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Geisinger changing to make health care easier

PHOTO PROVIDED Michelle Miller, manager of sleep lab services, and Rachel Ellis, a polysom technologist, stand inside one of the two new sleep lab rooms at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital.

DANVILLE — There is said to be only one constant in life, and that’s change.

According to Geisinger leaders, change doesn’t need to be a scary thing, but instead can welcome in wonderful opportunities to lead a healthier life.

Geisinger leaders say the changes they’re making center around their neighbors and the communities they serve, all to make health care easier and to bring care closer to home for residents of Clinton and Lycoming counties.

One of the biggest changes coming to the area in health care will be happening at Spring and West Fourth streets in Lock Haven — site of the new Geisinger Medical Clinic Lock Haven. The facility is being built as part of a clinical joint venture between Geisinger and Highmark Health. Both organizations are investing more than $100 million to improve existing clinical facilities, develop new ones, expand services and improve access to care across the region.

“We’re set to start construction this spring,” said Tammy Anderer, MSN, CRNP, PhD, chief administrative officer of Geisinger’s north-central region. “We recognize the changing health care needs of our neighbors in the Lock Haven community, and this new clinic and the partnership with Highmark will provide area residents with opportunities to become healthier.”

PHOTOS PROVIDED April Day, laboratory supervisor, and laboratory physician Dr. William Quinones, pictured in Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital’s new clinical laboratory space.

The two-story facility will offer a walk-in urgent care center, pharmacy, adult and pediatric primary care offices and imaging and lab services. It will also house occupational, physical and speech therapy and a specialty clinic with dermatology, cardiology, gastroenterology, surgery and women’s health services.

At Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital, Geisinger leaders say there’s been lots of change, including to the people providing care, the technology, and to the building itself.

“We’ve welcomed a number of new providers to the hospital and expanded the services we offer,” Anderer said. “We’re offering more services, have upgraded technology to make accessing care easier, and have completed renovation projects to help provide even better care.”

New clinicians are providing care at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital, including general and orthopaedic surgeons, cardiology services and ophthalmology services, Anderer said. Breast, colorectal, general, gynecologic, podiatric and orthopaedic surgeries are available at the hospital, along with gastroenterology providers offering clinic and endoscopy services. A new retinal specialist joined the Geisinger Ophthalmology Williamsport team and is providing retinal surgery at the hospital.

Changes and upgrades to hospital technology have allowed for more telemedicine services to become available, Anderer said. These include telestroke and teleneurology; tele-cardiology; tele-infectious disease; tele-pulmonology; tele-burn; tele-toxicology and electronic intensive care unit (EICU) capabilities.

PHOTO PROVIDED Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital nurse Bonna Somers stands next to Cynthia Pepperman during a cardiac rehabilitation session. The cardiac rehabilitation space at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital underwent substantial changes recently. The new cardiac rehab space is larger and conveniently located next to a main entrance and features beautiful views out of the new panoramic windows.

“These upgrades mean our neighbors don’t have to travel to receive care at larger hospitals,” Anderer said. “They can come to Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital and receive their care, including evaluations and initial treatment while our providers assess their symptoms.”

Beyond telemedicine, renovations at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital include new spaces for inpatient pharmacy services, laboratory area, pulmonary function testing, an echocardiogram space, sleep lab suites, pediatric rehabilitation space, and multispecialty clinic.

The renovations further bolster the care people can receive at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital, Anderer said. Orthopaedic care, women’s health, pediatric endocrinology, gastroenterology, cardiac rehabilitation, cardiac stress testing, echocardiograms, physical therapy, inpatient skilled nurse, occupational therapy, radiology, rehabilitation, speech therapy, family medicine, emergency medicine, acute care, intensive care, and medical infusion service are all available.

“When you talk about change in health care, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing,” Anderer said. “We have invested in new services and new providers to help bring health care closer to home. When you don’t have to travel long distances for care, that’s a change. You don’t have to be sitting in a car, but instead can spend more time at home or with friends and family.”

Another change slated for the hospital in 2020 includes construction of a helipad at the hospital. With a $250,000 supportive grant from the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, the helipad will be built at the hospital campus to make it faster for patients to get to facilities that offer higher-level emergency care. Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital provides care for medical emergencies, but if a higher level of care is needed, having a helicopter land at the hospital will save time getting patients to that next level of care.

PHOTO PROVIDED Brenda Shuman-Johnson, a medical technologist, works inside of the new clinical laboratory space at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital. The new laboratory space is one of the many changes at the hospital. The laboratory is bigger and was designed to provide maximum space utilization and flexibility for growth and technology changes. Its proximity to major clinical areas assures rapid turnaround times for patient results.

“There’s one thing that hasn’t changed and will never change, and it’s Geisinger’s commitment to our neighbors,” Anderer said. “No matter how much the world changes around you, Geisinger will continue to be here for you. We’re ready to provide care and to help give you the opportunity to make any changes you’d like along your own health care journey.”

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