Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (PA College), central Pennsylvania’s preeminent educational institution for the health care field, announced that President Dr. Mary Grace Simcox has been selected as one of Central Penn Business Journal’s 2022 Women of Influence honorees.

Women of Influence honors high-achieving women for their career accomplishments. The 29 women were chosen out of over a hundred applicants based on their professional experience, community involvement, leadership and a commitment to mentoring. The honorees were selected by a panel of judges consisting of business professionals and previous winners.

“Being named as a recipient to this year’s Women of Influence award is an honor, and I want to extend my congratulations to the fellow honorees,” said Dr. Simcox. “Serving as President of PA College has provided me the opportunity to support thousands of people who have the same goals as I do — to make an impact in their communities through health care. To be recognized for doing this work that I love to do is a deep privilege.”

The winners will be honored on June 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Harrisburg Hilton, One North 2nd Street in Harrisburg. Access to the celebration is limited to honorees and sponsors. If available, a limited number of individual tickets will be offered after sponsorships close May 30. To secure a sponsorship, contact Suzanne Fischer-Huettner at The event hashtag is #CPBJevents.

Honorees will be profiled in a magazine that will be inserted into the June 24 issue of Central Penn Business Journal and will be available online at

“The 2022 Women of Influence honorees are leading companies, creating new products, changing the way we do business and most importantly, paving the way for future generations of women,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, senior group publisher of the Central Penn Business Journal. “They are providing an incredible impact on the Central Pennsylvania region and demonstrate hard work, professional success, leadership and a relentless commitment to making Central Pennsylvania’s community the best place to live and work. Central Penn Business Journal is honored to recognize the accomplishments of these incredible women.”

PA College News

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (PA College), central Pennsylvania’s preeminent educational institution for the health care field, will hold its graduation ceremony for 522 students on Friday, May 20 from 7-9 p.m. at the Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster. The ceremony will also be available via livestream.

The Commencement celebrates the 116th year in the life of Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. This is the College’s first formal graduation ceremony since 2019, and it will feature the first formal hooding ceremony for doctoral graduates.

PA College president Dr. Mary Grace Simcox will preside over the Commencement exercises and Alison Stauffer, class of 2022 Bachelor of Science in Nursing, will also speak. The Commencement keynote speaker is Andy Carter, president and chief executive officer of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). He represents nearly 240 hospitals and health systems across the state, providing care for 12.8 million Pennsylvanians. Before coming to HAP, Carter served as the president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA), the national voice for nonprofit, community-based home health and hospice agencies. Before the VNAA, he led the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, where he created new public funding streams for Ohio’s six regional children’s hospitals and established the nation’s first statewide pediatric quality improvement initiative. Prior to entering the association field, Carter served for 20 years in a variety of leadership positions in community relations, state government, and business in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Ohio.

“We are thrilled to be able to honor our students with a formal graduation ceremony this year and to welcome them into the ranks of the many great alumni who have gone before them,” said Dr. Simcox. “It’s always a privilege to come together with families and friends of our graduates to recognize their hard work and dedication to their academics and the health care profession.”

Three doctorate degrees will be presented in Nursing Practice, and three post-master’s certificates will be presented: one Post Master’s Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and two Post Master’s Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan.

26 master’s degrees will be presented: 11 Masters of Healthcare Administration; two Masters of Science in Nursing Administration; two Masters of Science in Nursing Education; five Masters of Science in Nursing Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner; five Masters of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan; and one Master of Science in Nursing Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

144 bachelor’s degrees will be presented: one Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences; 19 Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences; eight Bachelors of Science in Healthcare Administration; 32 Bachelors of Science in Nursing (Pre-Licensure Track); and 84 Bachelors of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN Track).

297 associate degrees will be presented: 13 Associates in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography; two Associates in Applied Science in Cardiovascular Technology; one Associate in Applied Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology; 21 Associates in Applied Science in Radiography; 10 Associates in Applied Science in Respiratory Care; eight Associates in Applied Science in Surgical Technology; four Associates in Applied Science in Vascular Sonography; 41 Associates in Science in Nursing Three-Year Track; and 197 Associate in Science in Nursing Two-Year Track.

