health Impact Endowment: In addition to PRO Wellness, Penn State Health’s community outreach focuses on making a difference where its patients and their families live, including efforts to address behavioral health needs, promote healthy lifestyles and manage chronic disease. These efforts focus on Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster and Lebanon counties. Funding from the PNC Community Health Impact Endowment will support new and existing programs each year that address the most pressing health needs and disparities in central Pennsylvania. This may include health screenings and education, health assessments for local schools, cancer prevention programs and care for underserved populations through programs like the Hershey Community Garden and the LionCare Free Clinic.
  • Four Diamonds Mini-THONs: Four Diamonds’ mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children being treated at Penn State Children’s Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research. Four Diamonds Mini-THONs are multi-hour, interactive events put on by K-12 students and modeled after the Penn State Dance Marathon, or THON, held annually at University Park. The money raised from both programs supports Four Diamonds. To date, Four Diamonds Mini-THONs have raised more than $43 million. Each year, the Mini-THON Leadership Summit brings together student leaders and advisors to celebrate successes, network and collaborate as they organize Mini-THON events for the coming year. PNC will help Four Diamonds develop the next generation of leaders and philanthropists working to conquer childhood cancer.
  • Penn State Startup Week: Startup Week, a signature annual event under the Invent Penn State initiative, seeks to inspire Penn State students to think innovatively and encourage entrepreneurism. It features guest presentations and student competitions, and it works to connect students with alumni who have achieved success in start-up initiatives and new ventures. PNC’s commitment will ensure sustained growth of the event and lead students to put their visions into action by helping to secure the most sought-after presenters.

“Penn State Health has a rich history of community service and promoting wellness, both within and beyond our facilities,” said Steve Massini, CEO of Penn State Health. “This grant from The PNC Foundation will strengthen our ability to meet the health needs of our growing and changing communities.”

Last Updated October 20, 2020