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Wellness matters at Penn State Health

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center offers a number of resources designed to support resident and fellow wellness.

Jump to specific resources

Crisis | Too tired to drive | Mental health | Penn State Health | GME | Physical | Social | Occupational | Emotional | Other

Crisis resources

For life-threatening emergencies

  • On campus: Call 717-531-8888 (or ext. 8888).
  • Off campus: Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Penn State Crisis Line

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Dauphin County Crisis Intervention

Too tired to drive?

The Office of Graduate Medical Education will reimburse residents who are unable to safely drive home due to sleep deprivation for Uber, Lyft, etc., with a valid receipt.

Both rides will be reimbursed – home and back to the hospital or practice site. See reimbursement instructions here.

For strategic napping, non-assigned call rooms are located in the BMR building, Room 1827, and the sixth floor of the main hospital, Room H6311. Please contact the Office of Graduate Medical Education at 717-531-5168 for the access code.

Mental health resources

Mental health support for residents and fellows

For additional mental health resources, call the Office of Graduate Medical Education Office at 717-531-0003, ext. 285868.

Current residents and fellows can also access resources on the home page of New Innovations when logged in.

Office for Professional Mental Health

The Office for Professional Mental Health offers direct clinical care to all students, trainees and faculty, referring cases to local providers as necessary.

The office promotes personal health, connectivity and peer support, emphasizes work-life integration and more. The director also provides retreats and wellness sessions to the Office of Graduate Medical Education as a whole, as well as to individual programs and departments. Throughout the first few months of training, the Office of Professional Mental Health will provide an introduction during each residency or fellowship program’s orientation and/or didactics.

Online: Office for Professional Mental Health

Anonymous Self-Check Assessment Questionnaire

The Anonymous Self-Check Assessment Questionnaire:

  • Is entirely anonymous, confidential and completely voluntary
  • Is a safe and easy way to find out if stress, anxiety or depression may be present
  • Is a free service from the Office for Professional Mental Health

There are three easy steps:

  • Take and submit a brief (less than 10-minute) questionnaire.
  • A program counselor will post a personal response on the secure website with information, recommendations and options for next steps.
  • The person taking the questionnaire has the option of communicating with the counselor through the website, on the phone or in person, or choose to do nothing further.

ComPsych Employee Assistance Program

866-465-8935 or guidanceresources.com

The ComPsych Employee Assistance Program provides:

  • Confidential counseling for stress, grief, loss and relationships
  • Financial information and resources, including CPAs and financial planners to discuss tax questions, debt reduction and credit issues
  • Work-life solutions, such as college planning, moving, pet care and home care
  • Online resources, including articles, videos, searches and personal responses

First-time visitors will need to click “I am a first time user” and enter the Company/Organization Web ID PSHMC, then create a username and password.

Penn State Health wellness resources

PRO Wellness - BeWell

PRO Wellness facilitates the BeWell initiative to compliment wellness efforts specifically for Penn State Health employees. 

Learn more about PRO Wellness – BeWell

Employee Health Care Concierge

Penn State Health’s Employee Health Care Concierge Service offers free, confidential scheduling and coordination of employees’ doctor appointments, referrals and authorizations.

Call 833-774-8326 to schedule

MySolutions

mySolutions provides Penn State Health employees with benefits information; upcoming wellness events; employee wellness programs such as Weight Watchers at Work and the Fit, Trim and Slim program; Bright Horizons family backup care; past wellness event recordings; and more.

Log in to mySolutions

Campus wellness events

Learn more about other on-campus wellness opportunities and see a full calendar of events on the campus wellness page.

See upcoming wellness events

COVID-19

Find Penn State Health resources related to COVID-19 on the Infonet (Penn State Health ePass login required).

COVID-19 Resources

GME wellness

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The Graduate Medical Education Office at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is committed to the well-building of all residents, fellows, program directors and GME coordinators. These activities and initiatives in GME wellness are based on common themes at program director, program coordinator and GME program retreats, as well as from the ACGME Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Well-being Pathway to Excellence goals of:

  • Promoting the well-being of the clinical care team
  • Workload and work/life balance
  • Fatigue
  • Burnout
  • Support of those at risk of or demonstrating self-harm

The GME office meets with residents and fellows routinely to gather their input on what they will benefit from. Those interested in contributing and serving as a GME Wellness Champion should email Lauren Talhelm in the GME office at ltalhelm@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

