23rd Annual Challenges in Critical Care

Friday, Aug. 24, 2018

The Hotel Hershey
100 Hotel Road
Hershey, PA 17033

Select this button to navigate the sections of this page

Conference ID



This annual program is designed to promote the scientific evaluation of methods of care, and to translate current literature into strategies to optimize the care of the critically ill patient.


Our conference is designed for health-care professional involved in critical care:

  • Physicians
  • Advanced practice clinicians
  • Nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Dieticians

Conference Objectives

  • Develop a plan to apply knowledge gained to promote quality care of critically ill patients as provided by the multi-professional team.
  • Evaluate evidence-based management strategies in critical care for incorporation into your practice.
  • Identify areas for further study, improvement and research.



Penn State College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Penn State College of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)

This program has been approved for a maximum of 6.00 contact hours Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) credit by the American Association for Respiratory Care, 9425 N. MacArthur Blvd. Suite 100 Irving TX 75063.

Course #151351000

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)

Application has been made.

Patient Safety

This program includes 6.0 hours of patient safety/risk management education as required by the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine. Please see the program schedule for the topic marked with as risk.

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)

The ACPE logo, black vaguely Romanic text with "AC" stacked directly on top of "PE," surrounded by a black-box border.Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

This knowledge-based activity has been assigned the Universal Activity Number of 0322-0000-18-015-L05-P. It has been approved for 6 contact hours (0.6 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy education credit in states that recognize ACPE providers. The attendee list will be uploaded into CPE Monitor approximately one week after completion of the program. Statements of credit indicated in contact hours and CEUs will be available through CPE Monitor. Successful completion includes signing in at registration with personal NABP number and date of birth, attending the entire session for which credit is claimed, and completing the activity evaluation. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center complies with the Accreditation Standards for Continuing Education.

It is our policy to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all our sponsored educational programs. Faculty members are expected to disclose to the program audience any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of their presentation.


  • 7 a.m. | Check-In/Posters/Exhibits
  • 7:45 a.m. | Welcome – SVACCN Representative
  • 8 am. | Keynote: The Art and Science of Medical Music
    Andrew Schulman, Certified Medical Musician

    Describe the role of a medical musician in a critical care unit and discuss the specialty of medical musician in the context of the fields of music and medicine.

  • 9 a.m. | Break/Exhibits/Posters
  • 9:30 a.m. | Concurrent Session 1
    • 1A: How Sweet is Too Sweet? Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) (Risk)
      Lauren Ventola, MD

      Examine how the pathophysiology affects diagnosis and treatment of patients with DKA and HHNS, identifying potential barriers that may occur during treatment.

    • 1B: Procalcitonin (PCT): A Review of the Evidence in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sepsis (Risk)
      Anita Malhotra, MD

      Identify the current usage of procalcitonin in diagnosis of sepsis and appreciate mortality implications of elevated procalcitonin levels.

  • 10:30 a.m. | Break/Exhibits/Posters
  • 10:45 a.m. | Concurrent Session 2
    • 2A: New Drugs for Resistant Bugs: A Review of Newly Approved Antimicrobial Agents (Risk)
      Maria Heaney, PharmD

      Discuss novel antimicrobials entering a long-dormant drug-development pipeline to treat resistant infections.

    • 2B: Case Presentations
      Presenters TBD
  • 11:45 a.m. | Lunch/Exhibits/Posters
  • 12:45 p.m. | SVACCN Awards Ceremony
  • 1 p.m. | Safe. Connected. Civility and Personal Resilience
    W. Gregory Larsh, PhD
    Consider the association between cognitive reframing, meaning and resilience.
  • 2 p.m. | Break/Exhibits/Posters
  • 2:15 p.m. | Concurrent Session 3
    • 3A: Utilizing Multi-Modal Pain Management During Perioperative Care (Risk)
      Joseph Answine, MD, FASA

      Examine the mechanisms of action of various pain modalities, dosing and routes of administration as well as the risks and benefits of each modality.

    • 3B: Obstetrics Critical Care (Risk)
      Marie Baldissari, MD, MPH, FCCM

      Analyze the most common pathologic conditions associated with critical illness in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, pneumonia, ARDS, infections/sepsis and trauma.

