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CMS 5-star status culmination of decades of community service

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – In 1981, three local hospitals merged to create one hospital that would modernize the delivery of health care in northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2021, that hospital, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, is celebrating four decades of dedicated service to the community. 

Originally NPW Medical Center, a consolidation of Nanticoke, Pittston and Wyoming Valley hospitals, the health care facility was renamed Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center shortly after opening, as Geisinger joined the collaboration after Nanticoke’s withdrawal. 

What began as a standalone community hospital on East Mountain is now a regional medical center and destination for care with a mission to make better health easier for patients and members in Luzerne County and beyond. 

Recently, Geisinger Wyoming Valley received 5-Star status from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the highest quality and patient safety score bestowed by the organization, putting the medical center among the top 14 percent of hospitals in the country. 

“As the only CMS 5-Star hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania, we are proud to provide care of unsurpassed quality to residents of the region,” said Karlyn Paglia, M.D., chief medical officer at Geisinger Wyoming Valley. “With a full spectrum of services available to our patients and members, we look forward to caring for our community for many more years to come.”

Complemented by a network of primary care and outpatient specialty clinics that provide world-class care close to home for residents of the region, Geisinger Wyoming Valley is as community-focused as ever, continually building upon and improving programs and services for northeastern Pennsylvanians. 

In 1992, the hospital added the Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Cancer Center, which is now home to a comprehensive team of fellowship-trained cancer specialists and advanced treatment options like CyberKnife targeted radiation therapy, which was only previously available in major metropolitan areas like Philadelphia and New York. An $80 million renovation of Geisinger Wyoming Valley and the Henry Cancer Center began in spring 2020, which will double the center’s capacity for infusion services, create an 18-bed inpatient unit for treatment of complex blood cancers, and make more appointments available to patients.

In 2001, Geisinger Wyoming Valley established the Richard and Marion Pearsall Heart Hospital, which is recognized by the American Heart Association for its ability to treat the most severe heart attacks and offers advanced treatment in cardiology, electrophysiology and cardiac surgery. In 2008, the then-new Critical Care Building became home to the Emergency Department and Level II Trauma Center. And in 2011, the Tambur Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) opened. Still the only NICU in Luzerne County, the Level III unit cares for infants as young as 28 weeks gestation. 

Throughout the decades, program expansions and advancements in care have been designed to offer everything a patient might need in northeastern Pennsylvania. Those strides have continued in recent years. 

Since April 2019, Geisinger Wyoming Valley has received Magnet® Recognition, the highest national honor for nursing excellence, and become a Comprehensive Stroke Center, a hospital capable of treating the most complex types of stokes and neurovascular complications. The stroke program is the most advanced in the region, even treating patients who are flown in from New York. 

The medical center’s CMS 5-Star ranking is the latest in these quality-of-care achievements and is a testament to the hard work providers put in daily to care for their friends and neighbors. 

Noreen Diaco took her first full-time job at NPW in July 1981, and 40 years later, she’s celebrating her work anniversary along with Geisinger Wyoming Valley. Now an executive assistant to Dr. Paglia and other leaders, she remembers her experience as one of strong community.

“I grew up with Geisinger Wyoming Valley,” Diaco said. “The people I’ve met and worked with have become family to me. Through the 40 years, I have watched NPW change names and develop from a small-town hospital to a well-known institution. Through all the changes, the small-town, personalized service can still be felt.”

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 Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Construction at the former NPW Hospital, now Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.
Cranes move steel beams into place as construction progresses on NPW Medical Center in 1979. 
Construction of the Henry Cancer Center expansion at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.
The final beam is placed on the Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Cancer Center expansion on March 31 at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

For media inquires:

R. Matthew Mattei
Media Relations Specialist

570-808-3971
rmmattei1@geisinger.edu