GME-wide wellness initiatives

  • Office for Professional Mental Health “Love Yourself” Event
  • Mental Health Band-Aid, QPR Gatekeeper training and more offered by the Office of Professional Mental Health
  • Email updates from the Office for Professional Mental Health, including information on Zoom office hours, various wellness webinars and free resources such as virtual exercise, yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes
  • Snack delivery by the DIO (Designated Institutional Official) to GME programs
  • Doughnuts with the DIO
  • Network of Underrepresented Residents and Fellows
  • Quarterly GME personal finance lectures
  • GME sponsored competitions: Pumpkin Decorating, Gingerbread Houses and Laughter Contest
  • GME WE ARE Thankful and other drop-in events
  • 30 Days of Activity wellness challenge
  • GME water bottles provided to new trainees
  • Awareness of hydration stations throughout the campus
  • Inter-residency/fellowship program gatherings
  • Involvement of residents and fellows on hospital-wide leadership committees
  • Participating in Penn State Health wellness initiatives for all employees, including:
    • Health and Wellness Caregiver Morale (HERO) carts, which rounded during the height of COVID to provide snacks/candy and water; wellness toolkit information; inspirational books, quotes and poems; and messages of thanks from leadership and the community
    • Free yoga on Fridays via Zoom, provided by Penn State Student Affairs
    • Heart Rhythm Meditation on Wednesdays via Zoom
    • Mindfulness Practice Community on Wednesdays via Zoom
    • Weekly WeCARE Support Sessions sponsored by the Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

Physical health resources

  • Part of overall health includes regular physical activity, a healthy diet and sufficient sleep.

    With the time pressures of work and home life, it is easy for these areas to be neglected, often with the thought that the time spent sleeping, cooking something healthy or going for a walk could be better spent elsewhere.

    However, without these physical elements of wellness, it becomes harder to perform at a high level in the long run.

    It is important to recognize that physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet do improve general well-being, which affects overall mental health.

  • Band Together is a fun and free strength-training program using resistance bands. This class is open to all ages and all different fitness levels.

    Please join the Band Together peer-led class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. via Zoom. Zoom information can be found on the internal Infonet.

    To receive additional information, email Brenda Thomas at bthomas2@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine are sponsors of a bike share program that allows participants to borrow from a pool of 40 Movatic bikes spread across nine stations on and around the Hershey campus.

    Use is free for those who register with a Penn State Health email address.

    Details: Learn more in this Penn State Health News story

  • The Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association (SAMBA) partnered with Penn State to develop 10 miles of new trails around Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center with options for bike-riders of all skill levels.

    Trails can be accessed traffic-free from the surrounding communities using the Eshenour Memorial bike path.

    The trail system is divided into two distinct areas, the east side and the west side. The terrain is generally rocky and rugged, and while the east side offers more open, flowing trails, the west side is more technical and challenging.

    Details: See the trail map on the SAMBA website

  • Fitness Your Way is an offering of Blue Cross’ Blue365 Deals available to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center employees, including residents and fellows.

    Fitness Your Way helps clients meet physical and emotional goals within their budget and on their own time by offering access to nearly 10,000 different fitness locations for $29 a month.

    Local gyms include: (as of May. 1, 2021) FPC Physical Therapy- Hershey, Anytime Fitness- Palmyra, Gold’s Gym- Hershey, CRPS Physical Therapy- Palmyra, Elizabethtown & Harrisburg, Power Train- Palmyra & Harrisburg, Paramount Sports Complex, New York Fitness Clubs- North Londonderry, Lebanon Valley College Sports Complex, Annville Fitness Center, Anytime Fitness- Cleona, Elizabethtown Fitness Club, Platinum Health & Fitness, Planet Fitness, Crunch Fitness, Central Penn Health & Fitness.

    Details: Visit Blue365 Deals

  • The University Fitness Center is located on the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center campus.

    Residents and fellows are offered a discount but must show their badges at the front desk and notify staff of their status.

    Several specialty classes at the Fitness Center are available to non-members.

    Details: See the University Fitness Center website

Part of overall health includes regular physical activity, a healthy diet and sufficient sleep.

With the time pressures of work and home life, it is easy for these areas to be neglected, often with the thought that the time spent sleeping, cooking something healthy or going for a walk could be better spent elsewhere.

However, without these physical elements of wellness, it becomes harder to perform at a high level in the long run.

It is important to recognize that physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet do improve general well-being, which affects overall mental health.

Band Together is a fun and free strength-training program using resistance bands. This class is open to all ages and all different fitness levels.

Please join the Band Together peer-led class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. via Zoom. Zoom information can be found on the internal Infonet.

To receive additional information, email Brenda Thomas at bthomas2@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine are sponsors of a bike share program that allows participants to borrow from a pool of 40 Movatic bikes spread across nine stations on and around the Hershey campus.

Use is free for those who register with a Penn State Health email address.

