Penn State Health Children’s Hospital promotes wellness in the community through a variety of programs - improving the health of children through classes, workshops, and other initiatives. 

Ongoing Outreach/Community Programs


ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) is a statewide initiative funded by the Bureau of Autism Services (BAS), Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), and PA Department of Human Services. ASERT is a key component of the BAS’s strategy for supporting individuals with autism and their families throughout the commonwealth.

Anti-Bullying Program

School-based programs for female relational aggression, Club O, Camp Ophelia

Contact: Cheryl Dellasaga, RN, GNP, Professor Humanities and Women’s Study

Brain Safety

Educational program in schools about the effect of drugs on the brain.

Contact: Sue Pazuchanics

Car seat, child and infant passenger safety; car seat education, inspection and installation

Weekly by appointment in Hershey or Harrisburg. Referrals for other sites. Car seats available based on ability to pay by select referral partners in hospital and in community through Safe Kids.

Contacts: Shannon DePatto, BS, Emmy Sasala, BS, Med
Website: Injury Prevention Program

Center for Protection of Children

Inpatient and outpatient resource for evaluation, management, and education

Contacts: Lori Frasier, MD, Director, Kathryn Crowell, MD, Heather Hoffman, MSW and Cathy Lewis
Website: Center for Protection of Children

Child Life Program

Provides inpatient support to patients, families, and siblings. Frequently provides hospital tours, partners for other initiatives, and Teddy Bear Clinics.

Contact: Ashley Kane, Manager
Website: Child Life Program

Concussion Program

Provides patient follow-up and education

Contact: Bev Shirk, BSN, RN, Pediatric Trauma Coordinator
Website: Concussion Care

Note: Other groups involved in concussion brain and brain safety: Safe Kids, Stroke Program, Life Lion

Driver’s Education

For young drivers, by court referral only.

Contact: Bev Shirk, BSN, RN, Pediatric Trauma Coordinator

Drugs 101

Program that features drug education for parents and children

Contacts: Bev Shirk, BSN, RN, Pediatric Trauma Coordinator, Paula Cameron, Care Coordinator for Pediatrics

Farm Safety Program

An injury prevention program focused on barn safety and horse–buggy safety.

Contact: Bev Shirk, BSN, RN, Pediatric Trauma Coordinator

Food Allergy Network

Family support for management of children’s food allergies. Provides education and advocacy.

Contact: Tracy Fausnight, MD

Injury Prevention and Pediatric Trauma – Pediatric Trauma and Dauphin County Safe Kids

Provides injury prevention and safety education in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Contacts: Shannon DePatto, BS, Emmy Sasala, BS, Med
Website: Injury Prevention Program

Hershey Farmers Market

Health Detective wellness program with weekly sessions, portable lessons for offsite.

Contacts: Ashley Visco and Bill Krenz Community Outreach Program
Website (Facebook): Hershey Farmers Market

The Hershey Story

Healthy eating and exercise program for school-aged children, offered throughout the school year for eligible school districts

Developed by PRO Wellness Center

Contacts: Ashley Visco and Bill Krenz Community Outreach Program
Website: The Hershey Story

Hummingbird Program

Provides palliative care, grief support and education

Contact: Nicole Hahnlen, RN, Clinical Coordinator, Pediatric Palliative Care
Website: Hummingbird Program

Life Lion EMS

Provides blood pressure screenings, bicycle safety, car seat tagging, and more

Contact: Joseph DePatto, Paramedic, Life Lion Community Outreach
Website: Life Lion EMS

PRO Wellness Center

Provides curriculum, resources; expertise on childhood obesity, nutrition, activity, and exercise

Contacts: Jennifer Kraschnewski, MD, Executive Director and Ellie Hogentogler, Marketing/Relationship Manager
Website: PRO Wellness Center

Resuscitation Science Training Center

Provides community education for CPR, hands-only CPR

Contact: Tammi Bortner, BSN, RN, Program Manager

Ronald McDonald House

Provides housing, meals, and support for patient families

Contact: Ann Mahalik
Website: Ronald McDonald House

Safe Sitter Program

One-day Safe Kids babysitting training program for youth 11 years and older (registration required – fee for class materials)

Contacts: Shannon DePatto, BS, Emmy Sasala, BS, Med
Website: Safe Sitter Program

Safe Sleep Program

Safe sleep education for inpatient and outpatient patients, community campaign; Cribs for Kids provider.

Contacts: Amy Bollinger

School Nurse Update Program

CE program offered for school nurses, paraprofessionals and school social workers

Contact: Lori Harkaway, MSN, RN
Website: Penn State Health's Annual School Nurse Update

Stroke Prevention and Stroke Detective program

Even young children need to know how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and call 911 immediately to help because their parents may be affected.

Download the Stroke Detective coloring and activity book for children

Contact: Andrea Singer

Healthy Weight Program for Kids and Teens

Group for ages 6-18. Participants may have chronic illness such as migraines or diabetes but not active suicidal ideation, any autism spectrum disorder, active psychotic symptoms, or severe depression that may interfere with participation or attendance.

Contacts: Timothy Zeiger, PsyD and Stephanie Ebersole
Website: Healthy Weight Program for Kids and Teens