In June, the Pennsylvania Department of Education determined that institutions that provide education for direct patient care could reopen in a limited capacity.

This allowed us to begin to offer some on-campus simulation and lab instruction for our two summer sessions, while following strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

We will continue with this approach for our fall semester – with all didactic courses continuing online, and hands-on clinical skills instruction and science labs able to happen with a modified approach on campus.

Many factors are being considered as we plan for the future.

As a non-residential college, with students traveling to campus from throughout Pennsylvania and beyond, being physically together poses unique risks. And as a health care-focused college whose students interact with ill and vulnerable populations, we also have a responsibility to be especially cautious in our approach to the “new normal.”

We know our determined, resilient students will continue to support one another, work hard and reach their goals.

PA College News

We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:

Student Spotlight

Eulalia Sanchez-Lutchkus ’21
Three-Year BSN program

Eulalia Sanchez-LutchkusAfter working as a respiratory therapist at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital for 15 years, following five years in a PRN capacity for UPMC Pinnacle Lititz, Eulalia Sanchez-Lutchkus needed a professional change and yearned to learn more. She decided to become a nurse, and with the support of tuition assistance from LGH, Eulalia enrolled in PA College. She has undertaken our intensive Bachelor’s degree program in nursing while continuing in her current role at the hospital. “I love that the program is just three years and I can do it while still working fulltime to provide for my family,” she shares.

And that family has grown during Eulalia’s busy student days. She gave birth to her son this past May during her summer internship and is proud to be on track to graduate with her cohort next year! Eulalia is also energized by the unity she feels among the nursing profession all around the world. She hopes to start her nursing career in either the ICU or NICU and looks forward to drawing on her knowledge of adult, pediatric and neonatal respiratory – while also broadening her professional experience. One day, Eulalia aspires to continue her education to become a nurse anesthetist.

In addition to her newborn son, Eulalia and her husband of twelve years have a six-year-old daughter. She also has a 24-year-old stepdaughter and 19-year-old stepson who she helped raise since they were 5 and 10 years old, and a beautiful 2-year-old granddaughter. Eulalia enjoys singing karaoke and dancing. Her hobbies also include paddle boarding and traveling to tropical destinations with her family; they hope to one day move closer to the water.

Alumni Spotlight

Laura Burns ’18, RN
RN Case Manager for Home Hospice, Hospice & Community Care

Laura Burns“I have always wanted to be a nurse. I love to help others,” shares Laura Burns ’18, RN. “PA College helped me to achieve that dream.”

Laura began nursing school as an adult, after she married and was raising two small children. She values the lifelong friendships that developed during her time in our ASN nursing program and credits the college with providing her with the skills and knowledge she’s needed to be successful as a new nurse. Laura started her career on a medical-surgical floor at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, and then moved to hospice nursing in December 2019.

Currently an RN case manager for home hospice at Hospice & Community Care, Laura oversees approximately 15-21 people at any given time. She manages symptoms, medications and provide quality care at end-of-life. Laura shares: “Patient and family education are huge in hospice nursing. I meet people at a very vulnerable time and through trust and knowledge can build a relationship that the patient can accept and find comforting. My transition to hospice nursing has been the proudest moment in my nursing career so far. It is a hard profession with emotionally draining days, but I find great pleasure in helping people at end-of-life. Hospice nursing has tested my critical thinking and my clinical skills. I enjoy learning new things every day.”

Laura lives in Denver, PA with her husband of 11 years, and their two daughters. She hopes to continue her nursing education in the near future, to earn her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. In her spare time, Laura enjoys being with family, traveling to new places, visiting the beach and reading.

Seeking People of PA College

Do you know an exceptional current student or alumnus whose experiences and accomplishments would help tell the PA College story? Or someone who has overcome an obstacle or reached a challenging milestone during their PA College experience? Please email your suggested names (and identify them in one of these categories) to Karen Jenkins. Self-nominations are also welcome!

PA College News

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, the region’s preeminent institution for the health care field, has received the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Credentialing Success Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) for its Respiratory Care program.

The College received this award in recognition of its success in preparing its Respiratory Care students to achieve the highest educational and professional aspirations.

“We’re honored to be recognized by CoARC for our success in graduating talented professionals who are true leaders in their field, making a real difference in our community’s health care systems,” said Mary Grace Simcox, PhD, President of Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. “Respiratory therapists play a critical role in the health care ecosystem, and that’s true now more than ever. Our rigorous Respiratory Care program prepares graduates for a successful, high-earning career in advanced pulmonary care.”

