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New Observation Unit opens at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - Geisinger is proud to announce the restoration of the emergency department at its Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre campus. The newly equipped and renovated emergency department will open in 2018 and will mark the hospital’s rebirth as an inpatient medical center.

In 2009, the GSWB emergency department became an adult urgent care center, with emergency care centralized at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp. In the years since, Geisinger officials watched an increase in the number of South Wilkes-Barre patients seeking treatment at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center’s emergency department, with more than 25 percent of ED patients now driving the distance to GWV. 

“We made a commitment to our communities to provide quality, specialty care close to home. That commitment was behind the decision to bring back emergency services to GSWB,” said Anthony Aquilina, regional president, Geisinger Northeast. 

Complementing the $5 million emergency department project is a significant expansion of inpatient services and other facility enhancements at the hospital, including 13 newly renovated medical and surgical units that will offer all-private patient rooms. The new unit will house patients who come through the ED or who undergo surgical procedures that require inpatient stays. 

Upgrades also include the expansion of laboratory services and full-service radiology. 

“The re-opening of a state-of-the-art, refurbished emergency department represents another critical step towards a very bright future for GSWB,” said Ron Beer, chief administrative officer, Geisinger Northeast.  “The South Wilkes-Barre location will be more convenient for our patients by providing emergency care where they live and work while reducing wait time for patients at both of our Wilkes-Barre emergency departments.”

With a significant increase in emergency department patient volumes - a trend hospitals across the nation are facing - Geisinger is already proactively addressing emergency department wait times in Wilkes-Barre by recruiting a growing team of board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses and by introducing a $2.9 million, 10-bed observation unit at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center last month. The new, 3,900-square-foot unit at GWV features private rooms with full-size hospital beds, televisions and meal-service where hospital staff can closely monitor patients and expedite testing and treatments while alleviating congestion in the hospital’s emergency department.

Observation patients are typically those awaiting test results or who require ongoing evaluation. In most cases, these patients go home within 23 hours of arrival, avoiding unnecessary admissions to the hospital. 

“Geisinger’s emergency medical care is a vital community resource that often serves as the front door to our full spectrum of clinical and support services,” said Ronald Strony, M.D., director of emergency medicine for Geisinger Northeast and co-chair of Geisinger Emergency Medicine. “Backed by our long-established trauma centers and seven Life Flight emergency helicopters, our emergency medicine teams are on the front lines when it comes to saving lives.”

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.

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