Mount Nittany Health Mourns Tragic Loss of Rich Kelley

February 09, 2024
General News & Announcements
5 min read

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It is with deep sadness that we share that last night, Mount Nittany Health lost a valued colleague, caring professional, dear friend, and community leader. Rich A. Kelley, NRP, our EMS Manager, arrived at the Mount Nittany Medical Center Emergency Department at 8:15pm, and shortly thereafter, passed away surrounded by the people he had worked so closely with for so many years.

This loss will be felt by everyone at Mount Nittany Health, as well as the regional EMS community who relied on Rich for leadership, education, and collaboration. Rich joined Mount Nittany Health as a paramedic in 1991, and went on to contribute significantly to the development and growth of the department and EMS in the region, providing life-saving care to countless individuals and families.

“This is a tragic loss, and one that is absolutely heartbreaking,” said Charlene Diehl, MSN, RN, CENP, CCRN, Director, Diagnostic and Ancillary Services. “Rich dedicated his life to keeping people safe, and he worked tirelessly to prepare people to effectively respond to emergencies. Beyond that, he was a wonderful colleague, who was always willing to help others. His kindness and compassion came through in everything he did. There are no words to describe how much we will miss him and the warm smile he brought to work each day.”

“Rich was a dear friend who will be greatly missed,” said Adam Hoover, RN, Manager, Emergency Department. “The Emergency Department and EMS worked closely together on a daily basis, and Rich’s dedication and leadership helped all of us improve.”

Rich led the Emergency Preparedness Committee, served on the Centre County Public Information Working Group, and was a leader of the Keystone Healthcare Coalition and the South Central Mountains Healthcare Coalition. Prior to serving as the EMS manager, Rich held the position of EMS clinical supervisor for Mount Nittany Medical Center. He previously served as Centre County Coroner, executive director of Bellefonte EMS, assistant manager at Centre LifeLink EMS, as well as a flight paramedic for Life Flight. Rich has served as vice president of the Centre County Ambulance Association, and a member of the EMS committee of South Central Mountains Regional Task Force, Regional Medical Advisory Committee, and the Regional Leadership Committee. Rich was also a volunteer for the Undine, Howard, and Logan Fire Companies.

“I’ve known Rich for over 30 years, and he dedicated his life to the care of others. He was one of the most selfless individuals I have ever known,” said Kasandra Botti, DO, Director, Emergency Services. “He was also a natural leader, bringing together all the Emergency Medical Services in the region. We will miss him every day.” 

At Mount Nittany Health, Rich continually worked to bring innovative policies and practices to Emergency Services, and he had a transformative impact on the technological capabilities as well as the compassionate care delivered. Rich and the EMS department were honored with the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Award, and for exemplary work in compassionate patient care. Rich was also honored with the Jack Williams Award given by Seven Mountains EMS.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Rich’s family and many friends during this difficult time.

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