Interim President Don McKenna appointed to permanent president of Milton S. Hershey Medical Center: Penn State Health

Don McKenna, who had been serving as interim president of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center since last July, was appointed permanently to the role of president, Penn State Health announced Thursday.


Prior to his interim role, McKenna served as president of Hampden and Holy Spirit medical centers. His promotion requires him to “focus on operational and financial management; building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders; optimizing patient experience; promoting a culture of safety; and working closely with Penn State College of Medicine leadership to support opportunities for expansion of the college’s educational and research initiatives across Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the broader Penn State Health system.”


Here is the continuation of the statement released on Thursday:


“In his brief tenure as interim president, Don has developed trusted relationships with department chairs, institute directors and other Penn State Health leaders, placed intense focus on patient experience and clinical excellence and demonstrated a collaborative approach to foster greater integration across our health system,” said Deborah Addo, Penn State Health president and chief operating officer. “His commitment to Penn State Health, our people, our values and our core missions is evident in all of his interactions, and we’re excited to bring his leadership to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center on a permanent basis.”


McKenna joined Penn State Health in April 2020 when he became president of the then-under-construction Hampden Medical Center, a 300,000-square-foot, acute care hospital in Cumberland County. In the role, McKenna oversaw the start of hospital operations, including the onboarding of an initial workforce of approximately 350 full- and part-time clinical and support staff. The hospital opened in October 2021 and grew steadily under McKenna’s leadership.


He also presided over the integration of Holy Spirit Medical Center into Penn State Health following its acquisition from Geisinger in November 2020, at which point he served as president of both facilities. He led the hiring of the hospital’s leadership team, including a regional chief nursing officer for Hampden and Holy Spirit medical centers, and other leadership positions for the Hampden Township facility.


Prior to joining Penn State Health, McKenna was the president and chief executive officer of Jupiter Health in Florida, where he created a comprehensive stroke center with neuro-surgical and interventional services and developed an open-heart surgery program that included dedicated operative suites and a nursing unit. He also opened two new urgent care centers. McKenna managed more than $125 million in capital projects while with Jupiter Health.


Before leading Jupiter Health, McKenna served for 10 years as the president and chief executive officer of St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, Georgia, where he acquired two additional hospitals to expand the health system’s presence throughout northeast Georgia. McKenna received his master’s in public administration and a bachelor of science in business administration and marketing from Long Island University in Brookville, New York.


“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead Penn State Health’s flagship university hospital, which has provided patients and families with local access to leading-edge health care for more than 50 years,” McKenna said. “Penn State Health’s promise to provide people with greater access to high-quality, comprehensive care services closer to their home continues to inspire me, and I look forward to contributing to that mission in a new capacity.”


Kyle Snyder, who has served as interim regional president of Hampden and Holy Spirit medical centers since McKenna assumed interim duties at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, will continue to serve in that capacity while a search for the role is conducted.


McKenna’s tenure as permanent Milton S. Hershey Medical Center president became effective Jan. 1.”

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