April 23, 2019

Thiel College, Sharon Regional Medical Center announce cooperative agreement that will provide education and health care benefits to the region

(Greenville, Pa., April 22, 2019) - Officials from Thiel College and Sharon Regional Medical Center—part of Steward Health Care—announced today that they plan to establish an affiliation that will strengthen and augment the health, education and wellness services both institutions offer in Greenville and the region.
This affiliation will advance missions and strategies for each of the institutions. The proposed agreement will allow Thiel College to provide access to professional training opportunities and education services to students pursuing degrees in health and science, as well as professional health and wellness services to its students and the community. Sharon Regional Medical Center intends to expand on its ability to provide community-based health care services to the campus community and area residents. Sharon Regional would also benefit from a direct source of qualified interns and graduating professionals from Thiel.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to enlarge the health and wellness for students and the Greenville community,” Thiel College President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., said. “Innovative collaborations are essential for a region’s growth, and this arrangement will enhance the quality of life for the entire region.”
Sharon Regional Medical Center began to provide campus health care services in mid-April. Sharon Regional has also teamed with the College to use its track and field complex for its Healthy Steps program which encourages exercise and brings health care experts into the community to discuss health care and fitness. Plans call for a campus clinic in August that would be open to students, staff and the general public to provide walk-in health care diagnostic and treatment services. The clinic would provide extended service hours to students and the general community.
“We are very excited about this partnership and the opportunity to offer expanded medical services to students, families and businesses in northern Mercer County. Sharon Regional is a natural fit; as the only accredited chest pain and primary stroke centers in the region, we will bring specialty services and advanced care to the Greenville community,” Sharon Regional Medical Center president and CEO Joseph Hugar said. “Also, by offering full access to those comprehensive programs and services, it will allow students and residents to remain in the local area for their health care services. This will meet the concerns of many community members who do not want to be transferred outside of the area. Investing in the students and the advantages of intergenerational programs and clinics will also help to ensure long term planning to keep the medical resources and expertise in the community.”
The Thiel College and Sharon Regional Medical Center relationship has been cultivated around the idea that education, training, career and well-being are all interconnected.
“Thiel College is known for its community-centered culture that places the students, their well-being and their professional aspirations at the forefront of their educational pursuits,” Traverso said.
This notion is reinforced by a 2017 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which found that grade point average and the total number of internships completed as an undergraduate are the major predictors of initial career outcomes. The medical fields desperately need trained professionals, clinicians and nurses. Academically, this affiliation aligns with the College’s new health systems major, as well as its plans for master’s degree programs in physician assistant and speech language pathology, which will both begin enrolling students in 2021.
Thiel and Sharon Regional will create ongoing joint community education events on a variety of health and wellness topics, building upon their mutual commitment to improving the health of the community with proactive disease prevention and awareness initiatives.