Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other parents and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles. Learn more about the support groups offered at Penn State Health.

Hershey Medical Center

Band Together Strength Training Program

This free strength-training program for older adults is led by trained volunteers in churches and other community locations. In three, one-hour sessions a week, you...

This free strength-training program for older adults is led by trained volunteers in churches and other community locations. In three, one-hour sessions a week, you can get stronger, feel better, make new friends, maintain independence — and have fun doing it. For more information, email us.

Learn more about Band Together Strength Training Program.

Bladder Cancer Support Group

This group provides an opportunity to share cancer related experiences and provide encouragement, hope, education and emotional support to patients with bladder cancer and their...

This group provides an opportunity to share cancer related experiences and provide encouragement, hope, education and emotional support to patients with bladder cancer and their families through formal meetings, personal contact and newsletters. This group supports bladder cancer research through awareness functions, seminars and fundraising. For more information, please call the support group liaison at 717-531-0003, extension 285863 or email Theda Shaw, RN, MSN, Clinical Program Coordinator.

Blood Cancer Support Group

All patients and family members affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are invited to join us for an evening of support, friendly conversation and refreshments...

All patients and family members affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are invited to join us for an evening of support, friendly conversation and refreshments. Please come and share your challenges, concerns and thoughts with others who have similar experiences.

Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant

The BMT Support Group is designed to offer support, encouragement, information and resources regarding all aspects of the stem cell transplant process. The group is...

The BMT Support Group is designed to offer support, encouragement, information and resources regarding all aspects of the stem cell transplant process. The group is open to all Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant patients, family members, caregivers, friends and donors.

For more information, please call 717-531-0003, extension 281210.

Breast Cancer Support Groups

We offer several support groups at the Penn State Breast Center. Moving Forward which is an informal setting where you can meet other women diagnosed with...

We offer several support groups at the Penn State Breast Center. Moving Forward which is an informal setting where you can meet other women diagnosed with breast cancer. Moving Forward meets the second Monday of every month, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Penn State Breast Center, 30 Hope Dr, Room 1710 A & B, Hershey; FORCE which is a support group for BRCA gene mutation carriers. FORCE provides information, support awareness and advocacy for individuals and families affected by hereditary breast, ovarian and related cancers. Please contact 717-531-1631 for more information; and Pink Ribbon Program which is a therapeutic exercise program designed for patients after breast cancer surgery., awareness and advocacy for individuals and families affected by hereditary breast, ovarian and related cancers. Our support groups focus on support and educational needs of patients and families whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. 

Contact Jennifer Price via email or phone 717-531-7075 for more information.

Cerebral Revascularization

Penn State Health Cerebral Revascularization offers resources for patients with moyamoya or intracranial stenosis. To receive further information, please call 717-531-0895 or email moyamoya@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Cochlear Implant Support Group

Sponsored by Audiology at Penn State Children’s Hospital, this support group provides information about cochlear implant surgery as well as an opportunity for cochlear implant...

Sponsored by Audiology at Penn State Children’s Hospital, this support group provides information about cochlear implant surgery as well as an opportunity for cochlear implant recipients and their families to connect with other implant recipients.

To learn more, please call audiology services at 717-531-6822.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Support Group

The Crohn’s and Colitis Support Group provides information, support and resources for patients and families with the goal of building a group that allows the...

The Crohn’s and Colitis Support Group provides information, support and resources for patients and families with the goal of building a group that allows the Penn State Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center patients and their family members to develop connections with and receive support from other patients and care providers. Our scheduled speakers provide practical and up-to-date information on various aspects of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

The meetings are free and take place quarterly from 6-8 p.m.

For more information, contact Rachael Wentzel, IBD support group facilitator at gotgutshhmc12@gmail.com.

Diabetes Support Groups

Whether you're newly diagnosed or have had diabetes for many years, our support groups can help you live well with diabetes. Meet others who face...

Whether you're newly diagnosed or have had diabetes for many years, our support groups can help you live well with diabetes. Meet others who face the same challenges and learn new healthy lifestyle habits. 

Learn more about our support groups for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes by calling:

Epilepsy Support Group

Living with epilepsy is challenging. Talking to other people with epilepsy can be helpful, which is why we offer support groups for our epilepsy patients...

Living with epilepsy is challenging. Talking to other people with epilepsy can be helpful, which is why we offer support groups for our epilepsy patients and their families. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Epilepsy Association of Western/Central Pennsylvania co-sponsor a monthly epilepsy support group on the first Tuesday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m.

Registration is not required and there is no fee to attend. For more information, call Laura Woodward at 717-730-6779 or email lwoodward@efwp.org.

