News & Events

Health and Human Development recognizes teaching excellence in HPA

The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) values excellence in teaching. Through a review of Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness scores, student comments and input from others in HHD, the Teaching Excellence Award recognizes some of our best faculty for their hard work and dedication to undergraduate teaching and learning. Read more.

Dennis Scanlon receives Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award

Dennis Scanlon, professor of health policy and administration and director of the Center for Health Care Policy and Research in the Department of Health Policy and Administration received the Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award for 2014.

As professor and director of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research in the Department of Health Policy and Administration, Dennis Scanlon’s research focuses on the use of information and incentives to improve quality and efficiency in health care markets, with a special focus on the impact of market-based and multi-stakeholder efforts to improve outcomes. He is currently leading an evaluation of a demonstration to reduce preventable and avoidable hospital readmissions and has led evaluations of the impact of a multi-site diabetes care management program based in Federally Qualified Health Centers and of the Boeing Company’s “Hospital Safety Incentive,” which tiers employee hospital co-payments according to published hospital patient safety indicators.

This award recognizes research contributions occurring or culminating within the past several years. The award was endowed by Evan Pattishall, dean emeritus of the former College of Human Development, and his wife, Helen Pattishall, a 1985 alumna in individual and family studies. The recipient will present a special lecture in spring 2015.

See all 2014 Faculty and Staff Award recipients.

Something different to digest: HPA students challenged to eat on about $30 for one week

What’s it like to feed yourself on $29.40 a week? Just ask a group of Health Policy and Administration (HPA) students.

Food bought with about $30/week

Food student Rebecca Fry bought for about $30 in the SNAP Challenge.

Patricia Miranda’s Principles of Public Administration class, HPA 410, 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. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

A program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the SNAP program offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families. To qualify, participants must meet certain resource and income guidelines.

Each student in Miranda’s class was given a pre-paid Visa gift card containing $29.40. They were told to use only that money to purchase food for themselves for seven days.

The assignment, which was held Nov. 3 through 9, included not only participating in the challenge, but also keeping records of food purchases and consumption; recording food entries to MyFitnessPal, an electronic health and fitness logging tool, to evaluate nutrition intake; and logging online entries to the PSU SNAP Challenge website.

“The purpose of this SNAP Challenge project is to heighten the learning experiences for HPA 410 students, draw attention to the issues of poverty and hunger, benefit the State College Food Bank, and raise awareness about ‘health in all policies,’” Miranda said. “SNAP Challenge week will give (students) a chance to experience…what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger.”

Read more about the SNAP Challenge.

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Department News from Penn State News

Three students received top recognition during the Health and Human Development Alumni Society Research Poster Competition. Kenya Crawford, Danielle Kovalsky and Chen Zhuang received first, second and third place, respectively.


Ten students will represent the College of Health and Human Development as student marshals during at the May 9, 2015, commencement ceremony at Penn State.


Penn State's College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society recently recognized several faculty members, staff members and students for their accomplishments.


Penn State's College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society presented eight students with the Alumni Recognition for Student Excellence Award during an awards luncheon Friday, April 24.


A new health policy and administration course to be offered in fall 2015 will look at the changing needs of impoverished patients who do not have health care coverage, such as migrant workers, the homeless and rural residents, and the "safety net" resources available to them.


The new Penn State online bachelor’s degree in health policy and administration can help adult learners take advantage of the increasing demand for jobs in medical service and health care management.


Students from the College of Health and Human Development are among the winners at the annual Graduate Exhibition.


Dennis Scanlon, professor of health policy and administration director of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research, will present the annual Pattishall Research Lecture, “The Missing Chapter: The Health Reform Story at the Local Level,” at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8 in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building on Penn State's University Park campus.


Dennis Scanlon, professor of health policy and administration director of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research, will present the annual Pattishall Research Lecture, “The Missing Chapter: The Health Reform Story at the Local Level,” at 4 p.m. on April 8 in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson, on the University Park campus.


A recently published study indicates chronically ill patients are becoming more aware of comparative doctor and hospital performance reports though growth is slower than expected.