Progress improvements reported by health system

Susquehanna Health officials are reporting progress and improvements at each of the hospitals within the health system.

The combined hospitals annual public board meeting Friday included an update on the Innovation Center being built at Williamsport Regional Medical Center and a report on Muncy Valley, Divine Providence and Soldiers & Sailors hospitals.

“It is within budget so far,” Robert Kane, vice president for system facilities, said of the $25 million Innovation Center.

The 87,000-square-foot building will house outpatient pharmacy, heart and vascular testing, general surgery offices, and an education and family residency center.

Ground was broken for the project in 2013 with a completion date set for next year.

“There are no safety events with this project,” he said.

Williamsport Regional Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer Jan Fisher reported on some of the big developments within the health system.

She noted the affiliation more than a year ago between Susquehanna Health and Laurel Health System that has resulted in a stronger medical care presence through combined efforts and shared practices.

The referred to the partnership earlier this year between the health system and Cleveland Clinic for cardiac services.

“We are combining their expertise with our outstanding team,” she said. “Our goal is to be a regional center for cardiac care.”

For 19 straight years, the Cleveland Clinic has ranked No. 1 for cardiology and heart surgery.

Muncy Valley Hospital President Ron Reynolds reported that the hospital recently was designated by iVantage Health Analystics as one of the 100 top critical access hospitals.

Critical access hospitals are located in rural areas, provide 24 hour emergency care and cannot exceed more than 25 inpatient beds.

This marks the second year in a row the hospital earned such a designation.

“It couldn’t have happened without physicians and our leadership team,” Reynolds said.

Muncy Valley’s expanded emergency department project continues to be a work in progress, he said.

Right now, health system officials are working with Pennsylvania Department of Transpertation on road issues surrounding the site just east of the hospital.

He said the hope is to move forward with construction next year.

At Soldiers & Sailors Hospital in Wellsboro, efforts are ongoing to improve quality of care, according to hospital President Janey Hilfiger.

Now that the hospital is affiliated with the health system, patients there who need a higher level of care are being transferred to Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

“The process has been very smooth,” she said.

In addition, visiting specialists from the health system can make visits to Soldiers & Sailors.