The pandemic closures did not affect Geisinger’s construction of the Jersey Shore Hospital helipad, Geisinger Medical Center Muncy in Muncy Township, or the opening of Geisinger Medical Clinic Lock Haven.
In an email interview, Tammy Anderer, MSN, CRNP, PhD and Executive Director of North Central Geisinger Region, said: “We are fortunate to move these projects forward because we know how essential they are to ensuring our neighbors get the care they need closer to home. “
Located just off Route 220 is the new 120,000 square foot Muncy and healthplex Geisinger Medical Center in partnership with Highmark Health, which includes 20 hospital beds and a helipad which will hopefully open and operate at the end of 2021 depending on weather, construction progress and the state of the pandemic, Anderer said.
The building will also include a full emergency department, inpatient care, cardiology, general surgery, outpatient therapy, medical oncology and infusion services as well as imaging, laboratory and a pharmacy.
Halfway through the construction process, the construction manager had changed, although Anderer could not give details, said the priority was to get the building up and running as quickly as possible.
“We know that many people travel for these services and we will be able to provide this care closer to home,” said Anderer. “Construction is now advancing at a steady pace. Although construction continued during the pandemic, it gave us the opportunity to review the project and incorporate some features into the building that were not included in the original design. “
Some of these things include plexiglass barriers, new waiting room layouts with physical distancing, and non-contact recordings.
These contactless recordings have also been seen in other hospitals like Jersey Shore.
“When a patient arrives we will take their photo… they use biometrics to confirm that they are who they are, and then at check-in we won’t have to confirm birth dates or social security numbers,” for example “ said Anderer. “It recognizes them automatically and we can complete their registration faster. We have had excellent patient response to this program.
Construction of the Jersey Shore Hospital helipad began in early spring and is expected to be complete and up and running by the end of summer. The hospital received a $ 250,000 grant from the First Community Foundation Partnership as well as other donations and capital funding from Geisinger, in order to carry out this project according to Anderer.
“It takes a long time to design and build something like this, but it’s on the right track and going smoothly.” said Anderer.
The helipad sits above the entrance to the emergency department, creating much greater coverage over the entrance, providing a positive benefit for EMS who must enter the building.
This entrance will also have a heated walkway and a bridge connecting the helipad to the second floor of the hospital.
Anderer said there is elevator access from the first floor and the emergency department.
“While we are building this helipad at the hospital, it is truly a community resource” said Anderer.
The hospital averages less than five air ambulance transports from Geisinger Jersey Shore in a month; the helipad will help intensive care patients and “Eliminate the need to transport patients by ambulance”.
“The care of seriously ill patients and safety are our main priorities” said Anderer. “We are very fortunate to have the support of the Jersey Shore community for this project. Without their collaborative support, this project would not be possible. Our community will soon be better served when time is of the essence and every second counts. This helipad will make a difference in people’s lives.
Geisinger Medical Clinic Lock Haven, another joint partnership with Highmark Health, a 40,000 square foot, two story facility with 58 examination rooms, a walk-in clinic and soon a Geisinger Pharmacy, has been open for a few months now. , offering both adult and pediatric primary care offices as well as specialties such as women’s health, gastroenterology, dermatology, orthopedics, cardiac care, psychology, as well as surgical and many different types of therapies and laboratory services.
“This makes it much more convenient for patients who have an appointment with their doctor to also get in touch with a specialist or get a prescription or over-the-counter medications instead of having to travel to multiple locations,” said Anderer.
“We received incredible comments” Anderer added. “People are amazed at everything inside the building. We are delighted to have opened it and to take care of our neighbors and we are happy that they are happy.
Finally, Geisinger announced a collaboration with Acadia Healthcare “To meet the urgent need for expanded, high-quality behavioral health for inpatients”, which will provide two new behavioral health structures, including one in Danville. The plans are still early and are expected to begin serving adults and pediatric patients in 2023.
Anderer spoke fondly of what these projects mean for the communities served by Geisinger.
She agreed that in each new project, Geisinger is able to bring care to the community’s yard, making access to healthcare a priority and meeting the needs of each community.
“Our most recent community health needs assessment identified two key areas impacting the health of our neighbors in the region, including access to care and chronic disease prevention and management. she said.
Other system-wide improvements include investments in technology and telemedicine, new cardiac rehabilitation equipment and improvements to the emergency department at Jersey Shore Hospital, as well as investments in ventilators, equipment. trauma and cardiac monitoring systems.