DANVILLE — Geisinger officials this week said it’s too early to tell how the closure of UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury will affect patient care at its Geisinger locations, but they will be adding hours to clinics next week.
“As a member of the Central Susquehanna Valley community for more than 100 years, our plan is to address the current need for emergent care by caring for our friends and neighbors as close to their homes as possible,” said Geisinger Central Region Chief Administrative Officer Tom Sokola. “It is with this in mind that we will be adding an additional 20 hours per week at the Geisinger Sunbury Clinic, including weekend hours, starting on Feb. 15. Appointments for these extended hours can be made beginning Feb. 6.”
Meanwhile, he said, Geisinger emergency departments in Shamokin and Danville remain prepared to take care of the communities’ most serious conditions and injuries.
“For urgent needs like cuts that require stitches, sprains, strains, skin rashes, colds, flu and fever, our Careworks walk-in clinics in Shamokin Dam and Danville also are available for timely care,” said Sokola. “We will continue to explore additional ways Geisinger can meet this community need, both with our own programs and collaboratively with our many community partners.”
Evangelical Community Hospital President/CEO Kendra Aucker said Evangelical is uniquely positioned to understand the important role a community hospital plays in the lives of those who live and work around it.
“From the moment the closing was announced, Evangelical began talking with government representatives — local and state — other health care providers, and community leaders to determine how we can work with all of the stakeholders to fill the gaps left by the closure,” said Aucker. “Our priority as a health care provider to our local area is to do what we can to help with timely access to care. Patients of the Sunbury area will be able to immediately seek medical care through our primary care offices, Urgent Care, imaging and lab services, our community health-related clinics, Evangelical Regional Mobile Medical Services, and our Mobile Health of Evangelical bus that travels to areas where transportation to care is difficult.”
In the longer term, Aucker said Evangelical will continue to “keep a pulse” on what the Sunbury community of patients need and work with local leaders to find ways to partner to best meet those needs.
“People are our mission,” she said. “We’re going to do our part to ensure the people of Sunbury and surrounding communities continue to have appropriate and timely access to care.”