DuBOIS – Penn Highlands Healthcare is opening a new, $24.3 million state-of-the-art Center of Excellence on the Penn Highlands DuBois West campus.
The four-story complex will serve as the hub of outpatient neuroscience, orthopedics and sports medicine, rehabilitation, gynecology/obstetrics and pediatrics services for the health system at DuBois, according to a PHH press release. The Center of Excellence, located at 123 Hospital Ave., offers convenient and easy patient access, along with innovative therapies delivered with cutting-edge technology.
Penn Highlands Healthcare is hosting a Community Open House at the Center of Excellence today, starting at 1 p.m.
The complex is designed with patient comfort and convenience in mind, from the use of abundant natural lighting to an easy-to-follow wayfinding system.
“This building is being built and planned, of course, for probably five years,” Mark Norman, PHH’s chief operating officer, said in an interview with Tri-County Weekend. “This is one of eight initial projects we had in our facilities master plan, which is approximately $110 million. What we love about this facility, obviously, is very nice, great lighting…but the fact that we have living services that will be conveniently located in relation to each other. It’s important from a service perspective, working with doctors, and also making it very convenient and accessible to our patients. That’s the vision of that is that we call it the Center of Excellence, because some of our major high-volume service lines are located in that building, and the whole thing is to make it convenient for our patients.
According to Jamie Clutter, Project Coordinator for the Center of Excellence, one of the Center’s most advanced features is the self-hosting technology that is used at the Women’s and Children’s Center on the second floor for greater efficiency. . This center includes Penn Highlands Life’s Journey OB/GYN, Penn Highlands Perinatology, and Penn Highlands Pediatrics. Upon registration, patients receive a tracking badge that directs them to an exam room. Each examination room has two entrances located on either side of the room, one for patients and the other for staff. The tracking system alerts providers when a room is occupied and ready to enter.
“That makes it more efficient for patients as well as staff,” Clutter said.
The Center offers women comprehensive gynecological and obstetrical care in a comfortable atmosphere, as well as Penn Highlands Perinatology for mothers with high-risk pregnancies who require more specialized care, Clutter said. Additionally, Penn Highlands Pediatrics provides care for children and adolescents of all ages for a wide variety of conditions.
The first floor houses the Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, where Penn Highlands orthopedic providers provide specialist care for all types of joint, bone and muscle problems. The Center has on-site imaging services to capture patient x-rays. The rehabilitation center’s outpatient therapy suite is staffed by professionals who help people of all ages and abilities regain function through physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. The rehab center offers state-of-the-art equipment to help maximize recovery as well as ample space for therapeutic exercise. Additional features include aqua therapy and private treatment areas.
The ground floor houses the Penn Highlands Neuroscience Suite where neurology and neurosurgery specialists help improve the quality of life for patients with brain and nervous system disorders. The suite includes services for PH Neurology, PH Neurosurgery, and Rehabilitation Disorders.
The building has two entrances. Patients can enter on the ground floor, which provides easy access to the Medical Arts Building for lab tests, or on the first floor.
The third floor offers approximately 25,000 square feet available for future ambulatory services.
“As we continue to recruit doctors, we know we will need space in the future, so we have designed this facility to expand in the future as we grow. said Norman.
Speaking at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local, community and business leaders on Friday, John Sutika, President of Penn Highlands DuBois, said, “This center of excellence demonstrates our commitment to this community. I am confident that the Penn Highlands Center of Excellence will be an invaluable asset that the people of this region can count on for decades to come.
Also during the event, Karin Pfingstler, Executive Director of the Fund Development System, thanked the community as well as the major donors who helped make the Center of Excellence a reality.
“Penn Highlands Healthcare is committed, if not the choice, to providing quality healthcare services in this region,” said Pfingstler. “Many people have chosen to contribute financially to this project; contributors include the Sekula family in honor of their mother and grandmother, Yolanda M. “Yola” Sekula; George Fatula Sr., MD, and Leonard S. Fiore, Inc. Donors chose to support the Penn Highlands Center of Excellence by helping to be the change they wanted to see in the world.
Penn Highlands Pediatrics is currently seeing patients at the Center of Excellence. The other service lines should welcome patients in the near future.
“Once the building opens, we will be able to showcase it to the community and show how it will be convenient, accessible and allow for better coordination between our vendors, and we believe this will all be a great benefit to our community,” Norman said.
The Penn Highlands Center of Excellence is part of the health system’s $180 million facility master plan to improve access to essential services and advanced care for residents of Pennsylvania. The plan triggered eight major expansion and renovation projects to modernize, improve and expand patient services at Penn Highlands hospitals in Brookville, Clearfield and DuBois as well as Penn Highlands Pinecrest Manor and the construction of a community medical building in Clarion. The plan also includes the construction of a new hospital at State College for which the ground was broken in last spring. Other recent projects include a new community medical building in Punxsutawney.