Support That Helps Vital Health Care Initiatives Take Flight

Collaborating with local businesses has always been a key factor in Susquehanna Health Foundation’s success. Synergies are forged with the common goal of building and sustaining top-quality health services and technologies in our region. A wonderful example of this type of Foundation partner is Lycoming Engines. Its inspiring, long-standing commitment and support help UPMC in North Central Pa. build and maintain the health care systems and facilities that are so vital to our community.

A Regional Employer, a Long-Time Neighbor

Lycoming Engines specializes in the engineering, manufacture, assemble, test, service, and support of piston aviation engines. Their factory in Williamsport supplies piston engines that power more than half of the world’s general aviation fleet, both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. In addition, Lycoming also provides engines for military training schools and other specialized applications.

Lycoming Engines has a long and storied history in this region. The company was founded in Williamsport in 1845 as the Demarest Manufacturing Company, producing products such as sewing machines and bicycles. In 1907, it adopted the county seat name of Lycoming and entered the machining manufacturing business. By 1929, Lycoming Engines had built its first aircraft engine to support the war efforts — a 9-cylinder, 200-horsepower radial engine (the R-680). Fast forward to today, and Lycoming Engines continues to provide cutting-edge certified and noncertified propulsion solutions to the aviation industry. The company holds more than 750 type certificates with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and has produced more than 300,000 piston engines.

Lycoming Engines Shannon Massey 3

Since the late 1980s, Lycoming Engines has been a supporter of the Foundation. “Lycoming Engines is only as strong as its community,” says Shannon Massey, senior vice president. “This community, like any other, requires health and medical services for its well-being, preventive care, family growth, education, and general care. A community that offers these services also provides additional infrastructure for regional economic and social sustainability. Lycoming Engines contributes to the overall community prosperity in many ways, and supporting UPMC is a great example of this,” Shannon says.

Shannon also notes UPMC’s support of Lycoming’s on-site flu shot clinic as well as the drug and alcohol screening and programs for employee assistance. “Having local access to critical health services for our employees makes a difference for our business. This is just one example of UPMC’s commitment to its community,” says Shannon.

Supporting Cancer Patients in Williamsport

In 2022, Lycoming Engines made a $50,000 donation to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Williamsport. This major gift has had a huge impact on the facility and its patients. This generous gift supported the expansion of Hillman’s Williamsport location. “We recognize cancer touches so many of our own, either directly or indirectly, and having a local and well-resourced center is key to powering the solution for well-being and recovery,” says Shannon.

“I personally have had the opportunity to meet the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center team and tour their state-of-the-art facility,” says Shannon. She is inspired by Hillman’s dedication to providing vital services to patients. The cancer center is continuously looking for ways to improve the patient experience and is committed to bringing new technology and resources to the Lycoming area. “Going through cancer treatment is already a difficult situation,” Shannon reflects. “Reducing the need to travel for patients helps reduce the stress and delays,” she adds. “That is a major reason why having an exceptional cancer center within the community is so essential.”

Supporting the Local Health Care System Makes Good Business Sense

“At Lycoming Engines, we routinely state, ‘good safety performance does not happen by luck.’ It happens by making it a part of our culture,” says Shannon. “This includes practicing good health habits both inside and outside of work. It is why Lycoming Engines values having UPMC’s high standards of excellence available for their employees and their families.”

The support that Lycoming Engines provides the local health system not only helps patients but helps the area as a whole. That’s because the exceptional health services available here are important to potential employees, and thus a meaningful consideration to candidates being recruited to live and work in the area.

“Lycoming Engines sees the impact of having not only a local health system but one with such outstanding services,” says Shannon. That’s because the quality of local health networks is part of the decision-making process of employees. “It is a differentiator for someone considering taking a role or remaining with our organization, as they consider how their lives and needs may change for themselves or their family members.”

“If the community does not offer quality health care services, at both the basic and specialty levels, it really does matter to job candidates,” notes Shannon.

Appreciating All that Health Care Workers Do

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Lycoming Engines donated food for UPMC clinical employees. This was a simple gesture to show thanks and support to the community’s health care providers, who were on the front lines during the pandemic. While the world seemed to be shutting down during the crisis, essential workers at UPMC were treating the many who fell ill and fighting to save lives. “We too were deemed an essential employer, and our engines were providing the power for airplanes to deliver medical and PPE supplies in remote areas,” says Shannon. “We thought, ‘Why not provide some supplies of food and good thoughts to our local caregivers, too.’”

A True Partnership with a Bright Future

Shannon says the relationship between Lycoming Engines and the Foundation is a true community partnership. Together, the two organizations provide UPMC in North Central Pa. the support necessary to meet the rising health care challenges facing our communities. And the potential for positive impact moving forward is boundless, including opportunities for volunteerism for the Lycoming Engines team members.

“Whether building engines or building better community health care infrastructure, Lycoming Engines is ready to meet the region’s needs,” says Shannon. Together, the Foundation and the company are poised to bring even more great health care advancements to the area they call home.