Two Alumna Honored with Inaugural Killinger Scholarship for Oncology Nurses at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
After a courageous fight, Matthew Killinger passed away from recurrent leukemia in 2006 at age 29. Matt was a graduate of Pequea Valley High School and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. He began working in printing after graduating from Thaddeus Stevens. Matt loved sports and spending time with his family and friends. His loving family – parents James and Cheryl, wife Lisa, children Haley and Cameron, and siblings Michael and Michelle – wanted to honor his memory and the exceptional oncology care he received from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. In 2020, they established the Killinger Scholarship for Oncology Nurses at LGH. The fund will provide financial assistance for educational advancement and/or certification to nurses and patient care assistants employed by the health system who have a strong interest in oncology care.
This year, the inaugural Killinger Scholarships were awarded to two PA College alumna, Julie Justice Klunk ’11 ’14, BSN, RN, OCN, CBCN and Danielle Robertson ’18, BSN, RN, OCN.
Julie, a two-time PA College graduate is an Oncology Nurse Navigator at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. She is also a current student in our Nurse Practitioner program, to earn her MSN-FNP in 2022. She shares: “It is such an honor to share this inaugural scholarship with Danielle. Oncology nursing is an ever-changing science. Being recognized for the dedication to the advancement of oncology nursing education is humbling. This support will help to offset of the financial cost of pursuing my graduate degree as I work to become a nurse practitioner with a focus in Oncology.”
Danielle is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist Fellow with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and is also continuing her education in the University of Detroit Mercy, MSN-AGCNS program, with an anticipated graduation December 2021. She notes: “I am so incredibly honored and grateful to share this scholarship with my colleague Julie. Being an oncology nurse has truly changed my life. Thank you to the Killinger family for this amazing and generous gift, which will help me achieve my dream of becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist specializing in oncology.”
The Killinger family had an opportunity to meet this year’s scholarship recipients and they were humbled by Julie and Danielle’s dedication to oncology patient care, which honors the legacy of Matt’s life. Matt’s brother, Mike Killinger ’92, MSN, RN – a nursing graduate of PA College, and now Director of Nursing at LGH, shared: “Our family is eternally grateful that we are able to memorialize my brother, Matt, in this way. To build a legacy in Matt’s honor that recognizes nurses and other health professionals who have a strong interest in oncology nursing here at Penn Medicine Lancaster General. He would be so proud of these individuals and of their accomplishments.” Matt’s daughter Haley Killinger is also currently enrolled in PA College in the ’21 Radiology Program. Having been with her Dad during many of his diagnostic testing appointments, she is interested in specializing in CT Scanning.