Penn State Mont Alto gets board approval for $13 million Allied Health building

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Board of Trustees recently named Hord Coplan Macht Inc. of Baltimore, as the architect for a new allied health building project on the Mont Alto campus.

The university said the move is an effort to provide state-of-the-art facilities and accommodate future growth in the signature nursing, physical therapist assistant and occupational therapy assistant (OTA) programs for which the Mont Alto campus is known.

The new $13 million building will provide an additional 21,000 square feet of instructional and office space and support the unique needs of the three programs, the university announced. The building will feature dedicated simulation laboratories and an ambulance port for the nursing program; a simulated living space for the OTA program; and enhanced clinical space and equipment for the PTA program.

HCM was selected because its experience in designing and constructing allied health buildings set it apart. Examples of its previous work include the Darlington Hall School of Nursing and Allied Health Building at Harford Community College and the Gail S. & Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions & Wellness Center at Washington Adventist University.

Design of the new building is expected to be concluded in May. Construction will start in July with expected occupancy in July 2021.

HCC receives $15,000 from The Columbia Bank

Submitted photo
Hagerstown Community College recently received $15,000 from The Columbia Bank. Pictured, from left, are Ashley Whaley of HCC, Mark Mullican of The Columbia Bank, Jim Klauber of HCC, Susan Mades of The Columbia Bank, Matt Hess of The Columbia Bank and Cindy Shatzley of The Columbia Bank.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The Hagerstown Community College Foundation recently received $15,000 from The Columbia Bank, to be used for HCC’s Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Studies, which is currently under development on the HCC campus.

“We have proudly worked with HCC for 46 years,” Susan Mades, senior vice president and division manager at The Columbia Bank, said in a news release. “When we heard about the vision for the new business center at HCC, we immediately saw it as a great opportunity to get involved and help increase financial literacy in our community.”

The CBES is expected to open in late 2019 and will bring together HCC’s credit and non-credit business programs, HCC’s business incubator and area business and industry leaders.

First United opens office at Emerald Pointe near Hagerstown

Melissa Weaver

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — First United Bank & Trust has opened a new community office at 19405 Emerald Square, Suite 1000, just outside Hagerstown, Md.

First United Bank & Trust has been a member of the Washington County community for more than 20 years with offices on Edgewood Drive and Wesel Boulevard, as well as in Smithsburg. According to a news release from the company, “the dynamic growth and development in the Hagerstown area” led to opening the new office in the recently completed commercial building at the Emerald Pointe development.

The office includes a focus on the local community and efficient, faster transactions to serve both consumer and business customers.

The new technology available to customers includes two ATMs with envelope-free deposit capabilities, video conferencing capabilities to allow for meetings with remote financial specialists and a “Discovery Center” featuring online options for customers. The Discovery Center includes multiple touchscreen displays that provide an interactive experience for customers and allows bankers to showcase and demonstrate the latest apps and provide customers with financial education tools.

Digital screens incorporated throughout the branch are also used to highlight local activities and events, as well as spotlight local nonprofits and businesses throughout the day. Associates in the office are also involved in various organizations in the local community and will host future meetings and events in the branch’s community room. The community room also is available to nonprofit organizations that may need space at times.

Among the Emerald Pointe staff:

• Kendra Peacher, community relationship manager, is a Hagerstown native who recently managed the First United Baughmans Lane office in Frederick. She brings more than 17 years of banking and mortgage lending experience to Hagerstown.

• Melissa Weaver, senior relationship adviser, recently worked with customers at the First United community office on Edgewood Drive.

• Alyssa Stevens, relationship adviser, recently worked at the First United community office on Wesel Boulevard.

• Sabrina Brian-Kidd, relationship adviser, joined First United in 2017 and most recently worked with customers at the community office in Falling Waters, W.Va.

• Raquel Anguiano-Burrell, relationship adviser, recently worked at the community office on Baughmans Lane in Frederick.

First United Corp. operates one full-service commercial bank, First United Bank & Trust. The bank has a network of community offices in Garrett, Allegany, Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland, as well as Mineral, Berkeley, Harrison and Monongalia counties in West Virginia.

As of Sept. 30, the corporation posted assets of $1.3 billion.

Founded in 1900, First United Bank & Trust is headquartered in Oakland, Md.

Notes and quotes for December 2018

Things seen and overheard around the region last month, compiled by reporter Mike Lewis:

Nice ride in Spain

Carey Madrid owner Blai Matons poses with the original 1965 Mercedes that he used to start his business.

FREDERICK, Md. — Carey International Inc., which provides chauffeured service, customer-centric travel technology and ground transportation logistics management, has named a new franchise operation in Madrid, Spain.

