Geisinger Holy Spirit sale delayed by antitrust investigations

Geisinger Holy Spirit. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

The sale of Geisinger Health-owned Holy Spirit Health System to Penn State Health will take longer than expected after regulatory bodies requested more time to investigate the sale due to antitrust concerns.

Danville, Montour County-based Geisinger Health wrote in a financial update for the nine months ending March 31 that the sale of its Cumberland County Catholic hospital system will extend past its targeted sale date of June 30.

Geisinger announced the pending sale in October after the two parties signed a letter of intent to transfer ownership of the health system and its East Pennsboro Township facilities for an undisclosed amount of money.

In its financial report, Geisinger noted that the Federal Trade Commission and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office have been investigating the proposed transaction for any potential antitrust behavior.

Both regulatory bodies have asked to extend their investigations, but have not given a timeline for when investigations will be completed.

Geisinger took ownership of Holy Spirit Health System in 2014 and has since invested more than $120 million into Holy Spirit Hospita, its outpatient practices and urgent care centers. The potential purchase comes at a time where Penn State Health is looking to expand its reach into Cumberland County.

The hospital system is currently building its $200 million Hampden Medical Center– a 108-bed hospital located five miles away from Holy Spirit and planned to open in 2021.

Barbara Schindo, a spokesperson for Penn State Health, said the Hershey-based system is committed to completing its deal with Geisinger.

“We are deeply committed to preserving health care access, continuity of care and choice for families in the capital region,” Schindo said. “To that end, our focus remains on bringing Holy Spirit Health System into our Penn State Health family, and preserving important local health care jobs.”

The sale is not the first of Penn State Health’s to be affected by antitrust investigations by the FTC and the state Attorney General. In 2015, the two organizations opposed a merger by Penn State Health and PinnacleHealth, claiming that the merger would give the organizations a monopoly on the region.

The two organizations agreed to cancel the merger, with Pinnacle joining UPMC later in 2017.

‘Right to repair’ issue gains traction amid COVID-19 crisis



It was in the early 2000s that the Right to Repair issue started taking hold, said Emma Horst-Martz, campaign associate with PennPIRG, the Pennsylvania branch of the U.S. PIRG, a consumer advocacy organization.

As vehicles became more computer driven, independent repair shops complained that they were being shut out of the repair process by dealers who refused to release technology information and access needed for third-party repair service. The refusal, in effect, forced consumers to go to the dealerships for major and minor repairs.

After legal action in Massachusetts, dealers began making the computer technology available to outside repair services and independent shops were able to resume repair work.

It’s a problem that has played out in other industries, Horst-Martz said, from consumer electronics to farming – but now with the coronavirus pandemic leading to the unprecedented demand for medical equipment, such as ventilators, Right to Repair has become a critical issue in the health care field.

Barbara Maguire, vice president of quality and healthcare technology management at ISS Solutions in Danville, saw the issue unfold at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. With a quick response needed to the COVID-19 pandemic, more ventilators had to be put into service.

“We have a staff on site at hospitals every day,” Maguire said. “These folks are very well trained and help doctors maintain a wide variety of medical equipment.”

When ventilators were needed, her staff was able to go into storage and get older, unused ones and fix or refurbish them to put them back in service.

“Over 50 ventilators were pulled out, tested and we put them back on rotation,” she said. “If they had to wait for the manufacturer it could have been a long wait.”

She noted that there times when repair technicians were not allowed into hospitals to service the ventilators coming out of storage.

Now, due to the COVID-19 crisis, ventilator manufacturers have been more forthcoming with product specifications and repair information.

“GE, for example, has been really great in this crisis with getting more information online about their ventilators,” said Horst-Martz.

It saved time and lives.

A lawmaker responds

The crisis is part of what inspired Pennsylvania State Rep. Austin Davis, D-McKeesport, to sponsor legislation calling for Right to Repair reform. The proposed legislation would require manufacturers to provide parts, tools, service manuals and repair software to customers for a reasonable price.

“You bought it, you own it, you should be able to fix it,” said Davis in a statement. “This is a common-sense reform that couldn’t have been introduced at a better time. This measure not only gives power back to the consumer, but it also has the potential to help save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

While the ventilator availability issue is shining a light on Right to Repair, Maguire said it is an issue that spreads into many aspects of the medical equipment industry. With staff onsite, Maguire said ISS is available to fix or maintain equipment ranging from patient monitoring devices, to imaging equipment and laboratory technology.

