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IUP, Indiana Regional Medical Center Continue Collaboration on Rural Health Care

Community news | Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Indiana Regional Medical Center (IRMC) will celebrate National Rural Health Day on Nov. 17 with the launch of a podcast, “Rural Health Pulse.”

The podcast, which will be available for free from the IRMC website, will have monthly episodes. It includes professionals from IRMC and from IUP and is recorded by students in the IUP Department of Communications Media. It is produced by Christina Koren, IUP director of strategic partnerships. Dr. Jim Kinneer, Chief Human Resources Officer, will serve as the “host” for the shows.

The podcasts are part of a continued collaboration between IUP and IRMC on the topic of rural health care, focusing on issues and stories impacting the health of the region and programs and initiatives designed to improve healthcare and wellness.

“The podcast episodes cover an array of initiatives focused on advancing rural health care,” Dr. Kinneer said. “The interviews are designed to help to shine a light on these important efforts and vital contributors. It has been inspiring to hear firsthand about these endeavors while furthering our ongoing partnership with IUP,” he said.

“Our goals in establishing this podcast remain focused on the mission of the IUP an/IRMC collaborative: building upon collaborative opportunities in education, research, and clinical care,” Vice President for University Advancement Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna said. “We view this exciting new initiative as an opportunity to explore and engage in conversations that will spark interest and action from our listeners interested in rural health care developments and partnerships.”

The first episode of the series will feature Dr. Amanda Vaglia, family medicine physician at IRMC, discussing the IRMC residency program. This episode will be available on Nov. 17; episodes and upcoming topics and guests are:

  • Narayanaswamy Bharathan, chair, IUP Department of Biology, and Jackie Sansig, IRMC director of Laboratory and Respiratory Services, describing the unique COVID-19 testing collaborative and partnership (December)
  • Rick Adkins, IUP professor of mathematics, discussing the collaborative wastewater research project and COVID-19 analytics (January)
  • Dan Clark, IRMC director, Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery; director, IRMC Comprehensive Breast Center, discussing robotics in surgery (February)
  • An introduction to IRMC residents (March)
  • Dan Clark, IRMC director, Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery; director, IRMC Comprehensive Breast Center, discussing breast cancer (April)
  • Steve Hovan, interim dean, IUP John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, discussing IUP’s Kopchick Hall, future home to the Kopchick College (May)
  • Wendy Haislip, IRMC Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Pennsylvania rural health model and workforce challenges (June)

  • Erin Clark, clinic director at IUP’s Speech and Hearing Clinic and assistant professor in the IUP Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services, discussing the clinic’s community outreach (July)
  • Katie Donald, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at Punxsutawey Area Hospital, discussing rural healthcare models and challenges (August)

In April 2022, IUP hosted the first IUP-IRMC Day as part of the university’s Research Appreciation Week.

The event at IUP provided an opportunity for professionals from IUP and IRMC and the surrounding community to network, learn from each other, and identify more opportunities to work together. The event featured a keynote address by Dr. Randall Longenecker, a renowned rural health expert; discussion of IRMC partnerships, including nursing, lab research, food and nutrition, and COVID-19 wastewater research; and student networking sessions.