The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 4, 2011

16 years old and still growing

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— DANVILLE — The more things change the more they stay the same.

That's what Dr. Michael Ryan, director of pediatrics at Janet Weis Children's Hospital, in Danville, said, as he discussed the 16 year anniversary of the facility.

"I think even though there has been some changes made, the care and quality of service here remains great," Ryan said.

"What I have seen in general over the past 16 years is that more children are being admitted than before."

And that's not a bad thing, said Ryan, who has been with the children's hospital from day one.

"The reason we have seen an increase in children is because we specialize in children's care," Ryan said.

"We are lightyears ahead of where we were 16 years ago, and because we have so much more technology, we can provide care that is again very much ahead of years ago."

Since it's opening in 1995, Janet Weis has continued to deliver it's message of expert care from birth through adulthood, while continuing to grow in several key areas.

"I look at all the things we have done over the course of time and it just makes me proud," Ryan said.

"We just continue to grow."

Some of those changes included remodeling sections of the hospital, adding more patient beds, introducing new programs and hiring new employees, nearly doubling the size of the staff.

"We are making more space just for procedures," Ryan said.

"We have even developed a sedation service for children that need bone marrow or spinal taps, so they can go there and not be scared."

Geisinger physicians have experience in more than 40 children's specialties, and there are more than 100 specialists ready to provide care.

"I am proud of what we do here," Ryan said.

"Everyone works hard and everyone that is here is just unbelievable great to be around."

The hospital continues to attract new patients, Ryan said, noting that other medical units for children have closed in recent years.

"We have just made so many tremendous advances," Ryan said.

"I don't think they close because of us, but I think some of it has to do that we are just pediatric-based, so people come here."

Ryan is a Valley native and said he has seen some familiar faces at the hospital over his tenure.

"You get a personal relationship with many of these people, and because I grew up here, I have seen friends and neighbors and I am glad they trust in Janet Weis," Ryan said.

"Again, we are just very proud of what we have accomplished over the past 16 years and we are looking forward to the future."

E-mail comments to fscarcella@dailyitem.com.