Committees, Programs, & Interest Groups


Committees enable us to support the mission of our organization which is to support and promote medical education, research, clinical care, and scholarship through charitable activities and to serve the needs of the community of which we are a part.

Annual Gala

This annual fundraiser will be held at the Hotel Hershey. This committee, in collaboration with the Board of Directors of AFF, will plan and organize the event including the menu, entertainment, decorations, and will assist the sponsorship committee.
Coordinator: Debbie Wallace


The bylaws committee is responsible for the annual review and maintenance of our bylaws including any amendments needed and for insuring proper protocol for this process is followed.
Coordinator: Kathy Miller

Information & Technology

This committee compiles the information submitted by the Board of Directors and members to inform the membership of events, activities, and other pertinent information. The monthly newsletter, HouseCall, is emailed to all members with upcoming AFF news, May through September. The Communications committee is responsible for maintaining contents of the AFF website and social media channels year-round.
Newsletter: Heather Boyle
PR: Barb Kauffman
Electronic Communications: Heather Mahraj

Lion’s Share Drive

The Lion’s Share committee is responsible for collecting donations for the local food banks.  Collections are held between October and May each year and are coordinated through Hospital and College of Medicine departments.
Coordinators: Julie Groh & Judy Dillon


The luncheon will be held at the Hotel Hershey. This committee, in collaboration with the Board of Directors of AFF, will plan and organize the event including the menu, entertainment, decorations, and will assist the sponsorship committee.
Coordinator: Susan Foxx and Betty Rigberg


The membership committee coordinates mailings for membership renewal, welcome letters, and new member recruitment.
Coordinator: Jaque Repke

Palliative Care

AFF had a big role in establishing Palliative Care Medicine at then Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University in 1996 & has supported this program ever since. Interested AFF members who volunteer for this Palliative Care Committee must complete a training program accredited by the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPC ) in addition to the hospital volunteer training program. These volunteers would donate their time & energy to help Palliative Care staff, their patients and/or patients’ families.
Coordinator: Behjat Noori

Peace Tree

AFF members gather together at the Medical Center with faculty, staff, students, patients, family members, and guests from the community, for a special evening program acknowledging the sponsored names and showcasing local talent. Tax-deductible contributions to The Peace Tree are returned as gifts to the Medical Center supporting and promoting medical education, research, clinical care, and scholarship by The Association of Faculty and Friends.
Coordinator: Lisa Braccini-Barletta


This committee coordinates correspondence and seeks potential sponsors for events, such as the gala and the luncheon. This includes collecting advertisement artwork for the events.
Coordinator: TBA

Hospital & Community Outreach Programs

Blood Drive

Blood Drive is held every February at the Hershey Medical Center and is done in collaboration with the American Red Cross.
Coordinator: Suzy Carnecchia

Caring Corner

The Caring Corner committee is responsible for sending timely notes and cards to AFF members offering get well wishes, sympathy, congratulations or other supportive messages on behalf of the AFF board and general membership.
Coordinator: Vera Kolstom and Shari Massini

Hospital Programs

This committee is responsible for keeping the membership informed of Hospital and College of Medicine events. The group is responsible for developing and presenting new concepts and programs to the Board of Directors in keeping with the mission of the AFF.
Coordinator: Lisa Braccini-Barletta

Splash Packs

Splash Packs are toiletry items that are collected to give to unprepared caretakers of palliative care patients.
Coordinator: Behjat Noori

Interest Groups

These groups serve the mission of providing a community of friendship to our members. Dates, times and locations of meetings and events are published monthly in the AFF newsletter, HouseCall, when made available.

Book Club

The Book Club meets monthly on the second Thursday of the month from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm at the Hershey Public Library to discuss a book. The title of the book is announced monthly in HouseCall.
Coordinator: Jill Muscat

Bridge Club

This group was formed for members who desire to play bridge in a relaxed social setting. A course in beginning bridge is suggested for those who wish to join the group.  Members meet twice each month, on varying days announced in Housecall and AFF social media.  The group plays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at a local restaurant with lunch following.
Coordinators: Sue Demers and Jaque Repke

Cocktails & Conversation

This group is for members who like to get together monthly to enjoy happy hour at a member’s home or area restaurant.
Coordinators: Patti Deutsch and Kathy Carter

Gourmet Group

The gourmet group consists of a limited number of couples who participate in a monthly planned dinner which is held at a different home each month.
Coordinator: Lisa Reinhart

Nittany Knitters

The Nittany Knitters group meets on the first Thursday of each month, from September through May, excluding December. The locations vary from month to month, but notice of each meeting will be posted in HouseCall. Knitters of all levels may join the group at any time. Projects have included fidget squares, lap blankets for adult and pediatric chemo patients, chemo caps for pediatric and adult patients, and scarves for breast cancer patients.
Coordinator: Betty Rigberg

Outings & Day Trips

Outing and Day Trips is an exciting free flowing group organized by Felicia Paymer where members suggest and plan pleasant destinations and excursions. Hikes, theatres, galleries, and places of interest. Members of the group decide. Please contact Felicia through the Member Directory if you are interested.
CoordinatorFelicia Paymer