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South Hills Hosts Speaker Series for Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month

Sal LaRusso speaking to Diagnostic Medical Sonography Students

South Hills Community News Release

STATE COLLEGE — In recognition of Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program at South Hills School of Business & Technology’s State College Main Campus presents a series of guest speakers. These industry professionals address the first-, second-, and third-year students and provide insights into the field of medical sonography. Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month (MUAM) is held annually in October to create awareness of the role diagnostic medical sonographers play in the healthcare field and to educate the public about medical ultrasound and its many uses.

MUAM is co-sponsored by the following organizations: American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), and the Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU).

Salvatore LaRusso, M.Ed., RDMS, ARRT, FAIUM, a Level II Sonographer and senior instructor at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, spoke to the students about his 30+ years' experience in the field.

Sal's description of the day-to-day experiences in the workplace was both informative and captivating. He described many specific situations that are encountered in a teaching hospital setting, from working with pediatric patients to his experiences with the elderly. Particularly fascinating (and a bit intimidating) to the class were his descriptions and images of ultrasound procedures he has performed in the operating room, one of which was placing the transducer directly onto the brain through an open craniotomy.

Students in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at South Hills are given the choice of three different tracks from which to choose, a decision which they make during their second year in the program. Of the three tracks offered (cardiac, general, and vascular), Sal has spent most of his career working in the general area of sonography. General sonography is most often performed in a radiology department setting and often includes such areas as adult and pediatric abdominal, gynecologic, thyroid, testicular, and musculoskeletal (MSK) sonography.

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Kari Lynn Schlegel

March 4, 1992—December 15, 2016

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.