  • 3:20 p.m. | Closing Plenary: After Ebola (Risk)
    Kimberly Pierre, MSc, RN, CCRN

    Discuss the challenges of maintaining a highly infectious disease team and examine factors today that prompt the continued need for such a team.

  • 4:20 p.m. | PASCCM Awards for Case Study and Scientific Poster
  • 4:30 p.m. | Closing Remarks/Adjournment
  • 4:45 p.m. | PASCCM Business Meeting


Joseph Answine, MD, FASA
Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesia
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Partner, Riverside Anesthesia Associates, Harrisburg, PA
Staff Anesthesiologist, UPMC Pinnacle, Harrisburg, PA

Marie Baldissari, MD, MPH, FCCM
Professor of Critical Care Medicine
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburg, PA

Maria Heaney, PharmD
PGY-2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Resident
Temple University School of Pharmacy
Philadelphia, PA

W. Gregory Larsh, PhD
Organizational Culture Consultant
Human Resources
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute

Anita Malhotra, MD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Kimberly Pierre, MSc, RN, CCRN
Coordinator of Highly Infectious Disease Preparedness
Division of Safety
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Andrew Schulman, Certified Medical Musician
Musician, Medical Musician, Author
Medical Musician, Critical Care Unit, Berkshire Medical Center
Pittsfield, MA

Lauren Ventola, MD
Fellow of Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellow
Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Planning Committee

Barbara Birriel, MSN, ACNP-BC, FCCM
Heart and Vascular ICU
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Penn State College of Nursing

Sandralee Blosser, MD, FCCM
Professor of Medicine, Surgery and Anesthesia
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Chief of Intensivist Development
Pittsburgh Critical Care Associates Inc.
Pittsburgh, PA

Christine Burfete, MSN, RN
Clinical Nurse Educator
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Joe Camacci, RRT-NPS
Respiratory Clinical Educator
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Margaret Clanagan
CME Conference Coordinator
Penn State College of Medicine

Neuroscience Critical Care Unit
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Lydia Johnson, MS, RN, CCRN
Clinical Education Specialist
UPMC Pinnacle Health System
Harrisburg, PA

Niels Martin, MD, FACS, FCCM
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Section Chief, Surgical Critical Care
Program Director, Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA

Ashley Quintili, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Specialist – Surgical/Anesthesia ICU
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Erin Sarsfield, MSN, RN, CCRN-K
Clinical Nurse Specialist Medical ICU
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Margaret Wojnar, MD, MEd
PASCCM – Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Medical Director, Associate Trauma Program
Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine
Lancaster, PA


Fee is $155 per person.

Member rates: $135 for SVAACN; $55 for PASCCM

Fee includes cost of instruction, all listed meals and online handout materials.

Registrations received after Aug. 23, 2018, will incur a $25 late fee.


Cancellations received later than Aug. 16, 2018, will incur a $25 processing fee.

No refunds will be given after Aug. 20, 2018.

The University reserves the right to cancel or postpone any course or activity because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any related costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies. Preregistered participants will be notified if a program is filled or canceled.


Accommodations are the responsibility of the program participant. See a list of Hershey-area lodging here.


This program is a continuing education service of Penn State College of Medicine, in partnership with the PA Chapter of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (PASCCM) and the Susquehanna Valley A Chapter of AACN (SVAACN).

Save the Date

Save the date for the 24th annual Challenges in Critical Care:

Friday, Aug. 16, 2019
The Hotel Hershey
100 Hotel Road
Hershey, PA 17033

Access (ADA)

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of special accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Continuing Education at least one week in advance of your participation or visit.


Content and speakers for all programs are subject to change. Registrants will be notified of any significant updates.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest (COI and educational balance)

It is our policy to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of our educational programs. Faculty and course directors have disclosed relevant financial relationships with commercial companies, and Penn State has a process in place to resolve any conflict of interest. Complete faculty disclosure will be provided to program participants at the beginning of the activity.

University Nondiscrimination Policy

This publication is available in alternative media on request. The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, including harassment. The Pennsylvania State University prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, genetic information, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status and retaliation due to the reporting of discrimination or harassment. Discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against faculty, staff, or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University. Direct all inquiries regarding the Nondiscrimination Policy to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; tel 814-863-0471/TTY. US M.Ed. D6175

Jump to ...