Graduates awarded a Respiratory Care Associate Degree maintain a 97 percent placement rate. The current national placement rate is 88 percent. Program gradates also hold a 100 percent employer satisfaction rate and a 100 percent RRT credentialing success rate.

“The Respiratory Care program prepares graduates for the credentialing process and a rewarding career in respiratory care. Our learning approach has been critical in training our future health care workers,” said Jim Christie, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Respiratory Care Program Chair. “Our students are learning core competencies through interactive, hands-on experiences led by highly experienced faculty, a state-of-the-art simulation facility, interdisciplinary exercises that model the dynamics of a hospital, and real-life skills development through our clinical affiliates.”

PA College was recognized by the CoARC board of directors and awarded the distinguished honor by exceeding the following criteria:

  1. Have three or more years of outcomes data;
  2. Hold accreditation without a progress report;
  3. Maintains documented RRT credentialing success of 90 percent or above, and
  4. Meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for CRT credentialing success and retention.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for respiratory therapists is $61,330. Employment demand for respiratory therapists is projected to grow 21 percent through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an even greater need for licensed, skilled respiratory therapists to provide critical care for patients with severe pulmonary conditions caused by the virus.

For more information about Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences and the Respiratory Care Associate Degree, please click here.

About Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
A dynamic and academically rigorous institution, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences is a private, accredited, four-year college focusing exclusively on the field of health care. Offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, as well as a number of certificate programs, PA College provides professional development for health care workers throughout their career. Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the College attracts a select group of more than 1,800 students to study with faculty who are experts in their specialty areas.

PA College News

We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:

Alumni Spotlight

Lori Flowers ‘20
Cardiovascular Invasive Specialty program

Lori FlowersMany of our students cite the health care experiences of loved ones (or their own) as the inspiration for pursing a career in the field. Lori Flowers chose her professional path after the death of her father in 2016. Thanks to his generous organ donation, a critically ill patient received her father’s heart. Lori had the opportunity to first exchange letters, and later meet, the man whose life was saved by this heart transplant. “Hearing his journey inspired me to work in the cardiac field,” shares Lori.

After attending Harrisburg Area Community College for a time as a nursing major, Lori made the switch to PA College’s Cardiovascular Invasive Specialty program. She valued our strictly health care focus and fast-paced environment, but ultimately Lori’s favorite quality of her program was its small size, which allowed her to form close bonds with her peers during classwork and clinicals. Lori completed her clinical rotations at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Muhlenberg and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. She participated in a variety of procedures, including heart catheterizations for both adults and children, transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs), peripheral catheterizations, heart biopsies and a few electrophysiology (EP) studies. While she enjoyed the range of work in the cardiac cath lab, Lori is especially drawn to working in Pediatrics. “I have always loved working with kids and taking care of them,” she adds.

Lori lives in Ephrata with her four-year-old child. In her free time, she enjoys bowling, a hobby since she was seven years old. Lori earned her Associate’s degree this summer and is excited to put her knowledge into practice, working in her field.

Rose Henry ’84 ’14, RN, MSN, CNOR
Clinical Administrator, Physician’s Surgery Center, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health

Rose HenryRose (Krow) Henry’s college career began with dual enrollment in the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing (now PA College) and Franklin & Marshall College. She earned both her nursing diploma and an Associate’s degree in 1984. After a start in Pediatrics, Rose switched to surgical nursing, first working at Holy Spirt Hospital in Camp Hill, before joining the open heart surgery team at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. After six years, Rose became OR Charge Nurse on the 3-11 shift, the first of numerous leadership roles in the years to follow. In 2011, Rose returned to PA College, receiving her program’s Outstanding Graduate award upon earning her BSN degree in 2014. To further her surgical expertise, she also obtained her Certification in OR Nursing (CNOR) the following year. Rose credits her PA College experience with giving her the confidence and skills to pursue her Master’s degree in Nursing Education, which she earned from Capella University in 2019.

In her current role as Clinical Administrator at the LGH Physician’s Surgery Center, Rose oversees an 86-member clinical team, responsible for approximately 1,200 surgical cases per month in a multi-specialty environment. She describes leading her staff through the current COVID-19 pandemic as an unprecedented time in her 36-year nursing career. Rose shares: “During this time, the ability to adapt to changes was sometimes needed on an hourly basis. I have had to make some tough decisions based on my prior experiences in leadership as the Center ramped down to an Emergent/Urgent surgical schedule and back up to running at 110-115% capacity once elective surgeries could proceed again. I am fortunate to work with a group of professionals who have maintained a positive attitude throughout this time and who pride themselves in providing the best care possible to every patient who walks through our Center’s doors.”

