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New location more than quadruples space, expands programming

SUNBURY, PA -- The Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital (JWCH) Child Advocacy Center (CAC) formally dedicated its new Sunbury location in the Seiple Building at 218 Chestnut Street on Wednesday, April 13. The three-story, 6,900-square foot building quadruples the space from the CAC’s former Northumberland location and provides for an expansion of its programming.

The new facility was made possible by gifts by Penn and Stan Seiple of Mid State Realty, the Seiple Family Foundation and the Charles B. Degenstein Foundation, all of Sunbury, as well as the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network.

Gloria Gerrity, vice president of operations, pediatrics, Geisinger Health System; Melissa Wagner, program manager, CAC; and Pat Bruno, M.D., pediatrician and medical director of the CAC, spoke at the event and led the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“As the public is increasingly aware of child abuse cases in the media, our numbers rise,” Gerrity said. “In order to continue to provide top-notch services to our patients and to expand our offerings, we knew we needed additional space.”

The CAC was opened in Northumberland in 2004 to embrace victims of child abuse and provides young victims with interviews by trained forensic interviewers, as well as medical examinations, crisis intervention counseling and ongoing case tracking. The Northumberland location was 1,665 square feet and leased from Boone-Kessler Associates.

“In our first year, we served about 75 children from Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties,” Gerrity said. “Since our beginning, we’ve continued to grow and now serve children from across eight counties. The number of children we serve annually has grown to nearly 500 children each year.”

On Dec. 4, the CAC moved to its new Sunbury location. The building now has space for two interview rooms, an exam room, two therapy rooms, a conference/training room, and provides more privacy to families coming to the center.

“We will utilize the conference room for cross-discipline trainings for police, child protective services and mental health providers, as well as have support groups for non-offending family members,” Wagner said. “This space allows us to provide additional services to child victims and their families while still maintaining the utmost privacy and comfort to them.”

The center currently employs three full-time and three part-time employees. Wagner says they hope to hire a nurse practitioner and there is a goal to also hire an additional forensic interviewer.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.