She said some manufacturers, particularly in lab equipment and imaging technology, have been hesitant to open equipment up for third-party repair. Many have argued, reasonably, over the safety and liability concerns of having outside parties tinkering with their products.

“We’re not suggesting untrained people be able to repair medical equipment,” c said. In fact, she said, many larger health networks have been able to negotiate contracts with health equipment manufacturers to allow for their own repair work. “But the smaller health systems don’t have the ability to negotiate that kind of access with manufacturers,” she said.

Without access to schematics, software and replacement parts, medical facilities face a slower and more costly process of getting vital equipment fixed. Maguire noted that some manufacturer repair contracts can cost a hospital $100,000 per year.

“That adds to the cost of health care,” she said.

Many industries impacted

Horst-Martz emphasized that it’s not an issue in the health care industry alone. The farming industry has been hard hit by the proliferation of computerized equipment that can’t easily be self-serviced.

“Tractors are now similar to cars,” she said. “Farmers who have for generations repaired their own tractors now can’t unlock that software to make even simple repairs.”

For farmers who aren’t close to manufacturers’ service centers that can lead to long waits for repairs, which can be devastating.

“The crops aren’t going to wait,” Maguire said.

Even cell phones are impacted by the Right to Repair issue. While some brands make fairly serviceable models, others make their products virtually impossible to self-service, including having batteries that are glued into place, she said. “They’re designed to be unrepairable.”

Davis’ bill is one of 20 being proposed in state legislatures around the country. Horst-Martz said in Pennsylvania the bill is being supported by a coalition of local repair businesses, hospitals and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.

Midstate hospitals detail plans for coronavirus

WellSpan announced on Thursday that it will be using a temporary outdoor patient screening and testing area for patients who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus. PHOTO/PROVIDED

The midstate has yet to see its first positive case of coronavirus but with the state’s total number of cases rising to 21 and over 1,200 cases of COVID-19 nationwide as of Thursday morning, area hospitals are looking at which of their employees can work remotely and how many employees their departments need to still operate.

In anticipation for the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its list of infection prevention and control recommendations.

The recommendations ask health care providers to minimize the chance of further exposure to the virus by limiting the points of entry to a facility, instruct patients to call ahead before arriving at a facility if they develop the symptoms of a respiratory infection, prioritize patients with respiratory symptoms and practice the use of hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, eye protection, gloves and gowns.

Local hospital systems have already relayed this information to their staff as early as January and have implemented their own contingency plans to keep employees from contracting coronavirus and spreading it further.

Below is a list of statements from area systems on how they will be handling the virus in relation to their employees:

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health

Penn Medicine will be working with its management teams to determine which of its employees should be working remotely either on a full-time or limited basis, said John Lines, director of public relations and corporate communications for the Lancaster hospital.

“Teams are meeting daily throughout our health system to ensure staff at our physician offices, urgent care sites, emergency department and inpatient settings are prepared to care for coronavirus patients,” Lines said. “As demand for our services evolves, we will ensure the appropriate level of staffing, as well as adequate supplies of respiratory protection, gowns, gloves and other equipment to protect our clinical staff for patient care.”

Penn State Health

The Hershey-based system is utilizing a 14-day self-quarantine for any employees who have traveled to countries with active transmission of COVID-19. Penn State Health plans to continue its normal operation procedures for as long as possible, but has plans in place to manage patients with special illnesses.

Employees can utilize their disability and leave benefits if a sustained outbreak occurs, said Barbara Schindo, media relations specialist at Penn State Health.

“We are continuously reviewing our policies about pay practices and sick time as the situation evolves,” Schindo said. “Should any employees need to take leave because of suspected or confirmed COVID-19, our Employee Health Department will work with affected employees to ensure they return to work at a point when it’s safe for the employee, their colleagues and our patients.”

WellSpan Health

WellSpan is actively developing contingency plans for the York health system that include deciding what levels of staff are needed to support its care facilities and support departments.

The system is limiting group meetings, discontinuing business-related travel beyond its service area and will also be looking into which of its employees can work from home.

WellSpan is still assessing which of its employees would best serve the organization by working remotely and will be announcing further plans in the event that the virus begins to spread into the region, said William Lavery, a spokesperson at WellSpan.

WellSpan announced on Thursday that as part of its response to COVID-19, the system is developing a temporary outdoor patient screening and testing area.

