Center of Excellence for Remote and Medically Under-Served Areas

  • Research, Innovate, and Facilitate

    Contact Us

    CERMUSA Logo

    Email: director@cermusa.francis.edu
    Phone: 814-472-3389
    Fax: 814-472-3377
    CERMUSA at Saint Francis University
    117 Evergreen Drive
    P.O. Box 600
    Loretto, PA 15940

    Saint Francis University’s Center of Excellence for Remote and Medically Under-Served Areas (CERMUSA) maintains a global vision to design and implement healthcare solutions and education, develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions, publish and present research findings to the healthcare community, and develop partnerships with universities, military organizations, rural and medically under-served healthcare providers, and state, federal, and private agencies.

    CERMUSA’s mission is:“To research, innovate, and facilitate the application of commercialization of technology solutions, products, and other related services that enable and enhance accessible, sustainable, affordable, high quality healthcare and medical education to remote and under-served communities.”

    Our History

    On September 16, 1994, SFU responded to a request from the United States Navy for the establishment of a Rural Healthcare Demonstration Project. This project led to the creation of CERMUSA as a research and applied technology center. It is partially funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research Materiel and Command Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, and is sponsored by Congressman Bill Shuster, Congressman Mark Critz, and Senator Bob Casey.

    CERMUSA credits the late Congressman John P. Murtha with his vision, dedication, and support of the project since its inception. In 1994 Murtha was instrumental in creating CERMUSA at SFU because of his concerns about the access to high quality healthcare throughout rural communities. He also believed that by investing in remote technologies we can provide both a better life and better healthcare costs for our neighbors.

    Internationally Recognized Research Center

    CERMUSA is an internationally recognized research center. It continues to grow and flourish through an outstanding group of personnel and an equally outstanding group of community partners. CERMUSA is involved in many projects and works toward improving healthcare for the future. Current research ventures include inquiries into Telehealth, Distance Learning, and Continuing Education for Healthcare Providers. These areas focus on education and training through teleconferencing and other technological developments.

    National Telerehabilitation Service System

    In 2001, CERMUSA established the National Telerehabilitation Service System (NTSS) at the Hiram G. Andrews center in Johnstown, PA. The system researches surfacing information technologies that can be used to increase education, training, counseling, and healthcare for people with disabilities to better allow them to live and compete in a global economy.


    We are partnering with research and medical teams to provide cutting edge solution and technology. A brief list of partners includes:

    • Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), Fort Detrick, MD 
    • Hiram G. Andrews Center, Johnstown, PA 
    • Home Nursing Agency, Altoona, PA 
    • City of Johnstown Fire Department, Johnstown, PA 
    • Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ
    • Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research (WISER), Pittsburgh, PA 
    • Quittie Glen Center for Mental Health, Annville, PA 
    • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 
    • IUP Research Institute, Indiana, PA 
    • Clearfield Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission, Falls Creek, PA 
    • PEPNet-Northeast, Rochester, NY 
    • Conemaugh Health System - School of EMS, Johnstown, PA
    • NIOSH, Atlanta, GA