As the Admissions Coordinator for Brookline Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Melissa Millar guides potential patients and their families through all stages of the referral and admissions process. It’s her job to help walk people through the paperwork and the insurance verification process and to address questions and concerns along the way. She plays a key role in helping patients to make a smooth transition into Skilled Nursing care.
As a representative for Brookline, Melissa can often be found educating community members about their services at expos and events and organizing activities like senior community Bingo. She also works closely with local hospitals and healthcare professionals to process patient referrals and determine if their facility is the best match for a patient’s unique needs.
Melissa is a member of the Geriatric Interest Network (GIN) of Mifflin & Juniata Counties, an organization made up of community members who provide services geared toward the area’s elderly population.
She got her start at Brookline through her South Hills internship, which she completed during her final term of the Administrative Professional (AP) program at the South Hills Lewistown Campus. They offered her a position as an Administrative Professional, which she started right after she graduated. Melissa built upon her South Hills education and applied her credits toward a Bachelor’s degree at Central Penn. She eventually was able to move up into the Admissions Coordinator role.
When asked how South Hills prepared her for her career, Melissa said, “South Hills helped me to prepare for this career by, first, teaching professionalism. They help students practice for interviews, discuss appropriate workplace attire, and teach office etiquette for answering phones or sending emails. They provided education for commonly-used computer programs, such as Microsoft® Word, Excel, and Publisher. Having exposure to these programs and knowing how to navigate them gives students confidence when entering the workplace setting.”
Melissa went on to say, “The most valuable aspect of my South Hills internship was getting hands-on training. You can talk about how an office environment works as much as you want in the classroom, but the real experience comes from actually practicing tasks. South Hills gives students their first steps to help them move into a professional environment.” Internships lasting 12 weeks or more are an integral part of every South Hills Specialized Associate Degree program.
Some of Melissa’s best South Hills memories were helping to organize school events, like the campus luncheon, which gave her planning experience and provided an opportunity for students to learn to work together as a group. Melissa also said she formed two very close friends from her South Hills experience. She found her South Hills experience to be “engaging” and particularly enjoyed classes with Internship Advisor and Instructor for the Business Administration—Management & Marketing (BAMM) program, Emily Wible.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.