Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, 10 miles (17 km) east of Harrisburg, are Penn State’s medical school and academic medical center.
In 1963, the M. S. Hershey Foundation offered $50 million to the Pennsylvania State University to establish a medical school and teaching hospital in Hershey, Pennsylvania. With this grant and $21.3 million from the U.S. Public Health Service, the University built a medical school, teaching hospital, and research center. Ground was broken in 1966 and Penn State’s College of Medicine opened its doors to the first class of students in 1967. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center accepted its first patients in 1970.
The original buildings at Penn State Hershey Medical Center included the Medical Science Building and medical center, Animal Research Farm, Laundry and Steam Plant, and University Manor Apartments. Since 1970, the campus has grown from 318 to 550 acres (2.2 km2). Many additions have been made to the academic and patient-care facilities.
Penn State College of Medicine students have gone on to become productive physicians and scientists. As of May 2011, the College of Medicine has granted 3,904 medical degrees and 1,004 graduate degrees. The College of Medicine offers degree programs in anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, bioengineering, cell and molecular biology, genetics, integrative biosciences, microbiology and immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and physiology, and two postdoctoral programs leading to an M.S. degree in Laboratory Animal Medicine, the only such program in the Commonwealth, and a M.S. in Public Health Sciences and a newly inaugurating M.P.H. Graduate program. Each year, more than 550 resident physicians are trained in medical specialties at the Medical Center.
Nursing students from Penn State College of Nursing B.S. degree program rotate through the Medical Center for clinical courses each term, and students from other Penn State health-related programs and other institutions come to the campus for clinical experience. The extended B.S. degree program for nurses is offered in conjunction with the College of Health and Human Development.
Continuing education programs serve Penn State Hershey Medical Center and health-care professionals throughout Pennsylvania, with enrollments exceeding 51,000 each year.
Basic and clinical research is conducted at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and is supported by more than $100 million in awards from federal, state, and private agencies, businesses, and individuals.
At the end of June, 2010, Penn State Hershey Medical Center admitted nearly 27,000 patients and provided care through over 854,000 outpatient and 57,000 emergency-service visits. Penn State Hershey Medical Center has over 8,800 employees, 400 volunteers, and the College of Medicine enrolls more than 800 students annually.
- Penn State Children’s Hospital at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center is the only children’s hospital located in South Central Pennsylvania and maintains the region’s only Level III (highest level), state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital received the highest rating for its care to medical, surgical, and trauma patients by the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Evaluations. This ranks the PICU among the top in the United States. The hospital is a leader in several specialties including neonatal care, pediatric oncology, pediatric cardiology, pediatric surgery, and pediatric trauma. The Children’s Hospital houses 131 beds and treats more than 125,000 patients annually.
- It is the region’s only children’s hospital and only Level 1 pediatric trauma center. The Children’s Hospital also performs the region’s only bone marrow stem cell and kidney transplants for pediatric patients.
- The Children’s Hospital consists of more than 150 pediatric medical and surgical specialists renowned in disciplines such as cancer, cardiology, and critical care.
- The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the only fully equipped and staffed academic level IIIC (highest level possible) NICU between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
- The Children’s Hospital was selected as one of Aetna’s Institutes of Excellence Pediatric Congenital Heart Surgery facilities.
- Construction is underway on the new 252,000-square-foot (23,400 m2) Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, designed by Payette. The 5-story building with an additional floor below ground is adjacent to the Medical Center’s main entrance. The facility will include surgical suites, private pediatric and adolescent patient rooms, outpatient clinics for children with cancer, and a new pediatric radiology unit.
In 2008 and 2011, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital was listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For the 2013-2014 year, The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Children’s Hospital was ranked in 5 specialties including: Cancer Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Urology.