Hospital unveils $14.2 million in improvements

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Denise Parke, UPMC Susquehanna Muncy Valley Hospital emergency room educator, middle, shows off the secure room during an open house of the expanded and renovated hospital emergency room on Monday.

A $14.2 million expansion project will allow UPMC Susquehanna Muncy Valley Hospital to better accommodate the 16,500 emergency department visits it sees on average each year, according to UPMC Susquehanna officials.

The original building was meant to accommodate only about 6,000 visits per year, but the now-16,400 square feet of modernized emergency services and clinical space better meets the demands of the surrounding community, officials said.

“This is an investment in your future personal health, and the health of the community,” said Steven P. Johnson, UPMC Susquehanna president. “Muncy and Muncy Valley Hospital is in the heart of Lycoming County’s growth corridor, so having a hospital that serves north and south and east and west is an essential element to continue both the quality of health care as well as our region’s continued economic vitality.”

The former nine-room emergency department with little privacy now includes eight emergency treatment rooms, three rapid-treatment rooms meant for people with minor emergencies, rooms specially designed for triage, decontamination and behavioral health, an OB-GYN room and a trauma resuscitation room.

“It’s amazing we provided the service we did in those rooms,” Dr. Mark Beyer said of the emergency department, pre-renovation.

The completed project also includes a renovated imaging wing with new equipment for digital scanning, which uses less power.

“Because of that, we don’t need as much radiation to take our pictures,” said Jeffrey Kemmler, who manages the radiology department.

With most of the emergency department moved to the addition, UPMC created a specialty clinic in the original emergency department. It will offer specialty care services such as ear, nose and throat, foot and ankle care, sports medicine, digestive disease and general surgery.

The improvements weren’t limited to the indoors. External construction included new parking lots, a new helipad and the relocation of a road, Shady Lane.

The multi-million dollar project was paid for in part with a $5 million state grant facilitated by state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, and state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, and community contributions of almost $3.5 million.

“This is a true public-private partnership,” said Ann Pepperman, chairwoman of the UPMC Susquehanna board of directors. “This demonstrates what we can achieve for our community by working together.”