Rose lives in southern Lancaster County, and enjoys spending time at her family’s coastal retreat in southern Delaware. She and her husband have four grown daughters, five grandsons and two “fur babies.” She enjoys anything involving the sun, water, and sand, baking (especially Christmas cookies), and traveling. Rose’s interests also include teaching, reading, lifelong learning and being the best mom and grandmother (“Gigi”) she can be. Rose also aspires to mentor the next generation of healthcare professionals and adds: “I am most proud of the relationships I have built with the people I have been lucky enough to work with and mentor along the way. Developing good relationships and mentoring the people you work with no matter what your role will serve you well at every stage of your career.”

Seeking People of PA College

Do you know an exceptional current student or alumnus whose experiences and accomplishments would help tell the PA College story? Or someone who has overcome an obstacle or reached a challenging milestone during their PA College experience? Please email your suggested names (and identify them in one of these categories) to Karen Jenkins. Self-nominations are also welcome!

PA College News

Health Care Careers Academy

The Health Care Careers Academy (HCCA) is a joint venture of the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, Lancaster County Stem Alliance, HCCA Lancaster Campus, and Lancaster-Lebanon IU13. The Academy is being generously funded by a BB&T Economic Growth Fund grant of the Lancaster County Community Foundation. The need for healthcare professionals is growing exponentially, impacting the social and economic future, of Lancaster County.

The Mission of the partnership and program is to:

Provide a pipeline to healthcare careers through education, mentorship and hands-on experiences.

In its third year of the pilot program, the academy continues to work with students interested in pursuing healthcare careers. The HCCA program is currently working with the School District of Lancaster, Manheim Central Schools, and Eastern Lancaster County School District. Following the pilot, the intention is to expand to other schools across the county.

As a part of the Academy’s Core Values, the staff, faculty, and administrators believe and value:

Healthcare education as a pipeline to employment
Careers in healthcare that provide sustainable personal financial security
A healthcare community characterized by collaboration and partnership.
Relevant healthcare experience, supported with guidance and mentorship.
Empathetic, skilled, motivated healthcare professionals

For each year of the pilot program, twelve freshmen from each of the three school districts are selected during the spring term. These students stay with the program for the remainder of high school, engaging in a two-week summer experience each year, as well as ongoing programming throughout the school year. Students will experience interactive and hands-on learning inside and out of the classroom, as well as valuable peer to peer interaction throughout the program.

In the ultimate vision of HCCA, every student is empowered to make a strategic decision around healthcare careers. To find our more information about this program, please contact

PA College News

Drive Thru Graduation 2020While the coronavirus pandemic prevented us from holding our usual Commencement ceremony this year, we could not let this momentous occasion pass by without celebrating the PA College Class of 2020!

One June 24 and 26, we hosted special “drive through” graduations on campus. President Mary Grace Simcox and fellow academic leaders donned their regalia (and face masks), and through car windows and safe social distancing, presented graduates with their diploma covers, pins and awards, along with plenty of congratulations and well wishes. Joining in were faculty and staff members who cheered on the new graduates with hand-made signs, noise makers and applause.

We’re so proud of our newest alumni and know that their determination and resilience will serve them and their future patients well. Bravo, Class of 2020!

Congratulations to this year’s Award Winners:

Drive Thru Graduation 2020Lynn Brewer – BS in Health Sciences – Outstanding Graduate Award

Lorelei Ferre, ASN – Academic Excellence Award

Lori Flowers – Cardiovascular Invasive Specialty – Outstanding Graduate Award

Eric Hackl, ASN – Outstanding Graduate Award

Dawn Heinsey, RN to BSN – Academic Excellence Award

Ann Kuhn, RN to BSN – Outstanding Graduate Award

Stephanie Rivard, Radiology – Academic Excellence Award

Alexis Rogers, Surgical Technology – Academic Excellence Award

Gabriella Rogozin, BSN (prelicensure) – Academic Excellence Award

Kate Rohrer, ASN – Academic Excellence Award

Alyson Snyder, RN to BSN – Academic Excellence Award

Kathleen Suhrbier, ASN – Outstanding Graduate Award

Carleigh Wallace, RN to BSN – Outstanding Graduate Award

Amanda Weibel, ASN – Academic Excellence Award

Abbie Wiegand, BSN (prelicensure) – Outstanding Graduate Award

PA College News