U.S. Rep. John Joyce tours allied health programs at Penn State Mont Alto

Rep. Joyce with Mont Alto Group

Following a simulated birthing demonstration at Penn State Mont Alto, U.S. Rep. John Joyce (left) is joined by Chief Academic Officer Michael Doncheski, nursing students Ben Cai and Mary Shriver, and Chancellor Francis Achampong.

Credit: Debra Collins

MONT ALTO, PA – “I have a background in health care and coming to Penn State is like coming home,” said U.S. Rep. John Joyce during a tour of Penn State Mont Alto’s allied health programs on Jan. 11.

Joyce, a dermatologist from Blair County, chose to visit Penn State Mont Alto to help him better understand health care education in the region. He was recently sworn into the House of Representatives for the 13th Congressional District.

“You’re going to see changes in health care, and I think Penn State is on the forefront of helping me understand the importance of the education of our students in this community,” he said.

During his visit, Joyce met with officials Chancellor Francis K. Achampong and Chief Academic Officer Michael Doncheski and then toured the nursing, physical therapist assistant and occupational therapy assistant labs meeting representatives from each program.

Joyce rolled up his sleeves in the nursing lab and was eager to assist students with the delivery of a baby during a simulated birthing demonstration. The simulator can be programmed to give students practice in a variety of birthing scenarios.

“The opportunity to see the programs here, the innovation that is occurring for the students, and actually be able to watch the students in one of the labs is probably one of the high points of being here,” said Joyce.

Dr. Dan Dandy with Rep. John Joyce

Dr. Dan Dandy, teaching professor and academic coordinator of clinical education (left), answers questions about Penn State Mont Alto's Physical Therapist Assistant program from Rep. John Joyce.

Credit: Debra Collins

Joyce also learned about the construction of Mont Alto’s new $13 million allied health building that is expected to open in July 2021.

“I knew about the strengths of their health care programs. They are part of the Penn State system. They are an integral part of educating students who are getting jobs in our communities.”

Penn State Mont Alto Chancellor Francis K. Achampong was happy for the opportunity to host Congressman Joyce on campus.

“We appreciate his engagement with higher education in general and Penn State Mont Alto in particular,” he said.

“It is good to have him experience firsthand what’s happening here and seeing the kind of education students are getting and its value in the community. We’ve produced over 1,000 nurses and over 1,000 occupational therapy assistants and physical therapist assistants. These are the people taking care of all of us.”

Dr. Angela Hissong with Rep. John Joyce

Dr. Angela Hissong, professor-in-charge and associate teaching professor, gives Rep. Joyce a tour of Mont Alto’s Occupational Therapy Assistant lab.

Credit: Debra Collins