20 academic certificates will be presented: four Academic Certificates in Cardiovascular Technology; two Academic Certificates in Diagnostic Medical Sonography; five Academic Certificates in Medical Laboratory Science; five Academic Certificates in Nuclear Medicine Technology; one Academic Certificate in Surgical Technology; and three Academic Certificates in Vascular Sonography.

Additionally, 10 Professional Certificates in Healthcare Administration will be presented. 19 Technical Certificates will be given: four in Medical Assistant, and 15 in Paramedic Training.

The rain date for the graduation ceremony is Monday, May 23 from 7-9 p.m.

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

Allison Steele ’22
Student, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program

Allison SteelePoised to graduate from our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program in August, Allison Steele is ready to help save lives. Motivated by personal loss, she is driven by her strong faith to make a difference for those in her care. “After my aunt lost her battle with addiction in 2017, I knew that I wanted to have a career in health care,” Allison explains. “There is not a day that goes by that my family does not think of her. It has been my faith that has guided me through college, and I plan to continue to be a light to those around me as I go into the field of ultrasound. You never know what someone else is facing behind closed doors. With a smiling face and a simple kindness, I know that my small part can make a difference.”

Allison first enrolled in PA College as part of our high school dual enrollment program, staying busy with clubs, volunteerism and part time work. These experiences prepared her for working with the public and helped Allison step out of her comfort zone. She adds: “Helping the community is something that I will always be passionate about and will venture into more in the years to come after graduation.” Allison currently works as a customer service specialist at a Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health outpatient site, which allows to her take advantage of the health system’s tuition reimbursement program. In addition to this incentive, Allison chose to attend PA College for our guaranteed clinical placements, small class sizes and one-on-one time with her instructors. She finds working with children especially rewarding and aspires to work in pediatric ultrasound. “I feel that God has led me this direction for a reason,” Allison shares.

Allison lives in rural Lancaster County, and has a passion for journaling, traveling, four-wheeling, hiking, kayaking, fitness and spending time with the ones I love. “Juggling work, being a full-time student, family time, having a social life, and finding time for myself has been a struggle throughout these past two years and I could not have done it without the love and support of my friends and family,” shares Allison. While she does not believe that earning a college degree is the only way to be successful in life, she is proud to be the first generation of her family to go to college. She is grateful to her parents for helping her reach this milestone, and shares: “I only hope that one day I can live up to the potential that they see in me. I am trying my very best to make my family proud and to prove true something that my dad has always said to me: ‘You can do anything you put your mind to.’” Her boyfriend of nearly five years is also one of Allison’s biggest supporters and has been a shoulder to lean on, especially during the past two years.

Alumni Spotlight

Stewart Sampsel ’21, MHA
Physician Recruiter, WellSpan Health

Stew SampselEver since his undergraduate days playing Division I football for the SUNY Buffalo Bulls, Stew Sampsel has loved a competitive challenge. These days, his playing field is health care, and Stew works as a physician recruiter with WellSpan Health. “My profession has always faced significant challenges, especially considering the aging workforce and complex economics of the health care industry,” he shares. “With the growing physician shortage in the United States, the recruitment landscape is highly competitive, but I love the challenge. I take great pride in identifying the perfect fit for each practice I represent. I have the unique opportunity to work with some of the most talented providers in the country. It’s always gratifying to hear success stories associated with someone you helped hire.”

Stew supports the service lines of Medicine, Primary Care and Orthopedic Surgery and is responsible for developing comprehensive recruitment plans that align with WellSpan Health’s strategic goals. His department helps meet the clinical needs of communities the health system serves throughout south central Pennsylvania. “I am keenly aware that my work has an impact on friends and neighbors who rely on WellSpan for high-quality specialty care,” notes Stew.

A 2021 graduate of our Master of Healthcare Administration program, Stew credits his PA College education with helping him to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to communicate effectively with his internal and external customers. He offers this advise to our current students: “If you have questions or feel like you’re struggling, do not hesitate to reach out to the faculty and staff. They want to see you succeed! I was always impressed by their commitment to each individual student.”

A member of the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment as well as the Mid-Atlantic Physician Recruiter Alliance, Stew lives in York, PA with his wife Lauren and their two boys, ages seven and four. As a family, they enjoy camping, attending sporting events and going out for ice cream.

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