The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 26, 2012

Geisinger to open 20 to 25 Careworks clinics, creating 125 new jobs

DANVILLE — Geisinger will open 20 to 25 smaller clinics in its service area within the next 18 to 24 months, creating 80 to 125 new jobs.

Called Geisinger Careworks, these smaller, alternative clinics are designed to reduce the number of patients at emergency rooms in the Geisinger system.

Many people who go to emergency rooms are not in need of the intensive treatment provided at such a facility, Frank Trembulak, executive vice president and chief operation officer of Geisinger, said during the Geisinger Authority’s meeting Wednesday. They end up having to wait for doctors to treat sicker patients and go longer without receiving treatment, he said.

Geisinger Careworks will serve as facilities where patients can quickly see a nurse practitioner or physician, leaving the more injured and ill to be seen at Geisinger’s larger medical centers.

Trembulak described them as a faster, more economical way to provide access to medical care for communities.

Careworks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Geisinger, opened facilities in areas outside of the Susquehanna Valley, such as Stroudsburg and Clarks Summit, over the last few years. Geisinger liked the progress they saw “and now we want to expand the model rapidly,” said Careworks CEO Ken Berndt.

In Danville, a Geisinger Careworks facility is scheduled to open in early November in the Weis Markets plaza. Including Danville, about four Careworks branches will open in the Susquehanna Valley area over the next several months.

Each new Careworks facility will have positions for four to six people. Six already have been hired for the Danville location as receptionists, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and X-ray technicians.

Danville’s Careworks will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. As the volume increases, hours will switch to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Berndt said. No appointments are needed, and the clinics are designed to ensure little to no wait time for patients.

Treatment at a Careworks clinic is an extension of Geisinger’s primary care network and will be billed as such, Berndt said.

The Careworks facilities will be divided into three categories. The Danville branch will fall under the category of Careworks Urgent, which will provide immunizations and treatments for minor lacerations and various infections. An X-ray will allow the staff to check for fractures and provide splinting.

“The majority of what we do is simple fixes,” Berndt said.

Careworks Retail will be located in Weis Markets across Geisinger’s service area. About four will be established, he said. They will provide most of the same services as Careworks Urgent facilities, except they will not have an X-ray and will not perform splinting.

Careworks After-Hours will provide many of the same services as Careworks Urgent, but will be open overnight and during weekends.


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