Details: Learn more in this Penn State Health News story

The Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association (SAMBA) partnered with Penn State to develop 10 miles of new trails around Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center with options for bike-riders of all skill levels.

Trails can be accessed traffic-free from the surrounding communities using the Eshenour Memorial bike path.

The trail system is divided into two distinct areas, the east side and the west side. The terrain is generally rocky and rugged, and while the east side offers more open, flowing trails, the west side is more technical and challenging.

Details: See the trail map on the SAMBA website

Fitness Your Way is an offering of Blue Cross’ Blue365 Deals available to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center employees, including residents and fellows.

Fitness Your Way helps clients meet physical and emotional goals within their budget and on their own time by offering access to nearly 10,000 different fitness locations for $29 a month.

Local gyms include: (as of May. 1, 2021) FPC Physical Therapy- Hershey, Anytime Fitness- Palmyra, Gold’s Gym- Hershey, CRPS Physical Therapy- Palmyra, Elizabethtown & Harrisburg, Power Train- Palmyra & Harrisburg, Paramount Sports Complex, New York Fitness Clubs- North Londonderry, Lebanon Valley College Sports Complex, Annville Fitness Center, Anytime Fitness- Cleona, Elizabethtown Fitness Club, Platinum Health & Fitness, Planet Fitness, Crunch Fitness, Central Penn Health & Fitness.

Details: Visit Blue365 Deals

The University Fitness Center is located on the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center campus.

Residents and fellows are offered a discount but must show their badges at the front desk and notify staff of their status.

Several specialty classes at the Fitness Center are available to non-members.

Details: See the University Fitness Center website

Social resources

To have social happiness, it is vital to develop a sense of connection and belonging and to have a well-developed support system. There are various events and fundraisers held on campus that bring together employees from all departments.

Volunteering

Many volunteer opportunities are available in Hershey and the surrounding communities. One very close opportunity is the Ronald McDonald House, where many patients’ families stay.

Affinity groups

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine have multiple affinity groups faculty and staff can join, including:

  • Disability Affinity Resource Network Group
  • Group on Women in Medicine and Science
  • Interfaith Affinity Resource Network Group
  • LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Resource Network Group
  • Military/Veterans Affinity Resource Network Group
  • Multicultural Affinity Resource Network Group
  • NextGen

Learn more about these affinity groups.

Commission for Women

Penn State Commission for Women seeks to promote women’s initiatives in the areas of equity, maternity and child/elder care concerns, mentoring, professional development and recognition, strengthening networking and social connections and workplace safety.

All employees and students at Hershey Medical Center and the College of Medicine, regardless of gender, are welcome to join and/or attend events.

Learn more about the Commission for Women.

Partners in Medicine

Partners in Medicine is a support and social group for spouses of medical students, residents, fellows and new attending physicians at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Learn more about Partners in Medicine.

Area resources

Residents and fellows who want to plan their own social events can check out the Visit Hershey & Harrisburg website for info on area restaurants, shopping, outdoor and indoor activities and an extensive calendar of events.

Occupational and intellectual wellness resources

Finding personal satisfaction and enrichment from work is a key to wellness. Similarly, a cornerstone of being a fulfilled person is intellectual growth, recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.

PAWS UP

PAWS UP! is an employee recognition program that celebrates the strength of the people of Penn State Health. The program includes service awards, employee of the month/year, birthday and other eGreetings and special “Paws Up” nominations and on-the-spot recognition cards from managers.

Points earned can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, travel packages, charity donations and event tickets from Hershey Entertainment.

Professional development

The Learning and Leadership Development team offers on-site courses for individuals and departments. Some courses, like the Grow Academy, can be found in Compass through the Infonet (Penn State Access ID login required). For details, call Human Resources at 717-531-8440.

Additional professional development programs offered to both Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine employees can be found on the Faculty and Staff website.

Physician Writers Group

The Physician Writers Group is a workshop for clinicians who are interested in creative writing for publication in professional medical journals. The group meets during the fall and/or spring semesters.

Humanities professor Dr. Kimberly Myers, who holds a doctorate in literature, hosts the group. Email her at kmyers2@pennstatehealth.psu.edu for details.

Harrell Health Sciences Library

Harrell Health Sciences Library offers many services to residents and fellows, including but not limited to literature searching, systematic review, EndNote citation management, 3D printing services, e-learning and digital media development, virtual reality, a Technology Sandbox, the One-Button Studio and group study rooms. Contact information for each departmental liaison can be found on the library’s website.

Emotional and spiritual wellness resources

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It is important to be able to cope effectively with life and to create satisfying relationships, in order to achieve the balance necessary to be mentally healthy and well. Emotional wellness involves being aware of and accepting feelings; adjusting to change, both good and bad; coping with stress; and enjoying life despite occasional disappointments and frustrations.

