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PSU closes troubled abdominal transplant programs

Plus: Remote voting, hydrogen hubs, campaign finances, and more

This is Talk of the Town, a free weekly newsletter delivering top news from State College and the surrounding region.

May 30, 2024
Inside this edition: Penn State Health discontinues abdominal transplant programs, lawmakers debate remote voting, and communities worry about hydrogen hub projects.
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Photo provided by Penn State Health
Real quick: Penn State Health will discontinue its troubled liver and kidney transplant programs amid scrutiny from federal regulators. The move comes only months after the programs relaunched following serious disciplinary sanctions and what health system leaders described as an extensive effort to rebuild, Spotlight PA’s Wyatt Massey and Charlotte Keith report.

A little more: In recent weeks, the health system stopped performing liver and kidney transplants at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center after drawing renewed scrutiny from federal regulators over concerns about clinical processes and institutional culture.

The abdominal transplant program has been plagued by problems for years.

In September 2022, a national oversight group declared the hospital a “member not in good standing”​​ after flagging problems with kidney and liver transplants — the most serious disciplinary action taken against a hospital in more than 15 years.

Afterward, Penn State Health leaders pledged to rebuild. The health system hired new surgeons, updated its equipment, and promised to overhaul its internal operations.

“This was not an easy decision as we know our community depends on us to provide the health care services they need and want us to deliver,” a spokesperson for Penn State Health said in a statement Tuesday.

But during discussions with regulators and an internal review, “it became apparent to us that the ongoing challenges we have faced to keep the programs running make closing them the right course of action at this time,” the spokesperson said.

The full story: Read more here.
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Amy Z. attended a World War II reenactment at Pennsylvania Military Museum in Centre County on Memorial Day and shared this image.

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An image taken during a World War II re-enactment at the Pennsylvania Military Museum
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» May 30-June 2: Rhoneymeade Fest is a music and visual arts festival in Centre County featuring more than 40 performers.

» June 1: Food trucks, crafts, and entertainment highlight the SUN PrideFest & Summer Craft Fair in downtown Lewisburg, Union County.

» June 1-2: The Palmer Museum of Art opens in its new location, The Arboretum at Penn State, Centre County. Opening weekend features programs for all ages.

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