The Carey Madrid banner was bestowed upon Blai Limousines, which will operate as a Carey-branded, independently owned franchise, Carey announced in a news release.

Founded in 1965, Blai Limousines began supplying premium ground transportation solutions in Barcelona, including chauffeured services for Catalan painter Salvador Dali, before expanding into additional service territories throughout Spain. Blai Limousines co-founders, Blai Matons, and his son, Oscar, opened a branch in Madrid in 2014.

Among other things, Carey features a world-class fleet of late-model executive and luxury vehicles, a corps of professional chauffeurs and a portfolio of specialized transportation logistics management services.

Survey: Logistics leaders optimistic about economy

The U.S. Logistics and Transportation industry is highly optimistic regarding the U.S. economy and their companies’ prospects over the next three months, according to the most recent quarterly survey by TCompanies.

Some highlights:

• 74 percent are optimistic about the US economy over next three months (unchanged from the second quarter).

• 80 percent expect increased revenues, up from 75 percent in the previous quarter.

• 73 percent expect increased profitability, up from 67 percent.

By a 2-to-1 margin, those surveyed reported that workforce shortages remained a bigger obstacle to growth than trade tariffs.

The survey also notes that inflationary pressures remain, as 56 percent plan to increase prices in next quarter.

Giant adds more stores

CARLISLE, Pa. — Giant Food Stores recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Supervalu Inc., a newly acquired subsidiary of United Natural Foods, to acquire five corporately-owned Shop ‘n Save locations.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Giant plans to convert the stores into Martin’s Food Markets. The following stores are part of the sale.:

• 22401 Jefferson Boulevard, Smithsburg, Md.

• 500 North Antrim Way, Greencastle, Pa.

• 409 North McNeil Road, Berryville, Va.

• 147 Roaring Lion Drive, Hedgesville, W.Va.

• 1317 Old Courthouse Square, Martinsburg, W.Va.

The sale is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.

FCC to start PT assistant program

FREDERICK, Md. — Frederick Community College will develop a new physical therapist assistant associate degree program with the help of a $150,000 grant from the Maryland State Department of Education.

Grant funding will cover all startup costs for the new program, according to a news release from FCC.

The grant will enable FCC and Frederick County Public Schools, which received its own grant, to create a pathway for physical therapy education.

Applications will be accepted in fall 2019 with a cohort proposed to start in spring 2020. FCC will offer a spring and fall cohort each year.

Regional CPA firm rebrands as ‘SEK’


Regional CPA firm Smith Elliott Kearns & Co. LLC is refreshing its branding.

Over the years, the firm’s clients and communities have come to refer to company by the acronym “SEK.” According to a news release announcing the change, the firm decided to incorporate that title into a new brand redesign.

SEK also launched a new logo as a part of its brand identity. The firm reported that the logo is born out of the need to better communicate what the firm stands for. The compass represents directional values.

“The firm remains committed to guiding their clients to make wise and well-informed financial decisions,” the release stated.

The company’s rebrand will also include new signs, stationery and a website upgrade over the next few months.

“We are very excited to execute our rebrand in conjunction with our Hagerstown, Md., office move,” Managing Member John R. Schnitzer said in the release. “This rebrand represents a huge step in SEK’s evolution and is not something that we take lightly. We are still the same company with the same team, but with a fresh look.”

SEK has offices in Hagerstown and Camp Hill, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Hanover and York, Pa.

The firm was founded in 1963 and was recently named a “Top 200 Firm” by Inside Public Accounting. With 26 members and a staff of 150, SEK services individuals as well as business clients in a variety of industries including construction, employee benefit plans, health care, local government, manufacturing and nonprofit services.

The firm offers financial statement preparation, auditing and assurance services, small business accounting, payroll services, QuickBooks and Sage 50 training and consulting, tax return preparation and planning, estate planning and administration, business valuations, retirement plan design consulting, and third-party administration.

Hospice facility earns accreditation

Hospice of Washington County recently announced that Doey’s House has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Home Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. Showcasing a family area in a Doey’s House patient room are, from left, Dr. Alva Baker, chief medical officer; Andrea Horton, chief clinical officer; Ernesto Lopez, chief executive officer; Rebecca Johnson, director of inpatient and support services; and Karen Giffin, senior director of development and public relations.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Hospice of Washington County (Md.) recently announced that Doey’s House has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Home Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards.

Doey’s House is the only hospice house in Washington County. The 16,500-square-foot inpatient facility has 12 patient rooms. It has the amenities for patients and families that one would have at home, including a family dining room, meditation room, library, children’s playroom, great room and sun porch.

