The Partnership for Better Health is a well-respected voice on timely health issues and actively involved in various initiatives and events throughout the community. Whether we are weighing in on a pressing policy issue, sharing recent developments in the field of health care or spreading the news about a promising public health strategy, we aim to keep the community informed and engaged.

Browse recent news items below to see what’s happening, and stay informed by signing up to receive future communications directly in your inbox.

Leadership Cumberland Scholarship Available

The Partnership for Better Health is pleased to offer a scholarship for the 2018-19 Leadership Cumberland program. The award will go to a health-related professional working at or volunteering for a nonprofit organization that serves the foundation’s region.

To apply, click here Leadership Cumberland Scholarship App 2018-2019 with hyperlink. Applications are due by June 29. To learn more, contact Gail Witwer at: 960-9009 x 8 or [email protected]

Community Training: Responding to Trauma & Building Resiliency

The foundation hosted a community training titled Responding to Trauma & Building Resiliency on Monday April 30, and Tuesday May 1.

The training focused on The Community Resilience Model © (CRM) that was designed by Elaine Miller Karas to support the creation of trauma informed and resiliency-focused communities, by building common understanding of the impact of trauma and chronic stress on the nervous system. It aims to build resilience in individuals and communities by focusing on how to build skills of well-being. Participants learned six accessible, concrete skills that can be taught to others or used by individuals.

Slides of those presentations are available below.

PBH-4-30-18Trauma Responsive Practices-CRM Slides

PBH-5-1-18 CRM Slides (1)

Here are some follow-up resources.

Websites for school trauma integration:

Helping Traumatized Children Learn from Trauma Sensitive Schools (Massachusetts Advocates for Children) 

The Heart of Teaching and Learning from Washington State 


Peter Levin’s two books: Waking the Tiger: healing Trauma and In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

Norman Dodge’s books: The Brain Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing

Rick Hanson: Hardwired for Happiness

Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score

Robert Scaer: The Body Bears the Burden


ACES Connection- an online community for those interested in learning more about ACES and what people are doing about it in their communities and professions.

Nadine Burke-Harris-TED Talk on ACES

Healing Neen -Tonier Cain’s story about overcoming ACES and finding recovery and healing


Foundation Offers Leadership Cumberland Scholarship

Ready to Advance Your Career?
Full Scholarship Available
The Partnership for Better Health is pleased to offer a scholarship for the 2018-19 Leadership Cumberland program. The award will go to a health care related professional working at or volunteering for a nonprofit organization that serves the foundation’s  region.
To apply, Leadership Cumberland Scholarship App 2018-2019. Applications are due by June 15. To learn more, contact Gail Witwer at: 960-9009 x 8 or [email protected]

Health Care Providers in South-Central Pennsylvania Are Invited to a Summit on the Health Benefits of Outdoor Recreation

Carlisle, PA – Why are doctors in Philadelphia prescribing time in parks to urban children? Why is a world-class athlete in Wyoming focused on taking those addicted to opioids outdoors? They do this because outdoor physical activity benefits physical and mental health. In fact, a recent Penn State University study found that more than 70% of Pennsylvania residents consider parks, trails, and open space to be a critical part of the health care system.

In light of that, the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, with support from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and in partnership with the Department of Health, the South Mountain Partnership, and the Partnership for Better Health, is holding a “South Mountain Health Summit – The Benefits of Being Active Outdoors” on August 22 from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau office, located at 53 W. South Street #1, Carlisle, PA 17013. The event, as well as parking, is free, and coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

The event is open to doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and other health care providers who have an interest in learning more about the connections between outdoor recreation and health and who would like to share their input on what they need in order to best provide information to their patients. Guest speakers include Dr. Chris Sciamanna from Hershey Medical Center and Dr. Andrew Mowen of Penn State University, with additional information provided by Dr. Katherine Faull of Bucknell University.

