Geisinger Wyoming Valley’s new medical building to open Monday

March 23, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center’s new medical specialty building is designed to be as welcoming as it is convenient.

So it proved Thursday, as the 165,000-square-foot Plains Township facility hosted dozens of dignitaries on a blustery March morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours ahead of Monday’s formal opening.

“Our new medical office building makes better health easier by offering our patients everything they need under one roof, so they can see a specialist and schedule lab, diagnostic imaging or a pharmacy visit in the same trip,” said Mike DiMare, interim associate vice president of clinical operations for Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.

Designers took the one roof theme literally — an enclosed walkway leads into the building from a new 479-space parking garage.

The five-floor outpatient specialty facility is designed to house lab, radiology and retail pharmacy services along with general surgery, vascular surgery, pulmonary medicine, infectious diseases, adult and pediatric neurology, neurosurgery, neurophysiology, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), audiology, gastroenterology, nephrology and transplant surgery outreach practices. And it is across the road from Geisinger Wyoming Valley’s main hospital building, where acute care is provided.

Cost of the entire project was $110 million, officials said, including $90 million for the office building and $20 million for the garage.

Inside the main entrance, a self-service check-in allows patients to get out of the waiting room and into exam rooms more quickly. For those who will be waiting, the bright and airy waiting area is designed to be pleasant and comfortable — including a coffee bar — said Dan Landesberg, Geisinger’s interim vice president of facilities planning and construction.

“Our medical office building replaces our Valley Medical Building, which is original to the hospital and dates back to the early ’80s. As we contemplated our strategic plan for this campus, we knew we needed a modern clinic building where we could see outpatients in an environment that had the capabilities we need for the way medicine has evolved over the past 40 years,” Landesberg said.

“We have the ability to grow, to expand access, to increase our provider count. We have modern amenities, and we made the accommodations very comfortable,” he added.

Large, two-door exam rooms connect to separate corridors for patient and provider traffic, giving patients more privacy and clinicians more space to collaborate on care plans. That allows medical staff to discuss patient care in an area separated from patients, Landesberg explained.

General surgery, transplant surgery outreach, neurophysiology and nephrology practices will begin seeing patients on Monday with the remaining services opening throughout the spring.

“Between Monday and the middle of May, we’ll be opening up in six phases,” Landesberg said. “That will give us time to refine our process and make sure the process is as good as it can be for all of our patients.”

Geisinger expects more of those patients as the region’s 65-and-older population continues to grow.

The new building will allow for program growth with 175 exam rooms and seven procedure and treatment rooms. With that growth, officials say they expect to hire 70 new employees, including 20 providers and offer approximately 70,000 new specialty appointments each year.

“What you’re seeing here today is really a great example of making better health easier,” said Geisinger CEO Jaewon Ryu. “We know that we do that when we’re able to push more services outside of the hospital and ER environment and into clinic settings like this — and especially clinic settings where we have one-stop shopping.”

That translates into better outcomes, Ryu added, and frees up space in the hospital for people who need more acute care.

“Believe it or not, that convenience matters. When we can have lab, pharmacy, radiology, specialty services all housed together, people are more likely to follow up, get their prescriptions filled, go get that lab test that they need, or go get the radiology imaging they need,” Ryu said.

GWV’s new building also has facilities for education and community engagement, including a large fourth-floor conference room and a classroom to support the many graduate medical students who train in Geisinger residency and fellowship programs.

“We’re committed to being a leading academic medical center in our region, and this is an investment in both our community and our learners,” said Alison Brodginski, M.D., associate chief medical officer for Geisinger Wyoming Valley.

“I was raised in Luzerne County like many of our Geisinger Wyoming Valley employees. This monumental advancement in healthcare delivery in our backyard is a source of great pride for us all. Not only does this building represent improved care to our family, friends and neighbors, but it also stands as a beacon of opportunity for the next generation of clinicians to flourish and grow,” Brodginski added.

As Landesberg put it: “We need to be able to recruit the best and the brightest talent. We needed a place where we could train learners. So we achieve all of that through this investment. It’s a building that I think we can all be proud of.”

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