“Doing screening and testing in an open-air setting limits the potential spread of the disease and will help us preserve our negative airflow rooms in our hospitals,” said Dr. R. Hal Baker, senior vice president of WellSpan Health.

UPMC Pinnacle

UPMC Pinnacle’s parent organization, Pittsburgh-based UPMC, has suspended all business travel to China and Italy and is requiring all employees returning to the U.S. after traveling to areas with sustained transmission to be evaluated before returning to work.

A small number of UPMC Pinnacle’s staff has already been self-quarantining at home due to known exposure and compliance with guidance from public health authorities, said Kelly McCall, public relations director at UPMC Pinnacle.

Members of staff who are voluntarily self-quarantined can work from home if appropriate.

Geisinger Holy Spirit

Employees at Geisinger Holy Spirit are recommended to stay home if they are experiencing a fever, cough of shortness of breath. Geisinger teams have been formulating a contingency plan since January, which includes following CDC’s guidelines.

Select EMS agencies get more care options under test of new Medicare model

A new Medicare payment model being tested on three midstate EMS agencies will offer more options for caring with patients covered under Medicare

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid programs across the country, announced 205 ambulance care organizations that will participate in its new Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3) Model late last month.

The model drew 210 applicants nationally and CMS chose 205 applicants from 36 states and the District of Columbia.

The local participants include: Harrisburg-based Community LifeTeam EMS; Camp Hill-based Geisinger Emergency Medical Services, formerly known as West Shore Advanced Life Support Services; and Hershey-based Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Currently, Medicare only pays ground-based emergency ambulance services when they transport patients to specific types of facilities, with hospital emergency departments being the most common. The new model, which is set to begin this spring and last over a five-year period, will increase the options that participating organizations have with patients, the department wrote in a press release this week.

“For a patient who calls 911 for emergency medical services, the only path for the EMS agency to receive reimbursement for the call is to transport the patient to the emergency department,” said Paul Christophel, executive director at Geisinger EMS. “If a patient can be treated at home and EMS resolves their issue, the EMS agency does not receive reimbursement”

Participants in the model will continue to receive Medicare payments for transporting the Medicare beneficiary to an emergency department, but they would also be covered if they take that patient to a primary care doctor’s office or urgent care clinic.

CMS doesn’t plan to limit the alternative destinations that the EMS agencies can may use, as long as the treatment is provided by Medicare enrolled providers, a CMS spokesperson said in a statement.

The organization could also receive payments for treating the patient at the scene or through telehealth to connect the patient directly to a physician.

Geisinger EMS already treats its patients at home when appropriate, according to Christophel, but the change in model would allow the EMS agency to receive reimbursement for such treatment.

Delivering the Medicare beneficiary to a primary care doctor where fees are cheaper than an emergency room will save both EMS agencies and their Medicare beneficiaries money, said Scott Buchle, program manager at Penn State Health Life Lion EMS.

Patients with less severe conditions like colds and seasonal flu can still be delivered to an emergency department under the current model—conditions that aren’t always covered by insurances and can incur costs on the EMS and its patients, he said.

Through the new model, EMS agencies will be reimbursed for taking Medicare patients to hospitals, physician practices and urgent and walk-in care centers, said Craig Skurcenski, vice president of emergency medicine at UPMC Pinnacle.

“While this new program authorizes payment for alternative care destinations, our primary goal continues to be proper and appropriate care for all patients,” he said. “This will be ensured by patients having a consultation with a licensed provider prior to determining where a patient will be transported.”

Once CMS outlines the rules for the program, EMS agencies will be able to negotiate agreements with local urgent care centers and prepare to leverage technology such as telehealth in their ambulances, Penn State’s Buchle said. Penn State Health’s Life Lion EMS will be looking at bringing Medicare patients to Penn State Health clinics when that patient has a primary care physician within the system.

“In Dauphin and Lebanon counties, the Life Lion units would be allowed to transport to our University Physician Center clinics if the patient has a primary care provider at one of those locations,” he said. “We can also work with our existing telehealth resources within Penn State Health to help provide the care needed.”

Along with the 205 EMS agencies, CMS said it plans to offer funding for up to 40 two-year cooperative agreements between it and local governments or their 911 call centers in regions where a participating agency practices.

The funding would help a local government or call center afford to put a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician assistant in a 911 center to help direct patients to the right care, said Buchle.

