Center for Student Wellness
All the wellness resources you need to thrive in every aspect of life.
Geisinger Commonwealth offers students a wealth of resources related to every aspect of well-being:
A message from the director of student wellness“There’s a reason flight attendants tell passengers to don their own oxygen masks first if they wish to rescue others. Rendering effective care always depends on the health of the provider. For too long, medical education culture was predicated on a stoicism that invited students and learners to hide their anxiety and bury their stress. The predictable result is that doctors have higher rates of depression, suicide and self-reported burnout than the general public. The Center for Student Life and Wellness is dedicated to creating a new narrative — one that offers a permanent, structured approach to holistic student well-being.
Whether you need to decompress by walking on a treadmill or calm your anxiety with solid financial advice, the Center for Student Life and Wellness has your back. I’m here to be sure you have the resources you need to succeed and become the professional you’ve dreamed of becoming.”
To your health,
Halle B. Ellison, MD, MAS PSHQ, FACS, director of student wellness
“Geisinger Commonwealth’s emphasis on the wellness of its students is, in my opinion, one of its strongest attributes. The school and administration have been very receptive of student ideas and desires. And they’ve implemented a multitude of events that cater to students’ interests. The newly renovated fourth floor wellness center highlights the school’s commitment to students’ physical, mental and social wellness. I’m excited to see how the space will serve as a catalyst for further betterment of student wellness in the years to come.”
“Promoting wellness is an essential component of maintaining student health and well-being. As a fourth-year medical student, I am very proud of the school's newest efforts to promote student wellness and provide us with resources we need to best achieve self-care.”
I'm excited that student feedback inspired some substantial changes at the school. I especially appreciate having a separate department dedicated to supporting and improving the well-being of Geisinger Commonwealth students, just like the offices we have that are devoted to helping students succeed academically and professionally. Plus, the development of this office means future improvements will continue to be made. I'm proud to be a part of the group that turned student ideas into reality.”
“The financial aid office has been excited to partner with the wellness department. Traditionally when we think of wellness, we initially think about the physical, emotional and mental health aspects. It has been great to be able to spotlight our financial literacy program and how important financial wellness is for our students and their overall well-being.”
“Wellness is key for health professions to be able to serve people and populations throughout a long and fulfilling career. Our student wellness supports are established to ensure that students are well supported during their education with us and develop strategies to bolster their well-being lifelong.”
Center for Student Life and WellnessThe 16,000-square-foot Center for Student Life and Wellness is located on the fourth floor of the school’s west wing. Offering natural light and panoramic views of downtown Scranton, the space is devoted to multiple realms of wellness, including physical, emotional and spiritual.
The center features:
- Dedicated exercise space and equipment
- Locker rooms and showers
- Lactation room
- Meditation and prayer room
- Multicultural center
- Student government offices
- Collaborative workspace
- Student lounge
- Geisinger Commonwealth food pantry
- Engagement and learning rooms
Physical and emotional wellness
Physical and emotional wellness are key to academic and professional success. Students have access to free fitness classes and facilities at the Medical Sciences Building in Scranton and services through:
You can also take advantage of:
- The CARE Team, which helps students who have concerning behaviors or thoughts.
- Training in mental health first aid, which teaches students how to manage crises and build your mental health literacy.
- The Geisinger Commonwealth Peer Support (GPS) program, which can help students adjust to medical school and life in a new community and provide social support.
We want students to build positive relationships and offer resources that include:
Our Department of Medical Education, Office of Student Affairs, Office of Research and Scholarship and the library work together to nurture students’ intellectual growth. Resources include:
- Faculty support – Preclinical students can take advantage of faculty office hours. We also offer a specialty mentoring program focused on clinical advising and career development.
- The Center for Learning Excellence (CLE) – This office oversees peer mentoring, provides academic and career advising for preclinical students and accessibility support for all students.
- Regional education specialists – These people oversee student clinical scheduling and academic advising for clinical campus students.
- The Office of Research and Scholarship – Our biomedical research and training programs target health issues prevalent in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
- Summer Research Immersion Program
- Medical Research Honors Program
- Student Education Group (SEG) – This group gives students a voice in the curriculum and other issues.
Students also meet with an assigned career coach twice a year and have access to mentors in multiple specialties and subspecialities.
We help students connect with nature and a healthy environment during medical school.
- Natural environment – Our student gardening club manages a community garden in Scranton. Our wellness hub includes information on local parks and trails. And we’re building a community exchange program to give students, faculty and staff a way to share goods, reducing waste and building community.
- Medical Sciences Building and regional campuses – The newly-renovated building houses the Center for Student Life and Wellness. Each regional campus site provides dedicated space for students.
- Learning environment – We offer monthly forums with Geisinger Commonwealth leadership, where students can discuss anything on their minds. They can also use our online forms to register concerns — or recognize fellow students’ achievements.
Geisinger Commonwealth helps students with financial planning and debt management. The Office of Financial Aid delivers a financial wellness curriculum that covers topics such as:
- Loan portfolios
- Debt management
- Budget planning
Students can meet with financial advisers and have access to information through webinars, videos and podcasts. We also support travel to present research or to participate in multicultural conferences. And students complete the Financing Your Future program as they transition to residency.
Students can also find free non-perishable food in our student pantry or request help from our emergency fund if they have unexpected costs.