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About Us > News > PinnacleHealth News Releases > PinnacleHealth System and Penn State Hershey to Explore Enhanced Relationship

PinnacleHealth System and Penn State Hershey to Explore Enhanced Relationship

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Penn State Hershey and PinnacleHealth have entered into formal discussions to broaden their existing strategic relationship. The goals of the potential relationship are to improve access to care and increase the quality and breadth of health care services available to people throughout central Pennsylvania. Any collaboration would also strengthen the teaching and research missions of both organizations.
The two organizations are in the process of selecting an independent third-party firm to help explore potential opportunities for the two health care organizations to expand their relationship.
Currently PinnacleHealth and Penn State Hershey collaborate in a number of ways. Both are joint venture partners in the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute. Founded in 2008, the Institute comprises a 74-bed teaching and research hospital and three outpatient practices that provide specialized mental health services to pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients.
For more than 10 years, PinnacleHealth hospitals have served as a training site for Penn State Hershey residents, fellows and medical students in clinical specialties such as family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and others. In addition, PinnacleHealth residents complete elective rotations at Penn State Hershey in several medical disciplines. Given the success of this collaboration, an affiliation agreement between the two organizations was signed in 2010 to further expand this academic partnership.
Both organizations are part owners of Horizon Healthcare Services, a home infusion agency, and worked together on a joint community health needs assessment in 2012 to better understand health disparities and opportunities to improve the health and wellness of the region’s residents.
“Over the past several years, PinnacleHealth and Penn State Hershey have worked together successfully to bring vital health care services to residents of central Pennsylvania and to develop a new generation of health care professionals,” said Harold L. Paz, M.D., CEO of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs, and dean, Penn State College of Medicine. “Given our past success in working together, it makes sense for us to explore additional opportunities. Our focus will remain on how we can enhance the quality and availability of primary and specialty care across central Pennsylvania, build on our collective ability to improve the health of our communities, and contribute to the discovery of new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease.”
“Health care is changing at a rapid pace and health systems have a responsibility to focus on the best way to improve access, cost and quality of care available to those they serve,” said Michael A. Young, FACHE, president and CEO of PinnacleHealth. “PinnacleHealth and Penn State Hershey are vibrant health systems offering a broad spectrum of health care services, technologies, research capabilities and facilities. I believe that these two health systems bring complementary strengths to the goals of improving the health status of the population we serve and in delivering more cost effective, high quality and accessible health care services to the region.”
The evaluation process is expected to be complete by the end of March 2014.
About PinnacleHealth System
PinnacleHealth System is a not-for-profit healthcare system dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for the people of central Pennsylvania since 1873. A proven leader in medical innovation, PinnacleHealth offers a wide range of services from primary care to the most complex surgeries and Magnet recognition for nursing excellence. With a total of 577 beds, PinnacleHealth Hospitals admit more than 35,000 patients, treat more than 720,000 outpatients, receive more than 110,000 emergency visits and complete more than 35,800 surgical procedures each year.
The healthcare network includes four campuses (Community, West Shore, Harrisburg and Polyclinic) with two acute care hospitals, includes the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, the Helen M. Simpson Rehab Hospital and PinnacleHealth Cancer Center (second West Shore location to open summer 2014). The five-story, 108-bed West Shore Hospital will open in Hampden Township in 2014, bringing emergency, medical/surgical, cardiology, orthopedics and chronic disease management to the West Shore. PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute’s 64 cardiac and vascular specialists complete 5,835 cardiovascular surgery procedures annually.
Medical services, including an extensive network of family practice and specialty physicians, imaging, outpatient surgery and Neuroscience Institute are offered at multiple locations throughout the region. The PinnacleHealth Medical Group includes more than 220 practicing clinicians and spans four counties. All 26 primary care patient-centered medical home locations are certified by the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).  PinnacleHealth is currently developing an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). For a complete list of services, visit our website at
About Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System
Founded in 1963 through a gift from The Milton S. Hershey Foundation, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a leading academic medical center located in Hershey, Pa. The 551-bed Medical Center is a provider of high-level, patient-focused medical care. Annually the Medical Center admits more than 27,000 patients, accepts more than 890,000 outpatient visits, receives nearly 64,000 emergency room patients and performs nearly 28,000 surgical procedures. The Medical Center received its second consecutive Magnet designation for nursing excellence in fall 2012.  
The Medical Center campus includes Penn State College of Medicine (Penn State’s medical school), Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, and Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital—the region’s only children’s hospital, which was named to the 2013 U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals list in five specialties. The Medical Center and College of Medicine conduct more than $81 million in funded biomedical research annually and has more than 1,700 students and trainees in medicine, nursing, the health professions and biomedical research on its campus.
The Medical Center campus is part of Penn State Hershey Health System, which also includes the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital, and other specialty facilities. Penn State Hershey Medical Group, which is comprised of 63 clinics, and more than 900 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, is Penn State Hershey’s outpatient medical practice and includes 14 patient-centered medical homes certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).