“This summit will bring together a variety of health care and outdoor recreational professionals to share their ideas and experiences to get more people outdoors living healthy lifestyles,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “We look forward to active and engaged discussion about outdoor recreation and how we can help health care providers talk to their patients about this important topic.”

To register for the summit, please email [email protected] by August 18.


Local Health Foundation to Announce New Strategic Plan

January 5, 2017 – The Partnership for Better Health will be announcing a new Strategic Plan at a public event on Wednesday, January 11, at 10:00am at Dickinson College’s Holland Union Building. The community is encouraged to attend to hear about the foundation’s new grant funding opportunities and health priorities.

“Our goal with the strategic plan is to achieve greater impact on the health of our community, especially vulnerable individuals and families,” said Jeff Gayman, board chair at the Partnership. “This bold new plan was shaped directly through community input and incorporates best practices in the field of health philanthropy,” Gayman noted.

The Partnership for Better Health’s strategic planning process included community surveys and interviews, a systematic review of community needs and a series of planning meetings with board members, staff and community volunteers. The strategic plan will guide their efforts over the next three years.

“We heard directly from local nonprofits that are eager to tackle old problems in new ways by working collaboratively on more comprehensive and innovative strategies,” said Becca Raley, Executive Director at the Partnership. “Our new plan opens some exciting doors for community organizations that seek to work together on solutions to tough issues like hunger, affordable housing and income disparities that are at the roots of poor health for too many of our community members,” she added.

The new plan focuses on improving health equity through grant making, policy advocacy, community engagement and capacity building efforts with local organizations. Gayman affirmed that the foundation’s longstanding commitment to improving equitable access to essential medical, dental and behavioral health services for people who are under- and uninsured will continue.

Health and human service professionals, area residents and community partners are welcomed to attend. Please RSVP to Heather Swartz at
717-960-9009 x 6 or [email protected].

Press are encouraged to join us for the Strategic Plan Announcement. The reception will be held on Wednesday, January 11th, from 10:00 to 11:30 am, in the Social Hall of Dickinson College’s Holland Union Building. Foundation board and staff members will be available for questions and interviews.

Local Foundation Awards Grants over $1.8M

Carlisle, PA – Recently completing its 2015-16 grant making cycle, Partnership for Better Health announces that it has awarded a total of $1,819,322 in grants to 55 local nonprofit programs and initiatives that will improve the health and wellness of residents in our region. Since its inception in 2001, the foundation has awarded over $33 million to programs serving Cumberland, Perry, Franklin and Adams counties.

Partnership for Better Health engages a committee of dedicated community volunteers to oversee their grant making process and make decisions on each new application for funding. Awarded grants address the foundation’s overarching goals of promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing access to affordable, quality health care for all.

“The foundation is dedicated to the vision of ensuring continuous improvement in the health of our communities,” said D. Ditzler, the foundation’s Senior Director of Grants. “Each grant decision is merit-based and our volunteers work hard to ensure the funding process is equitable and transparent,” she added.

Grant proposals are submitted by a wide variety of nonprofit organizations representing an assortment of programs designed to advance access to affordable care, health education, health promotion, mental health services, the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse and other vital endeavors. The foundation is firmly committed to promoting good health practices and supporting the efforts of community organizations. A complete listing of grants and descriptions of the programs can be found at

2016 Champions for Better Health Announced

winners with logo 

June 2, 2016 – On Tuesday, May 31st the Partnership for Better Health announced their 2016 Champions for Better Health Awards at a community celebration held at Dickinson College. The awards recognize distinguished community volunteers, health professionals, business leaders, philanthropists and youth whose efforts play a vital role in advancing the health and wellness of our region.

 Jeff Gayman, Board Chair at the Partnership, welcomed the more than 140 attendees and congratulated award winners for their outstanding accomplishments. “We have supported some of the amazing organizations represented here tonight, and your excellence is what creates our healthy community,” Gayman said.