The two-year cooperative agreements are a test to see if call centers and the approved EMS agencies can work together to avoid unnecessary transportation even further than what the new model can provide.

“The model will test whether these new options for emergency services will work synergistically to improve quality and lower costs by reducing avoidable transports to the emergency department and unnecessary hospitalizations following those transports,” the department said in a statement.

A veteran advantage: At Geisinger, offering paid leave to reservists is raising morale and boosting recruiting

“One weekend a month. Two weeks a year.”

Chances are you’ve heard that phrase, either in an advertisement for the military reserves, or from an army recruiter in your youth.

That’s the average amount of time a military reservist must serve in active duty each year. And while it may not seem like much, fitting in those weeks and weekends while working a full time job can be stressful.

For the men and women who in the reserves, meeting the demanding needs of both military and civilian jobs is often a tough balancing act.  Concerns over using up paid vacation time in order to serve, or keeping up at work while away, can weigh heavy.

Vincent McKlosky, 33, understands those concerns well. He is a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves and works full time as a systems operations manager in surgery for Geisinger, the central Pennsylvania-based health care network.

Vincent McKlosky, second lieutenant in the army reserves and systems operations manager at Geisinger. – submitted

In recent years, McKlosky and his reservist peers at Geisinger lobbied for a paid military leave benefit, to restore a much-needed work/life balance to their lives. Geisinger, understanding that happy employees are productive employees, listened.

Early this fall, the company implemented a policy that grants 80 hours of paid military leave. No longer will Geisinger’s reservists have to use up vacation time, or take unpaid time off to fulfill their service requirements.

In addition, Geisinger will pay the difference of up to $10,000 dollars a year in salary if employees must take time away from work for active duty military service. The health and life insurance of the employee will also be maintained.

“As conflict is increasing, military training has become more labor intensive,” McKlosky said. “Before the benefit, there was lots of stress and anxiety around having to use your paid time off. Now there is a sense of relief, knowing our employer has our back.”

Christopher Grill, 32, is a former army captain, and the program manager for military and veteran affairs at Geisinger.  He says that as of Sept. 15, 32 Geisinger employees used the paid military benefit.

“It was our employees that brought this up,” Grill said. “They said, ‘Here is a challenge we are facing,’ and we listened to them. But we didn’t just listen. We took action.”

Reaction to the new paid military time benefit has been overwhelmingly positive, he said.

McKlosky said the benefit has restored his work/life balance.

“It’s nice to be able to book family vacations to Ocean City and actually use PTO for its intended purpose,” he said.  “I’m a better employee and a better serviceman for it.”

McKlosky and Grill are strong advocates for veterans in the workplace. Each champion the values that military service can bring to the civilian workforce.

From a young age, both had a desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

“I really wanted to give back and serve my community,” said Grill, who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2010.

McKlosky felt the same calling. He is the latest in a proud military family to serve. “My father, uncle, brother- all were military,” he said.

Christopher Grill, former army captain, and program manager for military and veteran affairs at Geisinger, says 32 employees have used the paid-leave benefit since mid September. – submitted

McKlosky enlisted in the Navy in 2005. The GI Bill, which provides educational assistance to veterans, paid for his education at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre. Now, he uses his military skills at work.

“We have learned the ability to lead through difficult times,” McKosky said. “Veterans make good employees because they embody the qualities of integrity, a sense of duty and honor in your work. There is also the learned resiliency and every day initiative.”

It is those qualities that Geisinger wants in its employees, leading the company to actively recruit veterans, Grill said.

“Many veterans in the community ask me about Geisinger,” hel said. “Our paid military leave benefit absolutely helps with veteran recruitment.”

The company recently signed a partnership with the Army to guarantee an interview to all veterans who apply for employment.

“The technical skills that they bring with them are of enormous value, as are the soft skills, like leadership, problem solving and the ability to work under pressure,” Grill said. “Reservists come to work after using them all weekend and are able to implement those skills here, in the workplace.”

As an added source of support for veterans, Geisinger created an employee resource group to give veterans and reservists with a way to connect with one another.

For McKlosky, this supportive environment has inspired a high level of company loyalty. The ability to effect change in the workplace isn’t something he takes lightly.

“I was a big advocate for the paid leave policy and the company heard me,” he said. “They have shown a commitment to us, to their veteran employees. Because of that, Geisinger has my commitment for life.”


Geisinger Holy Spirit moves primary care, pediatrics providers to a new facility

Geisinger Holy Spirit is moving five primary care and pediatric doctors in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County, to a new facility at 340 York Road.

