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Health and Human Development recognizes teaching excellence in HPA

The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) values excellence in teaching. Through a review of Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness scores, student comments and input from others in HHD, the Teaching Excellence Award recognizes some of our best faculty for their hard work and dedication to undergraduate teaching and learning. Read more.

Dennis Scanlon receives Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award

Dennis Scanlon, professor of health policy and administration and director of the Center for Health Care Policy and Research in the Department of Health Policy and Administration received the Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award for 2014.

As professor and director of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research in the Department of Health Policy and Administration, Dennis Scanlon’s research focuses on the use of information and incentives to improve quality and efficiency in health care markets, with a special focus on the impact of market-based and multi-stakeholder efforts to improve outcomes. He is currently leading an evaluation of a demonstration to reduce preventable and avoidable hospital readmissions and has led evaluations of the impact of a multi-site diabetes care management program based in Federally Qualified Health Centers and of the Boeing Company’s “Hospital Safety Incentive,” which tiers employee hospital co-payments according to published hospital patient safety indicators.

This award recognizes research contributions occurring or culminating within the past several years. The award was endowed by Evan Pattishall, dean emeritus of the former College of Human Development, and his wife, Helen Pattishall, a 1985 alumna in individual and family studies. The recipient will present a special lecture in spring 2015.

See all 2014 Faculty and Staff Award recipients.

Something different to digest: HPA students challenged to eat on about $30 for one week

What’s it like to feed yourself on $29.40 a week? Just ask a group of Health Policy and Administration (HPA) students.

Food bought with about $30/week

Food student Rebecca Fry bought for about $30 in the SNAP Challenge.

Patricia Miranda’s Principles of Public Administration class, HPA 410, took part in the nationally recognized SNAP Challenge earlier this month, which charges participants to live on the U.S. daily food aid benefit — about $4 a day — for one week. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

A program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the SNAP program offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families. To qualify, participants must meet certain resource and income guidelines.

Each student in Miranda’s class was given a pre-paid Visa gift card containing $29.40. They were told to use only that money to purchase food for themselves for seven days.

The assignment, which was held Nov. 3 through 9, included not only participating in the challenge, but also keeping records of food purchases and consumption; recording food entries to MyFitnessPal, an electronic health and fitness logging tool, to evaluate nutrition intake; and logging online entries to the PSU SNAP Challenge website.

“The purpose of this SNAP Challenge project is to heighten the learning experiences for HPA 410 students, draw attention to the issues of poverty and hunger, benefit the State College Food Bank, and raise awareness about ‘health in all policies,’” Miranda said. “SNAP Challenge week will give (students) a chance to experience…what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger.”

Read more about the SNAP Challenge.


Peter Kemper Appointed a Deputy Assistant Secretary in Department of Health and Human Services

Peter KemperPeter Kemper, a professor of health policy and administration at Penn State, has been appointed a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He will lead the Office of Disability, Aging, and Long Term Care Policy, one of four units within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. To assume the full-time position, Kemper retired from Penn State at the end of August. An expert on long-term care services and supports, Kemper has led a number of studies on the cost of care for the elderly as well as on the lifetime risk of needing long-term care services and supports. His research on home care includes an evaluation of the channeling demonstration, a large, randomized experiment that tested the effects of public financing of home care for the elderly. He also analyzed state options for the design of home care programs, case management in home care, and the effects of state Medicaid home care spending on the unmet need for personal care. Most recently, his research has investigated options for improving the jobs of direct care workers and of reducing turnover in these jobs. [More...]

Cancer Survivors Have Lower Employment Rates and Work Fewer Hours

Cancer survivors are less likely to be employed and work fewer hours than similarly aged adults without a history of cancer, even two to six years after diagnosis, according to a study conducted by Penn State researchers. “The finding is significant when you consider that there are nearly 12 million cancer survivors living in the United States,” said John Moran, an assistant professor of health policy and administration, who led the study. [More...]

Dissolving Health Disparities

Through a prestigious summer internship, May 2011 HPA graduate Hannah Grow hopes to help solve some of the world's health inequities. [More...]

Cancer survivors spend more on health care

Approximately 12 million people in the United States are cancer survivors. On average, their medical care costs $4,000 to $5,000 more annually than the care of people who have never had cancer, according to Penn State researchers. Advances in medicine enable more people to survive cancer, but there is little information regarding long-term health and economic effects of cancer. Pamela Farley Short, professor of health policy and administration her colleagues report their work in the current issue of the journal Cancer. [More...]

MHA case competitors finish among top teams in Alabama

Penn State Master of Health Administration (MHA) students finished among the top six teams in the country squaring off in February at the annual Health Administration Case Competition hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The event attracted 29 teams of health management students.This was Penn State’s second consecutive appearance in the finals of the case competition, one of only two universities in the nation to make a repeat visit. Penn State’s finish was top among all Big Ten programs and top among all Pennsylvania programs. Read more about Penn State MHA students success at the annual Health Administration Case Competition.

Penn State Reception at ACHE 2011

The Department of Health Policy and Administration cordially invites you to a reception introducing students, alumni, friends and faculty associated with Health Policy and Administration. The reception will be held in affiliation with ACHE’s 2011 Congress in Chicago, IL. See details of the reception.

Reception Planned for Pittsburgh Area Alumni

The Health Policy and Administration Affiliate Program Group (HPA APG) is sponsoring a reception for Penn State Health Policy and Administration alumni in the Pittsburgh area. Please join fellow alumni:

Thursday, March 3, 2011
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Duquesne Club
325 Sixth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Cash bar will be available
RSVP: Please RSVP to Teri Howes at or Joe Dionisio at 814-865-3934 or

HPA senior earns prestigious ACHE award

Caitlin Grim, a senior Health Policy and Administration student at Penn State, has been honored as a 2010 recipient of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Early Career Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award.

Past news from the department of Health Policy and Administration