A total of 18 finalists were selected for recognition by the Partnership. Winners and honorable mentions were announced across six categories: community volunteer; youth; nonprofit; professional; and business. A special lifetime achievement award was given to Dr. Harold Kretzing in recognition of his long-standing commitment to community health. Dr. Kretzing worked as a family physician in Carlisle, served as a school and sports physician for Carlisle Area School District and has volunteered countless hours providing care to patients at Sadler Health Center.

Becca Raley, Executive Director at the Partnership, said that this year’s honorees shared four outstanding qualities: passion for a cause, the ability to pursue their work with excellence, the dedication to go above and beyond in helping others, and a deep commitment to making health something that everyone in our region can share. “The future of our community lies in the power and courage of people to be above and beyonders,” she stated. “Rather than step back when faced with a challenge, each of these individuals stepped forward.”  

Collectively, winners received $2500 in prizes from the Partnership to contribute to local health charities of their choice. As the winner of a grand prize drawing, the Law Offices of Saidis, Sullivan & Rogers won $1300, which they plan to donate to a health charity.

2016 Champion for Better Health Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Dr. Harold Kretzing

Nonprofits of the Year Winners

Cumberland Valley Rails-To-Trails Council- The Council is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that built and maintains the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail. The trial currently runs from Shippensburg to Newville, and plans are underway to expand the trail to Carlisle. All trail maintenance, development, grant writing and promotions are accomplished by volunteers.

NHS Stevens Center’s Comprehensive Clinical Team and Drug and Alcohol Program have lead the way in psychiatric services and drug and alcohol outpatient treatment for Cumberland and Perry Counties. The Comprehensive Team targets individuals with chronic and persistent mental illness who are under- or uninsured. The Drug and Alcohol Program treats an estimated 200 clients each year, who are also under- or uninsured.

Nonprofits Receiving Honorable Mentions

  • American Trauma Society- The Trauma Society’s Pennsylvania Division is fully committed to reducing traumatic injuries and deaths through preventive education. They are on the leading edge with the development of new trauma prevention— with initiatives that target everything from bike helmet usage and concussion prevention, to Plain Community initiatives, secondary drownings and home safety.
  • The Civic Club of Shippensburg provides, free of charge, a registered nurse for non-skilled services not covered by insurance plans for those over 18. These services are funded with the help of fund raisers, Court House tours, bequests and donations from various organizations.
  • Dickinson College’s employee wellness program began in 2006 to create a culture of wellbeing for their employees. Dickinson has partnered with the Carlisle UMedGym to offer a unique program—individual guidance for those with specific health needs while reducing health risks and increasing overall wellbeing.

Volunteer of the Year Winner

Samantha Nenninger – Samantha is a survivor of the #1 complication of childbirth: postpartum depression. As co-facilitator of Carlisle Regional Medical Center’s HOPE mom’s group, she is using her experience to help other mothers. Through inspirational texts, outreach though social media, and responding to phone calls at all hours, Samantha has become a trusted friend and advocate of new moms who are struggling.

Volunteer Receiving an Honorable Mention

  • Kim Bailey – Kim created the PAW Packs Program for the Big Spring School District. This program provides packages of food for weekends, holidays and vacations to eligible children who otherwise would not have enough to eat.

Business of the Year Winner

The Law Offices of Saidis, Sullivan and Rogers – This team of enthusiastic employees developed a dynamic wellness at work program for their office. They shared health materials and hosted staff competitions to incentivize healthy behaviors like walking, drinking more water and taking the stairs. Together, their staff virtually walked the Macy’s Day Parade, the beaches of Hawaii and all the way to Aspen, Colorado.

Professionals of the Year Winners

Jack Carroll – Government Leader of the Year. Jack is executive director of the Cumberland-Perry Drug & Alcohol Commission. He has been a tireless advocate for drug and alcohol treatment and prevention resources to meet the needs of local residents. As the opiate epidemic has escalated in recent years, Jack is playing a pivotal role in educating the community about the crisis and he is working to expand treatment options through collaboration with many others.

