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Geisinger South chief proud of first year COMMENTARY John Wiercinski

HARD TO believe, but it’s been a year already since Geisinger Health System acquired the former Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre began caring for patients.

During that time, we have enjoyed getting to know South Wilkes-Barre and the people who live and work here. We’ve also been hard at work to beautify the hospital campus and enhance the care we provide.

We have added new medical services and improved existing services. The facilities in our cardiac catheterization lab and sleep disorders center are being upgraded, and we have opened a new rehab gymnasium in our transitional care unit.

Improvements have been made in the laboratory, and we have opened a new patient service center in the physician office building on the campus to provide added patient convenience for routine lab tests.

I am proud to report that we have improved service times, implemented bedside registration, and have begun a re-design of our emergency services department.

New services have been added in the radiology department, including mammography (with computer aided detection capability and DXA scanning, the most widely used method to measure bone mineral density and diagnose osteoporosis). Additionally, we have upgraded the technology in our four general diagnostic rooms.

Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre is proud to offer unique, new programs for our most vulnerable patients — children and the elderly.

Our acute care for the elderly program, the area’s only such service, cares for our more senior patients, helping them to return faster to their normal activities of daily living and reducing the time they need to stay in the hospital.

The program features a multi-disciplinary approach — medical staff, nursing, ancillary services, social services, pastoral care, rehabilitation services, clinical nutrition and pharmacy — coordinating care in a dedicated hospital unit.

Construction is well under way for the area’s only pediatric urgent care center. The center, which is due to begin serving pediatric patients in January, will offer extended and weekend hours in a child-friendly environment.

Many changes have occurred in the last 12 months, and plans are in place for enhancements to continue during the next five years. We are making improvements to the parking garage and have developed additional surface parking areas near the hospital.

None of this would be possible without a dedicated, professional and compassionate staff, as well as community support.

I am proud of the wonderful employees, doctors, auxiliary members, and volunteers who make Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre a hospital you can depend on for high quality, compassionate care.

We enter our second year, honoring our history and focused on a bright vision for the future. With our team and your support, we will continue to move Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre forward.

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