Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center - Who Are We

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is the only locally based academic medical center in central Pennsylvania. The 619-bed medical center provides adults and children advanced patient-focused care for cancer, heart, vascular and neurological conditions. It is Pennsylvania’s only nationally verified Level I Trauma Center for both children and adults.

Hershey Medical Center shares its campus with Penn State Cancer Institute, Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, the region’s only children’s hospital.

Our Story

Hershey Medical Center opened in 1970 and has since become one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. It all started in 1963 when Samuel L. Hinkle, president and chairman of the Hershey Chocolate Corporation, called Penn State president Dr. Eric E. Walker to discuss establishing a medical school and teaching hospital in Hershey. The M. S. Hershey Foundation gave a $50 million gift to The Pennsylvania State University for the project. With this grant and $21.3 million from the U.S. Public Health Service, the University built Penn State College of Medicine and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Hershey Medical Center has a long history of developing new artificial heart technology, dating back to the 1970s when researchers led by Dr. William Pierce created the Penn State heart-assist pump, used as a bridge to cardiac transplantation.

In partnership with Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center faculty and staff continue to create innovative medical advances through research and clinical trials. Projects range from the development of artificial organs and advanced diagnostics to groundbreaking cancer treatments and understanding the fundamental causes of disease.

In 2014, the Penn State Board of Trustees formed Penn State Health, a multi-facility health system that today serves 29 counties in central Pennsylvania and employs 17,500 people.

Mission, Vision and Values

All patients receive world-class care based on our mission, vision and values:


  • Continually improve the health and well-being of people in Pennsylvania
  • Provide excellent, compassionate, culturally responsive and equitable care
  • Educate and train health care professionals
  • Advance evidence-based medical innovation through research and discovery


Our vision is to be Pennsylvania’s most trusted health care organization.


Penn State Health recognizes its employees for fulfilling the RITE values of the organization:

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Excellence

Learn More About Penn State Health

Find a doctor near you or learn about other Penn State Health locations.

The Association of Faculty and Friends

The Association of Faculty and Friends (AFF) of the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine is a nonprofit organization with a mission to support and promote medical education, research, clinical care and scholarship, provide a community of friendship to our members through interest groups and serve the needs of the community of which we are a part.

The AFF engages in charitable activities in support of these goals.

AFF members are both men and women with faculty or staff affiliations to the Medical Center, as well as those members of our community who wish to support and promote the mission of the organization and participate in the community of friendship.

If you would like more information, please contact Jaque Repke or become a member.