Camille Baughman – Wellness Professional of the Year.  As a licensed massage therapist, Camille has been promoting healthy lifestyles in the community for 30 years. She has co-developed local programs like the YWCA’s Partners in Wellness and Harrisburg Area Community College’s massage therapy program. She has given her leadership to professional groups by serving on the Boards of the Pennsylvania Massage Therapy Licensing Board, the YWCA, and the Cumberland County Drug & Alcohol Commission. Camille has also given generously of her time to important youth serving programs, like Camp Koala and Randi’s Camp.

Dr. Roderick Frazier – Public Health Professional of the Year. After retiring as a dentist with the United States military, Dr. Frazier decided he was ready to do more. He joined Sadler Health Center to provide quality dental care to under- and uninsured patients of all ages. Now with Sadler for 15 years, he has served thousands of patients. In his free time, he has volunteered for local groups, like the Rotary Club of Carlisle and the Employment Skills Center.

Dr. Holly Hoffman – Medical Professional of the Year. For Dr. Hoffman, a dedicated practicing pediatrician, superior health care for children in Carlisle has always been her goal. Dr. Hoffman chairs the Department of Pediatrics at Carlisle Regional Medical Center. As a proponent of the patient centered medical home, she led the way for Carlisle Pediatric Associates to become certified. A long-standing medical volunteer, Dr. Hoffman has given her time and expertise to Sadler Health Center, Living Water Dental Health Ministry and Christ Lutheran Prenatal Clinic. She has led medical mission trips to Kenya and served as a Girl Scout leader for 13 years.

Professionals Receiving Honorable Mentions

  • Dr. Tina Collins – As a hospitalist at Carlisle Regional Medical Center, Dr. Collins consistently goes above and beyond in caring for her patients. When they are lonely and depressed, she is at their bedside to provide comfort, understanding and pampering. Dr. Collins visits with patients on her days off and quietly provides financial support, clothing and food to patients in need.
  • Dr. Chavone Momon-Nelson – Joining the Carlisle community in 2014 as a partnering physician at Carlisle OB/GYN, Dr. Momon-Nelson hit the ground running. She has made it her mission to provide outstanding care to local patients and she is very active in the community. Dr. Nelson opened a satellite office in Shippensburg.
  • Janelle French – As a certified nutrition coach, Janelle founded Genesis Health Journeys to educate community members about the benefits of whole foods and active lifestyles. In her role as a coach, Janelle has helped people regain health through a nutritious diet and lifestyle changes that incorporate exercise into daily living.
  • Sadler’s Nurse Family Partnership – The mission of Sadler’s Nurse-Family Partnership is to empower mothers living in poverty to successfully change their lives and the lives of their children through evidence-based home visits from a caring nurse. Impressive program outcomes include improved prenatal health, fewer childhood injuries, fewer subsequent pregnancies, increases in maternal employment and improved school readiness. Sadler’s dedicated nurse team will serve 115 families next year, living in Cumberland and Perry Counties.


Youth of the Year Winner

LEAF – Leadership, Education and Farming is a unique method for effecting change in the way our community relates to food. LEAF trains youth to be change agents in their own communities. Each year, LEAF hires a cohort of young interns between the ages of 14 and 22, and engages them in growing fresh produce, in learning to cook the food they raise, and in educating the community about nutrition.

Leadership Cumberland Scholarship Application Available

Foundation funds leadership scholarship-
The Partnership for Better Health is pleased to offer a scholarship for the 2016-17 Leadership Cumberland program. The award will go to a health care related professional working at or volunteering for a nonprofit organization that serves the foundation’s region.

To apply, Leadership Cumberland Scholarship App 2015-2016 .

Applications are due by June 10.

To learn more, contact Gail Witwer at: 960-9009 x 8 or [email protected].