By Jaime North

The Danville News

MAHONING TWP. — A new location has put Geisinger's dermatology clinic in better position to keep pace with a growing patient population that exceeds 30,000 visits each year.

Its recent move from Geisinger Medical Center campus to the Outpatient Surgery Center on Woodbine Lane not only doubled the treatment space, but expanded the opportunity for more state-of-the-art technology to be implemented. It has also allocated room for future growth of the clinic.

Parking is better

The move wasn't just about finding relief from the parking woes of the medical center, according to Dr. Dirk Elston, Geisinger's director of dermatology, but it's been the first improvement patients have applauded as they walk in the door.

"Patients have really noticed how easy it is now to park and get into the clinic," Dr. Elston said. "Before, there wasn't enough parking for the amount of patients we see. It was also too far for them to walk."

Dr. Elston said the new location is more accessible with a separate entrance for wheelchair patients and patients coming in on an ambulance bed.

More space

Overall, the clinic has grown to 26 dermatology exam rooms, eight Mohs procedure rooms, two laser rooms, a phototherapy room and a patch-testing room. The added space has enabled the staff to improve its efficiency and care delivery, according to Dr. Elston.

"This has really expanded our capacity," Dr. Elston said. "We have more rooms that are much larger and better equipped for what we do here. Before, we had things crammed in small spaces and nothing was dedicated for any specific treatment."

Dr. Elston said the clinic now has rooms specifically designed for Mohs surgery (biopsy through microscope-controlled incision of the tumor) and dedicated space for laser, photodynamic and photo therapy.

"This is the most state-of-the-art facility patients will find anywhere in dermatology," Dr. Elston said. "When talking about skin cancer, Mohs surgery is the premier and best surgical procedure, especially in areas of the face. It's really grown here with this new facility."

According to Dr. Elston, the clinic has the highest number of Mohs surgeons in the health system with three, in addition to the surgeons in Wilkes-Barre and State College. The clinic also expects to add more staff and expand its services because of the move, Dr. Elston said.

"The (patient) demand keeps increasing as the population ages and skin cancer becomes more prevalent," Dr. Elston said. "It's a continuous climb."

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