FORCE

This support group for BRCA gene mutation carriers offers information, support, awareness and advocacy for individuals and families affected by hereditary breast, ovarian and related...

This support group for BRCA gene mutation carriers offers information, support, awareness and advocacy for individuals and families affected by hereditary breast, ovarian and related cancers. For more information, call 717-531-1631.

Gastric Bypass - New Dimensions

As a benefit to patients in the program and as a service to the community, the Penn State Surgical Weight Loss program hosts a monthly...

As a benefit to patients in the program and as a service to the community, the Penn State Surgical Weight Loss program hosts a monthly support group.

The group generally meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Surgical Weight Loss program clinic, 3100 Schoolhouse Road in Middletown. All pre-op and post-op patients, friends and family are welcome.

Registration and session dates

Please call 717-531-7260 to register and receive information on upcoming sessions.

Head and Neck Cancer

This group provides an opportunity for head and neck cancer patients, as well as their family members, to develop connections with and receive support from...

This group provides an opportunity for head and neck cancer patients, as well as their family members, to develop connections with and receive support from other patients and caregivers. The support group meets every fourth Sunday of the month. For more information, call 717-531-8945 or e-mail Head and Neck Support Group.

Heart Transplant (Adult)

Hershey Hearts is a peer support group for heart transplant recipients, patients waiting for a heart transplant, their families and caregivers. The group will be...

Hershey Hearts is a peer support group for heart transplant recipients, patients waiting for a heart transplant, their families and caregivers. The group will be facilitated by Eric Popjes, MD. The format of the group will be flexible to meet your expressed needs.

Each session features a guest speaker and is followed by time for group members to share experiences, questions and offer support.

For future dates and topics, please contact the Cardiac Transplant Office at 717-531-7459.

Hope for HS – Hidradenitis Suppurativa Support Group

Hope for HS is a support group for people with Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). Meet other individuals and their loved ones and exchange ideas about the...

Hope for HS is a support group for people with Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). Meet other individuals and their loved ones and exchange ideas about the general management of HS such as wound care and social support. Facilitated by Penn State Department of Dermatology clinicians, researchers and staff, the support group is free and open to patients with HS and their family and friends.

There is the option to call into the meeting for those unable to attend in person. Please contact the HS chapter director at PSHDerm@hopeforhs.org for additional information.

Leukemia/Lymphoma Blood Cancer

Offers support and education for patients and family members dealing with blood cancers. The group allows an opportunity for participants to share experiences and enhance...

Offers support and education for patients and family members dealing with blood cancers. The group allows an opportunity for participants to share experiences and enhance coping. For more information, call 610-276-3199.

Melanoma

Melanoma Support Group has been created to provide support to Stage 3 and 4 melanoma patients and their caregivers by sharing our experiences and practical...

Melanoma Support Group has been created to provide support to Stage 3 and 4 melanoma patients and their caregivers by sharing our experiences and practical information while providing encouragement, hope, networking, and educational opportunities. Structured meetings will include introductions, sharing experiences and feelings, exchanging information, and building a sense of belonging. Speakers and experts on topics of interest identified by the group members will be scheduled. We will support melanoma research through advocacy and related activities.

For more information, please contact Carol Mallon, MS, RN, AOCNS at 717-531-5784 or Mary Ellen Loser, BSN, RN, CPSN at 717-531-1657.

Moving Forward

You can meet other women diagnosed with breast cancer to share experience, receive support and give strength to each other during and after cancer treatment...

You can meet other women diagnosed with breast cancer to share experience, receive support and give strength to each other during and after cancer treatment. Family and significant others are welcome to attend this free group. It’s held on the second Monday of the month, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Penn State Health Breast Center, room 1710 A & B. For more information or to register, contact Nichole Cook at 717-531-7492.

Muscular Dystrophy

For individuals with muscular dystrophy and related neuro-muscular diseases and their caregivers. For more information, please call 717-531-3828 (option 1 - Neurology)

Pink Ribbon Program™

The Pink Ribbon Program is a therapeutic exercise program developed by a survivor for patients and survivors. It’s appropriate for all fitness levels and incorporates...

The Pink Ribbon Program is a therapeutic exercise program developed by a survivor for patients and survivors. It’s appropriate for all fitness levels and incorporates your doctor’s exercise recommendations. The program helps stretch and strengthen your shoulder, chest, back and abdominal muscles. The exercises improve your range of motion in the areas affected by recent or past breast cancer surgery. For more information, contact Jennifer Price at 717-531-7075.

