LANCASTER, Pa. – The public is invited to join students and faculty in the Nursing Department of HACC’s Lancaster Campus to celebrate a milestone in community service through a partnership with SouthEast Lancaster Health Services.
An open house will be held Oct. 16, 2014, from 5-7:30 p.m. at SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, 625 S. Duke St., Lancaster. The event recognizes the partnership formed in August 2004 with HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s College, and the 10th anniversary of the opening of the HACC Nursing Care Center. A short ceremony will be held at 6 p.m.
Dignitaries invited to attend include Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray; HACC President John J. “Ski” Sygielski, Ed.D.; Betsy Musser and Jennifer Van Blargan, director and assistant director, respectively, of the Nursing Department at HACC’s Lancaster Campus; and SouthEast Lancaster Health Services executives including Hilda Shirk, Ph.D., president and CEO; Erica Coulter, M.D., South Duke Street site medical director; Kirsten Johnsen Martin, M.D., chief medical officer; and James Kelly, who was CEO when HACC’s Nursing Care Center opened in 2004.
Since that time, more than 8,000 clients from the Lancaster’s inner city community have received free services through HACC’s Nursing Care Center, said Julia Sensenig, associate professor of nursing and community nurse instructor at HACC’s Lancaster Campus.
“The goals of the center are to provide health information to the vulnerable populations in our community, to collaborate with the healthcare providers at SouthEast Lancaster Health Services and to provide excellent educational opportunities for our nursing students,” said Sensenig, who opened HACC’s center 10 years ago.
“Providing a service that is free of charge to an underserved, uninsured and underinsured population is proving to be very helpful,” Sensing said.
The center provides clinical experience to nursing students enrolled at HACC’s Lancaster Campus, enabling them to develop cross cultural communication skills and sensitivity to the health care needs of the community. The center is staffed by associate degree nursing students during the spring and fall semesters and practical nursing students during the summer sessions.
HACC’s Nursing Care Center was recognized internationally with the prestigious 2008 Innovation of the Year Award in Learning and Teaching from the League for Innovation in the Community College.
“This successful collaboration between the nursing program at HACC’s Lancaster Campus HACC and SouthEast Lancaster Health Services is benefiting the clients who visit the center, the community, healthcare providers and the HACC nursing students and nursing faculty,” Sensenig added.
Nursing students educate patients about diabetes, hypertension, nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation and parenting, said Sensenig, adding that positive changes have been made by some of the patients since coming to the center. “For example, a number of patients are losing weight and learning to control their blood sugars. We also are seeing more family involvement. Parents are bringing children. Children are telling parents and grandparents about the center.”
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, offers more than 150 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to nearly 20,000 students at campuses in Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York and through virtual learning. In addition, HACC serves more than 29,000 students in noncredit workforce development, public safety, adult basic education and continuing education programs offered at all campuses and off-site locations in many communities in Central Pennsylvania. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit www.hacc.edu