Most academic health centers subscribe to three missions: education, research, and patient care. They represent, in fact, a triad of purposes for which such institutions exist.
Penn State Hershey Medical Center ranks high among institutions that assertively pursue the education of clinicians and researchers, and the aligned mission of patient care, with the highest degree of responsibility.
The Medical Center recently went a step further in the adoption of a fourth mission, contiguous to the first three in that, just as it is impossible to separate good scientific and medical education from practice; it is impossible to separate the principles that guide those three from the compassion that drives community engagement.
The history of the Medical Center showcases a chronicle of people who traditionally travel the extra mile to give comfort and support, and who exercise their professional talent without regard to gain.
Community service, then, becomes not so much a new mission for Penn State Hershey Medical Center, as it is a newly defined mission - one that has been around from the beginning, but is just now getting the recognition it deserves.