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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Geisinger obstetrics and gynecology physician Dr. Sabrina Whitehurst was honored by the Pennsylvania Commission for Women for her service to state and country.

As an only child, Dr. Whitehurst, who sees patients at Geisinger Gray's Woods in Port Matilda, witnessed the struggles her own mother faced when trying to have more children — an experience that shaped her passion for women’s health.

Dr. Whitehurst’s dreams started to become reality when she was accepted to medical school. She applied for the Health Professions Scholarship Program through the U.S. Army and was selected as a recipient. The scholarship covered Dr. Whitehurst’s medical school tuition in exchange for her service as a physician in the Army. 

After earning her medical degree from Howard University and completing her residency at the Reading Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Whitehurst set off for Fort Polk, La. 

“We only had two OB-GYNs on the Army base,” explains Dr. Whitehurst. “I quickly learned how to work side by side with all my teammates, including nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, to care for our patients. It’s a lesson of teamwork and mutual respect I’ve tried to apply every day in my work.”

She left Fort Polk for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where she completed a fellowship in minimally invasive gynecological surgery. She later served as Walter Reed’s chief of general OB-GYN and chief of minimally invasive gynecological surgery. 

“The military teaches you that there’s always a way to get the job done,” says Dr. Whitehurst. “You just have to think outside the box and learn how to create solutions — like making lemonade out of lemons.”

These critical-thinking skills made her transition from six years of military life to civilian life a smooth one. 

“It all comes down to our goal of providing excellent patient care,” says Dr. Whitehurst. “But how do we work together to achieve that goal? Everyone on the team has a voice, and I encourage them to use it — that’s when real change happens, and solutions are found.”

For Dr. Whitehurst, family plays an important role in her life, whether she’s at work or at home. In fact, it was a family move that led her to Geisinger. Her husband’s job brought the family to State College, an area Dr. Whitehurst knew well from attending Penn State University as an undergraduate.

“I truly appreciate the efforts Geisinger is making toward diversity and veteran support, and I feel fortunate to work for a military-friendly employer.”

As a member of the Army Reserve, Dr. Whitehurst has a military obligation to meet. She says Geisinger’s newest military leave benefit — which offers up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees serving in the Reserves and National Guard for training — shows support for our employees in the armed forces.

“Instead of taking unpaid time to fulfill my military obligation, Geisinger provides a benefit to help me meet my commitment to my country,” says Dr. Whitehurst. “I couldn’t ask for a more supportive organization to work for.”

There are currently more than 70,000 Pennsylvania women serving in the military. Since the launch of this initiative in 2016, the Commission for Women has honored over 80 Pennsylvania women who have served their country.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

 
Dr. Sabrina Whitehurst
Dr. Sabrina Whitehurst
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