staff and Dr. Hillkirk at St. Joe's
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Penn State LaunchBox Center preview to be held Oct. 25

Penn State Berks and Penn State Health St. Joseph announce joint initiative as part of Invent Penn State grant

In partnership with Penn State Health St. Joseph, Penn State Berks has received a $50,000 seed grant as part of the Invent Penn State initiative. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the two institutions will hold an event to announce the joint initiative at the new Langan LaunchBox, located within Penn State Health St. Joseph’s Downtown Reading Campus. The event is tentatively scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m.

Information will be available on the many entrepreneurial projects that are underway or in the development phase for this joint initiative. In addition, students, faculty, and staff from Penn State Berks, as well as physicians and staff from Penn State Berks Health St. Joseph and community partners will be in attendance to discuss the various aspects of the partnership and the seed grant.

For many years, faculty and staff at the college worked to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem to educate and prepare graduates who will bring entrepreneurial expertise and skills to their careers and communities. Through the Invent Penn State program, the focus will be on expanding the existing infrastructure into the broader community.

The college has several entrepreneurial programs in place ranging from its Center for Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) to the Berks Learning Factory to the more recent partnership with Penn State Health St. Joseph to support community-based health and other initiatives in the City of Reading.

“We are excited by the support from the Invent Penn State program and welcome the opportunity to work with our partner, Penn State Health St. Joseph, to build upon and expand the existing entrepreneurial ecosystem with a focus on business and economic development, as well as social entrepreneurship projects in the City of Reading,” states Keith Hillkirk, Chancellor of Penn State Berks.

Recently Penn State Berks and Penn State Health St. Joseph have joined forces in an initiative titled “Be Bold…Take Charge,” in which faculty and students on campus, as well as Penn State Health St. Joseph’s physicians and staff, support community-based health and initiatives in the City of Reading. This initiative is headed by James Shankweiler, senior lecturer in business at Penn State Berks, and Dr. Kim Wolf at Penn State Health St. Joseph.

“As the largest primary care provider in downtown Reading, we ensure residents have access to health care, especially those residents with chronic illness. With Penn State Berks as an ‘on the ground’ partner, and now with the further support of this grant, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the social, cultural and economic barriers to improving the physical and mental health of this urban community,” stated John R. Morahan, president and CEO, Penn State Health St. Joseph.