Each patient room has a patio and a private area for families to stay.

Hospice of Washington underwent a Joint Commission onsite survey for Doey’s House in July. During the survey, compliance with home care standards reflecting key organization areas was evaluated, including the provision of care, treatment and services, emergency management, human resources, individual rights and responsibilities, and leadership.The accreditation process also provided Doey’s House staff with education and guidance to help staff continue to improve its performance.

Established in 1988, the Joint Commission’s Home Care Accreditation Program supports the efforts of its accredited organizations to help deliver safe, high quality care and services. More than 6,000 home care programs currently maintain accreditation, awarded for a three-year period, from The Joint Commission.“Hospice of Washington County is pleased to receive accreditation for Doey’s House from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” added CEO Ernesto Lopez. “Staff from across our organization continue to work together to strengthen the continuum of care and to deliver and maintain optimal home care services for those in our community.”

Potomac Edison donates LED bulbs to food bank

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Potomac Edison recently provided 9,000 Energy Star certified LED light bulbs to the Maryland Food Bank — Western Branch for distribution to food pantry partners.

Food pantry clients were to receive the bulbs during three events in October.

The LEDs donated this year will save Potomac Edison customers more than 252,000 kilowatt hours and $460,000 over the lifetime of the LEDs, according to a news release from the company. Participants can save on energy costs by switching from less-efficient bulbs to the LEDs.

Potomac Edison also will give food pantry partners information about energy-saving programs offered through EmPOWER Maryland programs.

The donation supports EmPOWER Maryland and is part of the Potomac Edison Residential Energy Efficiency Program, which, in addition to other offerings, provides discounts on LEDs through participating retailers.

Since 2009, Potomac Edison has helped customers save energy and has provided $1 million in rebates to residential customers.

Optimal Health opens new corporate office

From left: Karla Robeson, Jacob Minang, Washington County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Frey, Dyllis Minang and Isidore Fondwi, celebrate Optimal Health’s move to new corporate offices near Hagerstown.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Optimal Health Care Inc. recently celebrated its new corporate office at 11377 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown, Md., with a Washington County Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting.

Optimal Health Care provides services to the acutely and chronically ill. The company’s staff works closely with their clients, their physicians and family members in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating the health care plan for every individual.

The company is made of a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals working together to provide high quality health care services. Their philosophy is that individuals and their families are always in control of their destiny.

The move also is in line with Optimal Health’s 10th anniversary, a sign that the company is growing in ways to serve the changing face of healthcare in the community.

Crusaders shop moves to new location

Crusaders Supply & Service Co. recently cut the ribbon on its new location in Hagerstown.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Crusaders Supply & Service Co. recently celebrated its new location at 222 East Oak Ridge Road, Suite 400, in Hagerstown, Md., with a Washington County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting.

Owners Kent Phillips and George Owens welcomed fellow chamber members and representatives from the business community to tell them about their mission — to provide quality and affordable supply gear, from uniforms to tactical gear, to area first responders and the general population.

Veterans themselves, the Crusaders’ team particularly supports military, law enforcement and first responders with the supplies they need.

The team members are so committed to remaining “on brand” that they cut the big red ribbon with a blade pulled right from the shop.

Frostburg’s MBA program gets top marks

Sudhir Singh

FROSTBURG, Md. — Website, a service designed to encourage students to pursue higher education, has ranked Frostburg State University’s online MBA as one of the best online MBA programs nationally, as well as one of the best for health care management.

FSU’s program was ranked No. 48.

“As we created this concentration in health care management, we consulted our regional industry leaders to gain deeper insights into the industry’s needs and to seek their input into the curriculum,” said Sudhir Singh, FSU’s dean of the College of Business. “In part because of this guidance, this concentration prepares our MBA graduates for careers in a more discerning knowledge economy that continues to confer a premium on specialized education across a diverse set of work contexts.”

For its rankings, analyzed every online MBA program in the U.S. and consulted 50 industry experts, hiring managers, current students and alumni to identify 50 top programs. Its methodology included academic quality (40 percent) — academic metrics, number of online programs offered and faculty credentials and training; student success (40 percent) — graduate reputation, student engagement and student services and technology; and affordability (20 percent) — average net cost, percentage of students with loans and default rate.

The MBA program at FSU is a 36-credit-hour program that offers three concentrations: business analytics, health care management and general management.

The health care management concentration prepares students for leadership roles and management level positions at hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities and physician practices. The concentration focuses on health care policies, information management, population management and finances. estimates the cost of FSU’s online MBA in health care management at $433 per credit for Maryland residents and $557 for those from other states.

To view’s rankings of the Best Online MBA Programs for 2019, visit