Medical office plan adds to Susquehanna Health renaissance

A continuing health care renaissance at Susquehanna Health in Williamsport is up for City Council approval Thursday night.

A four-story, $33 million medical office building on the campus of the Williamsport Regional Medical Center along High Street is the latest development on the drawing board.

If the building were nothing more than bricks, mortar and offices, it would be fair to wonder about plans for another large project so close on the heels of the Susquehanna Tower completion last year.

But this building is much more.

The fourth floor will be reserved for a family medical residency program and The Commonwealth Medical College.

The residency program consists of medical students who will become family practice physicians. The medical college is one of three in the state.

The third floor will be for physicians specializing in pulmonology and neurology.

The second floor will contain heart and vascular specialists and related services.

The first floor is set aside for general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, along with space for an outpatient retail pharmacy and durable equipment.

These are all important education, training and medical facilities that will improve the services of Susquehanna Health.

And don’t kid yourself, as the availability of physicians becomes more of an issue in the future, having training and education available here as well as modern facilities for practicing physicians will be a valuable recruiting tool.

The project is being paid for through $7 million in new market tax credits and a capital campaign. Those who can should support the program for the good of future medical care in our region.

While the modernization and expansion of Susquehanna Health in Williamsport has its critics, people need to reflect on what might have been for the city had Susquehanna Health moved operations elsewhere.

We are confident any objective observer would conclude the neighborhood and local health care have been revitalized by the decision of health care officials to stay in the city.

Hopefully, the latest Susquehanna Health development meets all of the city’s land use and ordinance specifications so that the next chapter in modern health care locally can move ahead with vigor.