Meanwhile, spiritual wellness involves developing a sense of purpose and meaning in life. It is a personal journey and could involve prayer, meditation, affirmations or specific spiritual practices that are meaningful. Using values, beliefs and principles to help ground decisions and actions can lead to balance and overall wellness.

In addition to the mental health resources listed above, Penn State Health offers:

Al-Anon at Work

The Al-Anon at Work support group helps to bring hope and strength to families and friends of problem drinkers. Participants share the experiences, strength and hope through fellowship to solve their common problems. Those whose lives have been touched by addiction also find Al-Anon helpful. New members are always welcome.

Meetings: Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays via Zoom see the Infonet calendar for details (Penn State Health ePass login required)

Details: Call Robin at 717-531-7560 or Paula at 717-531-2908

Pastoral Services

Resources through Pastoral Services are also available to employees. The Interfaith Chapel, near the south entrance of Hershey Medical Center, is open at any time for prayer or meditation. There is a Catholic mass at noon every Tuesday and Jumu’ah prayer at 1:30 p.m. every Friday.

Details: Call Pastoral Services Staff Hotline at 717-531-3600

Staff also have the option to send a text, through Tiger Connect, for non-urgent concerns. Employees can sign in to their Tiger Connect account, find HMC Staff Support Hotline in the directory and type a message.

Resiliency Through Art

The Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine hosts Resiliency Through Art workshops throughout the year. All are welcome; no artistic talent is needed.

Explore their website for current offerings, including many virtual performances. If you would like to request an Art for Wellness Workshop or Art Kits for your program, please reach out to Lauren Talhelm at ltalhelm@pennstatehealth.psu.edu in the GME Office.

Website: https://sites.psu.edu/centerstage/

Details: Email Kerry Royer at kroyer@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Meditation break

Heart Rhythm Meditation is a simple way to help reduce stress and enhance resilience. Everyone can meditate – no prior experience required.

Meetings: Wednesdays noon to 12:30 p.m. via Zoom Audio

Details: Email Lisa Hanlon Wilhelm at lwilhelm@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or see the Infonet calendar for details (Penn State Health ePass login required)

Mindfulness practice community

A weekly 30-minute friendly guided meditation session held via Zoom. All levels welcome.

Meetings: Wednesdays 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. and Fridays 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Details: Email Timothy Riley, MD, at triley1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or mindfulness@pennstatehealth.psu.edu for the Zoom link and to receive weekly reminders.

University Fitness Center specialty classes

University Fitness Center offers specialty classes throughout the year open to both members and non-members. Many focus on mindfulness disciplines. Sessions include topics such as Kundalini Yoga, Kendo, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Tactical Hapkido and Systema, Tai Chi and QiGong, and Yoga for Complete Health.

Details: See the fitness center website

Other wellness resources

Good health is promoted by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to environmental wellness. Each person has to find what works best for themselves.

A number of features of the institution can help promote environmental wellness, including:

  • Private rooms are available on campus for nursing mothers. Lactation services, human resources or the GME office can provide the most up-to-date information on their locations.
  • Healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options are available in the cafeteria. Each resident receives a set amount of money, based on program, to be used at all dining facilities on campus.
  • The organization has walking meeting capabilities.
  • There are several hydration stations around campus, with additional ones to come.
Satisfaction with current and future financial situations is a part of overall wellness and balance.

Financial stresses can be significant, and having a plan for and managing them is the best way to promote wellness in this area.

A number of financial resources are available, including:

  • One-on-one counseling with on-site Empower Retirement representatives to discuss future financial planning can be arranged by calling 717-531-1878.
  • ComPsych offers online financial resources to help with budgeting, planning and saving.
  • The GME office offers quarterly GME personal finance lectures.
  • A discount program through Abenity is applicable to services such as cell phones, travel, movie tickets, theme parks, automobile services and more.

ACGME

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) offers several tools and resources on topics such as identifying and addressing burnout; promoting well-being; assessing and addressing emotional and psychological distress, depression and suicide; improving the learning and working environment; and coping with tragedy.

Details: See the ACGME website

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers online resources around health care professional burnout, depression and suicide prevention.

Details: See the AFSP website

Live the Life You Want

The “Live the Life You Want” website, created by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC, highlights living and working in Harrisburg and central Pennsylvania. The website includes information on cost of living, education, cultural initiatives, things to do, transportation and more. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a partner of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC.

Details: See the website

Mental Health America

Mental Health America offers online screening tools for various concerns.

Details: Take online screenings for depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, addiction, psychosis or eating disorders

TED talks

Many inspiring TED talks can be found on the following playlists

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.