The Department of Health Policy and Administration at Penn State

Food for the week on a table

Something different to digest

Health policy and administration students challenged to eat on about $30 for one week.

Patricia Miranda’s Principles of Public Administration class 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.


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Doctoral student receives American Public Health Association fellowship

Phylicia Bediako, a doctoral student in the Department of Health Policy and Administration, has been honored with a student fellowship from the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA).

The fellowship offers graduate students an opportunity to learn more about the maternal and child health field and to be actively engaged in APHA MCH Section activities. This includes participating in business meetings, serving on various section committees and working on section policy statements, among other activities.

Bediako’s research interests center on health disparities and variations in disparities across different global populations and settings. Her current research focuses on disparities in sexual and reproductive health outcomes for underserved and minority populations. She is particularly interested in understanding why and how different groups develop risky behaviors related to poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Read more about Phylicia Bediako.

Students in Patricia Miranda's Principles of Public Administration class, HPA 410, took the SNAP Challenge

Rebecca Fry, a senior majoring in HPA and marketing, said after completing the challenge, her perspective on the decisions people facing hunger have to make has changed.

“I now realize how limited their choices are and how hard it must be to choose the healthier options,” Fry wrote in her blog on Nov. 14. “When you’re battling a very limited budget, it must be easier to pick the unhealthy, cheaper, more filling foods. Even people without a very limited budget struggle against that. It’s sad that healthy food options are expensive and may be outside the budget of many low-income Americans — this is why I strongly believe in local produce markets and subsidizing farmers.”

Read more about Fry's experience with the SNAP Challenge.

Alumnus named COO of Mount Nittany Physician Group

James Prowant ’78 ’86g MHA has been named chief operating officer of Mount Nittany Physician Group.

Originally from Lewisburg, Prowant holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Penn State. He is also a certified medical practice executive through the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Most recently, Prowant worked as the vice president for primary care operations at Lehigh Valley Physician Group, a subsidiary of Lehigh Valley Health Network. Prowant has also worked in administrative roles at Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Pa.; Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; and Susquehanna Health in Muncy, Pa.; among other locations.

Read more about James Prowant's new role at Mount Nittany Physician Group.

HPA senior recognized for research on age and social isolation in the U.S.

Sharon Qi's research paper has been selected as a winning undergraduate-level paper in the Francis G. Caro Student Paper Award Contest at the University of Massachusetts.

Her paper, “The Effects of Social Isolation on Chronic Illness Among Older Adults: A Review of the Literature,” discusses the impact of social isolation on the aging U.S. population, a population already stricken with a chronic disease epidemic. Qi, of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, wrote the paper following independent study at the University's Center for Healthy Aging during the spring 2014 semester.

Read more about Qi's recognition in the Francis G. Caro Student Paper Award Contest at the University of Massachusetts.

Hospitals recover from recession, some financial issues remain

The recent economic recession affected hospitals across the nation, regardless of financial status, but following the rebound, financially weak and safety-net hospitals continue to struggle, according to health researchers.

"Poor financial outcomes [for hospitals] could lead to poor care," said Naleef Fareed, assistant professor of health policy and administration, Penn State. "This is an issue that needs attention as health care reform moves forward."

Fareed and colleagues used data from both the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to analyze how different groups of hospitals fared financially during the recession, and where these groups stand as health care reform continues in the United States.

Read more about hospitals recovering from recession but facing remaining financial issues.

Department of Health Policy and Administration
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University Park, PA 16802-6500
Phone: 814-863-2900

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