Prostate Cancer Support Group

This support group is open to all men who are newly diagnosed or dealing with recurrent or advanced prostate cancer, along with their spouses, family members...

This support group is open to all men who are newly diagnosed or dealing with recurrent or advanced prostate cancer, along with their spouses, family members and caretakers. Meetings will provide encouragement, hope, education, emotional support, personal interactions, and mentoring of new patients.

Patients, spouses, family members and caregivers receive encouragement, information and support. The Prostate Cancer support group meets quarterly (January, April, July and October) on the second Monday of each month.

For more information, call 717-531-5784.

Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Groups

This group is open to those with pulmonary fibrosis, their family, caregivers and supporters. Sessions provide a venue to ask questions, share experiences and are...

This group is open to those with pulmonary fibrosis, their family, caregivers and supporters. Sessions provide a venue to ask questions, share experiences and are formatted to provide members with information, support and resources on all aspects of pulmonary fibrosis. Topics are based on member input and are facilitated by professionals in the field from the Gift of Life program and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, including physicians, pulmonary rehabilitation therapists and exercise physiologists.

Meetings are held monthly, 5:30-7 p.m. and are organized by Max Whitehead-Zimmers, Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group Coordinator and pulmonary researcher.

Please contact Max Whitehead-Zimmers for more information at 717-531-0003, x286335 or mwhiteheadzimmers@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Pulmonary Fibrosis Caregiver Support Group

This group is open to caregivers of those with pulmonary fibrosis. The bi-monthly sessions provide a venue to ask questions, share experiences and are formatted...

This group is open to caregivers of those with pulmonary fibrosis. The bi-monthly sessions provide a venue to ask questions, share experiences and are formatted to provide members with information, support and resources on all aspects of caregiving and pulmonary fibrosis. Topics are based on member input and are facilitated by professionals in the field from the Gift of Life program and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, including physicians, pulmonary rehabilitation therapists and exercise physiologists.

Meetings are organized by Max Whitehead-Zimmers, Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group Coordinator and pulmonary researcher.

Please contact Max Whitehead-Zimmers for more information at 717-531-0003 ext. 286335 or mwhiteheadzimmers@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Spinal Cord Injury Support Group

The Spinal Cord Injury support group is open to those with spinal cord injuries, their families and support person. The group allows an opportunity for...

The Spinal Cord Injury support group is open to those with spinal cord injuries, their families and support person. The group allows an opportunity for support, socialization and education. Please join us at Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital Cafeteria, 1135 Old West Chocolate Avenue, Hummelstown, PA 17036 every third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m.

Please contact Nancy Lokey for more information at nlokey@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Strength for the Journey

Strength for the Journey is a free support group for all cancer patients who meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 11-noon at St. Joseph Cancer...

Strength for the Journey is a free support group for all cancer patients who meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 11-noon at St. Joseph Cancer Center. The group provides a lifeline to information, support, and encouragement from diagnosis through survivorship.

For more information, please call 610-378-2517.

Stroke Support Group

This group provides programs of interest to stroke survivors and their caregivers as well as an opportunity for support and socialization.

Registration is not required...

This group provides programs of interest to stroke survivors and their caregivers as well as an opportunity for support and socialization.

Registration is not required and there is not a fee to attend.

Facilitator: Kathy Morrison, MSN, RN, CNRN

All sessions take place via Zoom. For information on how to attend, please contact the Penn State Stroke Center at 717-531-7875.

St. Joseph Medical Center

Alzheimer’s Association’s Caregiver Support Group

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Caregiver Support Groups are designed to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers through regularly scheduled meetings. They help participants develop methods...

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Caregiver Support Groups are designed to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers through regularly scheduled meetings. They help participants develop methods and skills to solve problems. The groups encourage caregivers to maintain their own personal, physical and emotional health, as well as optimally care for the person with dementia.

The support group meets at Penn State Health St. Joseph Exeter Ridge Health Complex, Suite 101.

For more information, please call 610-779-1330.

Bereavement Support

The Bereavement Support Group is for anyone experiencing grief due to the death of a loved one. The support group will assist you in understanding...

The Bereavement Support Group is for anyone experiencing grief due to the death of a loved one. The support group will assist you in understanding how to cope with grief, as well as how to begin turning your mourning into cherished memories of your loved one.

Please register by calling the Spiritual Care Office, Penn State Health St. Joseph at 610-378-2297. Please leave your name, phone number and if you have questions, ask for the staff chaplain.

Meeting time: Wednesday evenings, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, at St. Joseph Medical Center, Bern Campus. The bereavement support group meets once a week for seven weeks. There are three sessions offered throughout the year. January-February, May–June, September–October.

