Harrisburg-based LGBT Center celebrates anniversary, honors community leaders

Harrisburg-based LGBT Center of Central PA hosted “FAB 2022: Connecting with the Past & Celebrating the Future” last Saturday at Hershey Lodge. The annual gala celebrated 16 years of the LGBT’s work in Central Pennsylvania, honored community leaders, and invited attendees to become involved in the work of the LGBT Center. 

This year’s FAB awardees include the following: 

  • Dr. Tyler Titus – Movement Leadership Award  
  • Michelle & Trum Simmons – Legacy Award  
  • Amy Keisling – Local Spotlight Award  
  • Dre Ceja – Creatives for Change Award 
  • Alexis Zeno Torres – Volunteer of the Year Award  
  • Brady Pappas – Rising Star Award 


The Movement Leadership Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization whose work at the statewide or national level is advancing LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion within the movement and provides a model to strive towards in work being done in Central Pennsylvania. Awardee Dr. Titus is a Licensed Professional Counselor and in November 2017 became the first openly transgender elected official in the State of Pennsylvania. Dr. Titus is serving a term as co-vice chair of the State’s first Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. 


The Legacy Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and personal dedication over a significant period of time in furthering the work of local LGBTQ+ communities. Co-recipient Michelle Simmons is a member of the LGBTQ & Allies Committee and co-chair of the Anti-rascist & Racial Justice Task Force. Trum Simmons taught at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) for more than four decades. As senior professor of English and Journalism, he developed and taught the course introduction to LGBTQ studies. 


The Local Spotlight Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization whose work is significantly contributing to building connected, engaged, and resilient LGBTQ+ communities in Central Pennsylvania. Recipient Amy Keisling is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Coordinator for the Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Health Clinic at Penn State Health, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. 


Creatives for Change Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization who is cultivating community through artistic expression, providing unique opportunities for LGBTQ+ people to create and participate in art in a healing, joyful, and impactful way. Awardee Dre Ceja is a multimedia artist who creates physical and digital art. 


The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes and individual who has dedicated a significant amount of their personal time and energy as a volunteer to further the work of the LGBT Center. Awardee Alexis Zeno Torres is a full-time HACC student working toward a degree in Business Administration. 


The Rising Star Award recognizes an individual or group who has recently emerged as a leader and has begun to make a mark within the local LGBTQ+ communities through significant contributions in a short period of time. Recipient Brady Pappas is an artist and digital creator bases in Lancaster. 


The gala event also recognized founding members of the LGBT Center and acknowledged the 10th anniversary of the LGBT History Project. Established in 2006, the LGBT Center serves more than 2,000 people every year across Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, and York counties. 

Hershey Medical Center’s sexual assault examiners join telehealth program

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s registered nurses trained in sexual assault examination will be offering remote care to patients in rural regions.

The Derry Township-based medical center is partnering with the Penn State College of Nursing to offer its examiners to the college’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth Center. The telehealth center targets Pennsylvania’s rural counties and provides sexual assault victims with experts in sexual assault examination over the internet.

During the telehealth process, a remote sexual assault nurse examiner offers support to the on-site nurse and patient by ensuring best practices and proper evidence collection.

The partnership will give the telehealth center more trained examiners to offer to Pennsylvania hospitals.

The medical center’s examiners are trained in medical, psychological and forensic examination related to sexual assault and are on-call at the medical center’s emergency department 24 hours a day.

“Historically, our nurses have provided specialized, compassionate care to victims of sexual assault. It has always been our priority to provide a safe space for these patients while documenting the effects of their trauma,” said Marie Hankinson, vice president of nursing for emergency services at Hershey Medical Center. “By partnering with the College of Nursing’s unique telehealth program, Penn State Health continues to be a leader in new and innovative treatments that better serve our patients.”

Penn State Health completes move into official headquarters

Penn State Health CEO Steve Massini, joined by employees from corporate services, unveiled a Nittany Lion statue at the health system’s headquarters in Hershey on Tuesday. PHOTO PROVIDED

Penn State Health finished moving its corporate employees out of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and into its first official headquarters this month.

The Derry Township-based hospital system closed a deal on the six-story, 210,000-square-foot building at 100 Crystal A Drive, along with two nearby buildings and 51 acres of land, on Dec. 2.

Penn State Health leased the 100 Crystal A Drive property for the past two years and slowly moved its corporate staff from Milton S. Hershey to the new location.

More than 500 Penn State Health employees now operate from the building, officials said, including staff in human resources, finance, supply chain, marketing and communications and executive functions.

The building previously served as headquarters for The Hershey Company before the company consolidated its current headquarters in downtown Hershey.

“This is a significant milestone in the evolution of Penn State Health,” said Steve Massini, Penn State Health CEO. “This historic building, which means so much to this community, is no longer rented space. It’s truly our home. It’s the place where we’re going to work together to help build the future of health care in the region. That’s a very good thing not only for us, but for those we serve who live in, work in or visit our community.”

Penn State Health’s former corporate offices at Milton S. Hershey will be used for clinical space.