June 11, 2021

Susquehanna Health Foundation is asking community members for support of the Susquehanna Strong Comprehensive Campaign. Susquehanna Strong is an effort to raise $11 million in community contributions to support advancing services offered at UPMC in North Central Pa.

“Our talented physicians and staff provide exceptional care and services here in the region and a campaign like Susquehanna Strong ensures they have the resources to meet the ever-evolving health care needs of the communities we serve,” said Steve Johnson, president, UPMC in North Central Pa. “It’s essential that we have the right facilities and technology in the right hands at the right place and time, to continue to advance services offered in the region.”

Under the leadership of Sister Teresa Ann Jacobs, campaign chairwoman, and Keith Kuzio, Susquehanna Health Foundation Board Chairman, more than 30 volunteers are supporting this fundraising effort. Major initiatives include improving facilities, enhancing technology, and establishing endowments to support attracting and retaining top medical professionals to the region.

  • Expansion and renovation of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Williamsport – The extensive multi-year project completed earlier this spring, provides the patient-centered space and technology to meet the growing demand for services in the region while increasing local access to the resources and research of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center network.
  • Creation of the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at Williamsport — The renovation will create 30 private inpatient rehabilitation rooms to improve the patient experience as well as two new rehabilitation gyms with innovative equipment designed to meet the evolving needs of physical medicine and rehabilitation care in north central Pa.
  • Establish the Clinical Excellence Endowment — The Clinical Excellence Endowment supports improving clinician recruitment, retention, and education for the long-term by providing equipment, training, and programs geared to advancing clinician knowledge, skills, and the level of care in the region.
  • Improvement of Access and Space for the CHAMPS Gym – The CHAMPS (Cardiovascular Health Activities Makes People strong) Gym will be relocated directly inside UPMC Williamsport’s East Entrance to make it easily accessible for patients. The larger space will allow for greater distance between equipment and will continue to serve both cardiac and pulmonary rehab patients.

“First Community Foundation Partnership (FCFP) has been supporting health care initiatives at UPMC and its predecessor organizations for more than a century, and while names have changed, the mission and commitment has remained the same,” said Jennifer D. Wilson, president and CEO, FCFP. “This most recent grant to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Williamsport will undoubtedly impact the region for many years to come and we are grateful for the dedicated caregivers working in this enhanced facility for the betterment of our community.”

Susquehanna Health Foundation has already raised $8.3 million in donations and pledges from more than 3,479 supporters during a period of intense internal planning and preliminary gift solicitation.

"UPMC is positioned well for continued growth and we know that we cannot rest on the accomplishments of our past,” said Sherry Watts, vice president of Development, Susquehanna Health Foundation. “We must continue to move forward and redefine quality health care in north central Pa. There’s a standing promise we make to every patient. It says that we will take care of their health care needs, and Susquehanna Strong is one of the ways we intend to do that. I want to thank all of the donors for their support and commitment to this campaign and UPMC."

Over the next several months campaign volunteers will be reaching out to solicit support from the community. All contributions to Susquehanna Health Foundation remain local.

For additional information about the Susquehanna Strong Comprehensive Campaign or to donate, contact the Foundation at 570-320-7460 or visit SusquehannaHealthFoundation.org/Donate.