People of PA College: September 2018 Edition

by Karen Jenkins September 5, 2018

People of PA College: September 2018 Edition

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

Student Spotlight

Lisa Clayton-Yost, BSHA ’15

Associate of Science in Nursing ’20

Nearly one quarter of our current students have already earned a degree at PA College; returning to take their education to the next level. Lisa Clayton-Yost completed our Bachelor in Healthcare Administration program in 2015, excellent preparation for her current role in Research Administration with the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s Research Institute. Lisa loves learning about all of the studies being done at the hospital and helping to pay for this research by building budgets and putting new systems in place. Yet, when she began to think about going on for a Master’s degree, she stopped to reconsider her career goals. Lisa realized that she missed working with people and remembered that she had once aspired to be a nurse; plans which were set aside as she focused on marriage and raising children. So she decided to come back and complete her clinical education, and shares: “I am so happy with my decision! Balancing family, full-time work, and school can be a struggle, but the program can work if you make it a priority. PA College has an excellent reputation and I’m sure I will be well-prepared for whatever I want to do.”

Currently in her third semester in our evening-weekend ASN program, Lisa has also begun to take some Bachelor degree program courses. Thanks to her previous BSHA degree, she’ll be able to go on to earn her BSN in less time. And Lisa is even considering her next educational step – thinking about pursing a Master’s degree in Nursing or Public Health – enabling her to work in community and reproductive health and education. “I want to make sure everyone has the information and access to care that they need to make the best decisions for their health. One great thing about nursing is that you can care for people in so many different ways – there’s always something to do, and all of it is interesting!” adds Lisa. Reflecting on the value of the two degrees she’ll soon hold from PA College, Lisa notes: “The BSHA program taught me so much about the business side of healthcare and helped me understand what it takes to run such a complicated entity. I’m enjoying learning about the clinical side now, and I hope to merge my knowledge to make a real difference wherever I go.”

Lisa and her husband just enjoyed a double anniversary celebration, having been married twice last year! The couple first eloped to New Orleans for a whimsical wedding outside of an absinthe bar in a “haunted” alley behind St. Louis Cathedral with a pirate standing as their witness. A more traditional wedding with family followed just two days before the start of the semester. Their family includes four amazing boys, ages 12 to 16 at home in Lititz. Lisa’s wonderful daughter, age 20, lives nearby. Busy with kids, work and school, Lisa has little time for hobbies, so concludes that she’s collecting books that she hopes to read one day. She adds: “But I’m grateful that my life is never dull – there’s always something new to learn or an adventure to find. Nursing is a great path to both.”

Alumni Spotlight

Julie (Weidner) Groff, RN ’84

Co-Owner, Wyndridge Farm

An important highlight of Julie Groff’s PA College (then LGH School of Nursing) experience was meeting her husband Steve (then an employee at Lancaster General Hospital) at a school dance. Now married for 31 years, with three grown children and one grandson, the couple’s careers in the medical field developed in tandem following that chance encounter. After Julie earned her nursing diploma in 1984 and worked as a Med-Surg nurse at LGH for three years, the two married and moved to Charlottesville so Steve could attend medical school at the University of Virginia (UVA). During this time, Julie worked as a GYN Oncology nurse at UVA for a year and then took a job at an Allergist’s Office. After Steve’s medical school graduation, they moved to Hershey, PA for his orthopedic residency. Julie took a position with the Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Quality Assurance in Harrisburg, reviewing Psychiatric Inpatient Admissions.

After Steve completed his residency in 1996, the couple moved back to Julie’s hometown of York, PA. Steve began his career as an orthopedic spine and joint surgeon, and in 2000, they bought a 77-acre farm to raise their children, horses and cattle. Julie stopped working as a nurse and became a farm wife and mother, learning to drive a tractor and take care of the family’s animals. All was well until October 7, 2011. While riding his bicycle, Julie’s husband was struck by a car going 45 mph. He fractured his spine and needed the same surgery that he performed on many of his patients. Thankfully, Steve made a full recovery, but he was unable to operate anymore. “So, we started to think what this next chapter of our lives would look like,” shares Julie.

Julie and Steve decided to start a business on their farm. They first renovated an old barn as a wedding venue, and later added a restaurant and brewery. Now, almost four years later, Wyndridge Farm is thriving, and just recently added lodging on the farm to its line-up of offerings. “I never thought that this would be my ‘Act 2’ in life, but I am thankful every day that my husband is here to enjoy it with me,” Julie shares. She credits her PA College education for helping her to learn about hard work and perseverance, which carried through not only her nursing career, but also in her current role. While she left the nursing profession some time ago, Julie still feels pride for the rapport that she was able to build with her patients – in fact, one even attended her wedding!

In her spare time, Julie enjoys bicycling, reading and spending time with her family. Julie and Steve’s son Taylor is the CEO of their company; he and his wife Ashleigh are parents to 18-month old Garber Henry. The Groff’s oldest daughter, Hannah is in her last year of medical school and hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon like her father. And their youngest daughter Mackenzie just left to spend three years in New Zealand to obtain her PhD in Philosophy.

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!