Breastfeeding Support: The Baby Bistro

Come and meet other women who are breastfeeding their babies. This free drop-in group is a collaboration between Berks County Breastfeeding Coalition and Penn State Health...

Come and meet other women who are breastfeeding their babies. This free drop-in group is a collaboration between Berks County Breastfeeding Coalition and Penn State Health St. Joseph that focuses on allowing breastfeeding mothers to support each other in a warm, nurturing environment. Breastfeeding mothers and their babies are welcome to drop in for a cup of tea, relax, and chat with others about what’s going on as a new mom. Staff trained in lactation are available to answer any breastfeeding questions with accurate, up-to-date information. Weight checks are free. Moms and babies can come for as many weeks as they would like.

For more information, feel free to contact us at berksbreastfeeding@gmail.com.

Chronic Disease Patient Support Group

Patients and their caregivers with chronic diseases such as COPD, diabetes, heart failure and stroke are invited to this educational and emotional support group.

The...

Patients and their caregivers with chronic diseases such as COPD, diabetes, heart failure and stroke are invited to this educational and emotional support group.

The group meets the third Thursday of every month from 10 to 11 a.m. at Penn State Health St. Joseph - Spring Ridge, 2607 Keiser Blvd., Wyomissing. A second group meets the last Wednesday of every month from 1 to 2 p.m. at the St. Joseph Downtown Campus, 145 N. 6th Street, Reading, where it is offered in both English and Spanish.

The meetings offer a safe environment, activities, shared experiences and information sessions from a variety of health care professionals, said Clinical Disease Coordinator Morgan Boyer.

“Chronic diseases play into exacerbations that force patients to seek emergency services that could be prevented,” she said. “If they have a person who keeps them on point, someone to talk to for support, they have a greater likelihood of success. The goal is for the client to own their disease.”

The groups meet in large rooms that allow for proper social distancing. Participants are screened for COVID-19 and must wear masks. A Zoom option is available. For more information or to register, call 610-378-2030.

Diabetes Education Program

This 10-hour course provides comprehensive diabetes self-management training in four group classes. Topics include nutrition, heart health and exercise, reducing the risk of diabetes-related problems...

This 10-hour course provides comprehensive diabetes self-management training in four group classes. Topics include nutrition, heart health and exercise, reducing the risk of diabetes-related problems, and diabetes medicines. Classes are offered weekdays and evenings at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center and Penn State Health St. Joseph - Exeter Ridge. For more information and class registration, call 610-378-2030.

Diabetes Wellness Group

Learn about your diabetes, nutrition, exercise and your medications.

For more information call 610-208 -4728.

Managing Diabetes

This 10-hour course provides comprehensive diabetes self-management training is recognized by the ADA. Classes are offered weekdays and evenings at St. Joseph Medical Center and...

This 10-hour course provides comprehensive diabetes self-management training is recognized by the ADA. Classes are offered weekdays and evenings at St. Joseph Medical Center and Exeter Ridge.

For more information, please call 610-378-2030.

Strength for the Journey

Strength for the Journey is a free support group for all cancer patients who meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 11-noon at St. Joseph Cancer...

Strength for the Journey is a free support group for all cancer patients who meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 11-noon at St. Joseph Cancer Center. The group provides a lifeline to information, support, and encouragement from diagnosis through survivorship.

For more information, please call 610-378-2517.

Penn State Children's Hospital

Bereavement Support Group

If you are grieving the loss of a child, you are not alone, There are others who can relate and understand what you are going...

If you are grieving the loss of a child, you are not alone, There are others who can relate and understand what you are going through. Join us for an intimate six-week parent support group (spring and fall) that provides an opportunity to meet others who are going through a similar situation. Call 717-531-8521 ext. 282131 or email myoutz@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Childhood Apraxia Support Group

Share stories and concerns with other parents whose children have been diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech. The group meets quarterly at Penn State Children’s...

Share stories and concerns with other parents whose children have been diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech. The group meets quarterly at Penn State Children’s Hospital room P1100 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 717-531-6807.

CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery)

When children hear that parents or grandparents have been diagnosed with cancer, they may feel all these things and more.

Children, like adults, can benefit...

When children hear that parents or grandparents have been diagnosed with cancer, they may feel all these things and more.

Children, like adults, can benefit from professionals who understand their needs, as well. CLIMB is a free, four-week program designed to help children cope when someone they love has cancer by encouraging discussion and creativity.

The child’s loved ones are also welcomed. The program increases their understanding of cancer and its treatment, as well as allows children to form new friendships and bonds with others going through the same thing.

For more information, contact Nichole Cook at 717-531-7942 or ncook@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, or Lynn Fantom at 717-531-7492.

Cochlear Implant Support Group

Sponsored by Audiology at Penn State Children’s Hospital, this support group provides information about cochlear implant surgery as well as an opportunity for cochlear implant...

Sponsored by Audiology at Penn State Children’s Hospital, this support group provides information about cochlear implant surgery as well as an opportunity for cochlear implant recipients and their families to connect with other implant recipients.

To learn more, please call audiology services at 717-531-6822.

Concussion Support Group for Adolescents and Young Adults

Connect with others who have sustained a concussion to share stories and learn new strategies to manage symptoms. This group meets on the 4th Tuesday...

Connect with others who have sustained a concussion to share stories and learn new strategies to manage symptoms. This group meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6:15 p.m.

If you are planning to attend and/or would like additional information, please contact Jena Miller via e-mail at jmiller38@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Conquering CHD - Pennsylvania

Through our State Chapters we are able to give knowledge, give a voice and give hope, directly meeting the comprehensive, lifelong needs of patients with...

Through our State Chapters we are able to give knowledge, give a voice and give hope, directly meeting the comprehensive, lifelong needs of patients with congenital heart disease and their families through support, education, advocacy and research programming.

Local activities include:

  • Conquering CHD Kits offering critical information and a personal connection for patients with CHD of all ages through individualized care packages
  • Online chat networks bringing people with similar experiences together
  • In-person peer support offering patients and families encouragement and insight from someone who has walked a similar path
  • Social events providing a safe environment to celebrate life and simple joys together
  • Physician education improving understanding of congenital heart disease from the patient and family perspective
  • Research promotion and participation helping promising developments become reality
  • Advocacy activities sharing our stories to improve federal research funding

For more information specifically about the Pennsylvania chapter, email pennsylvania@conqueringchd.org.

Epilepsy Support Group

Living with epilepsy is challenging. Talking to other people with epilepsy can be helpful, which is why we offer support groups for our epilepsy patients...

Living with epilepsy is challenging. Talking to other people with epilepsy can be helpful, which is why we offer support groups for our epilepsy patients and their families. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Epilepsy Association of Western/Central Pennsylvania co-sponsor a monthly epilepsy support group on the first Tuesday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m.

Registration is not required and there is no fee to attend. For more information, call Laura Woodward at 717-730-6779 or email lwoodward@efwp.org.

Pediatric Cardiology Parent Support Group

We offer a parent focus group for parents and patients who have a single ventricle physiology. 

This group meets twice a year to foster connections...

We offer a parent focus group for parents and patients who have a single ventricle physiology. 

This group meets twice a year to foster connections between families and patients, provide education regarding single ventricles and brainstorm ideas for improvement in the care of these patients.  

Please contact Julie Jones at jjones6@pennstatehealth.psu.edu for more information.

Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Support Group

The Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Support Group provides adolescent pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients age 12-18 years and their parents with helpful information and the...

The Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Support Group provides adolescent pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients age 12-18 years and their parents with helpful information and the chance to meet others living with IBD.

The meetings take place quarterly at Penn State Children’s Hospital, rooms P1100/P1100A, and feature a brief presentation on educational topics, followed by discussion for the parents and an activity for the adolescents. 

Please call 717-531-1043 for more information..

Sibshops

As a child, having a sibling with chronic medical needs can feel isolating. Sibshops is an exciting program just made for brothers and sisters of...

As a child, having a sibling with chronic medical needs can feel isolating. Sibshops is an exciting program just made for brothers and sisters of those with special needs or chronic medical needs. Our Sibshops are run by a certified Child Life Specialist and a Certified Recreation Therapy Specialist who have a professional understanding of the impact a child’s special needs or chronic medical needs can have on brothers or sisters. Equally important, they have great kid skills!

For more information on attending a Sibshop, call 717-531-8366 option 1, email Child Life or click here to register.

Spina Bifida Support Group

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other parents and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other parents and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Stroke Support Group (Pediatric)

This group provides monthly programs of interest to the parents and caregivers of pediatric stroke survivors. Children are invited to join every other month. Monthly meetings...

This group provides monthly programs of interest to the parents and caregivers of pediatric stroke survivors. Children are invited to join every other month. Monthly meetings take place via Zoom.

Questions? Contact:

Alicia Richardson
Phone: 717-531-1390
arichardson2@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Cesar Velasco
Phone: 717-531-3638
cvelasco@pennstatehealth.psu.edu