The new 5,140 square-foot building is close to their former location at 1211 Forge Road, which will continue to house Geisinger Holy Spirit’s urgent care, imaging and lab services, the Danville-based health care network announced in a press release.

Four general practitioners and one pediatrician moved to the new location. A second pediatrician was hired and joined the group at the new site, officials said.

The change will allow practices at both locations to grow, officials said.

In addition, a medication therapy management pharmacist will see patients on Mondays to help them manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart failure.

Geisinger is also planning to expand its orthopaedics and cardiology practices in Carlisle next year. The health care system includes 13 hospital campuses and employs 33,800 people, including 1,800 physicians.


Penn State Health signs letter of intent to buy Geisinger Holy Spirit

Geisinger Holy Spirit. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

Penn State Health could be the new owner of Holy Spirit Health System by next year if Penn State Health and Danville-based Geisinger Health follow through on a letter of intent the two systems announced on Tuesday.

Geisinger and Penn State Health plan to enter into an agreement for an undisclosed amount of money that would replace Geisinger as Holy Spirit’s owner and leave Penn State Health in control of the system and its providers.

“This makes sense for both organizations, and more importantly for the people in the Cumberland County and Greater Harrisburg region,” Steve Massini, Penn State Health’s CEO, said in a press release. “People in these growing communities will continue to have local choice and access to the health services they need to live their lives the way they want.”

The deal is coming at a time where health care competition in Cumberland County has heated up to a fever pitch. UPMC Pinnacle operates two hospitals in the county with UPMC Pinnacle Carlisle and UPMC Pinnacle West Shore in Hampden Township and Penn State Health is opening its own hospital in Hampden Township.

Penn State Health broke ground on its $200 million Hampden Medical Center, a 108-bed hospital located five miles away from Geisinger Holy Spirit, in March.

Penn State Health does not see the new Hampden Medical Center affecting Holy Spirit Hospital after it takes ownership. Having two nearby hospitals will instead allow the hospital system to expand on already existing services at Holy Spirit like its ambulatory services and medical offices instead of duplicating, said Massini.

“Without Holy Spirit we would have to build on those things and add those duplicative services to support our hospital and that’s where the cost savings comes in,” he said, noting that Penn State Health could particularly benefit from Holy Spirit’s level two trauma center and its Ortenzio Heart Center.

Geisinger took ownership of the East Pennsboro Township Catholic hospital system in 2014 and has since invested more than $120 million into Holy Spirit Hospital and its outpatient practices and urgent care centers.

Geisinger has made attempts to stay competitive in the space with investments in Holy Spirit’s emergency department and recruiting nearly 100 new providers. However, publicly available data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that Holy Spirit has continued to have a downturn in its charges billed to Medicare patients in the region while nearby hospitals have grown in market share.

In the past year, Geisinger and Penn State Health have strengthened partnerships between their departments with agreements between their neurosurgery and cardiothoracic departments for Penn State Health to allow its surgeons to operate at Holy Spirit.

The partnerships were a part of a broader strategy for Penn State Health to expand its services into Cumberland County, but the system viewed the partnerships as short term opportunities, said Massini. The potential purchase of Holy Spirit is a part of its long term strategy.

“We have considered many options for Geisinger Holy Spirit to move forward, and we believe we have the right organization in Penn State Health,” said Dr. Jaewon Ryu president and CEO of Geisinger. “We already work together on programs such as neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgery in the Harrisburg region. This is a positive next step for Holy Spirit to continue its legacy of providing quality, compassionate care to this community.”


Geisinger Health Plan adds Penn State Health providers to its network

Danville-based Geisinger Health Plan added Penn State Heath to its network of providers last month.

The hospital system’s health insurance organization consisting of about 550,000 members now includes Penn State Health’s provider network of 2,000 physicians and 127 medical office sites.

Geisinger Health plan announced the addition to its plan in a press release this week. Members of the plan now have facilities such as Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Children’s Hospital, Penn State Cancer Institute and Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Bern Township, Berks County to choose from as in-network, preferred providers.

“For many years, Penn State Health St. Joseph patients in the Berks County region and Geisinger employees and their dependents with Geisinger Health Plan coverage have been able to access our health care services,” said Steve Massini, Penn State Health CEO. “This new agreement builds on that foundation and lets us ensure that same access to all Penn State Health facilities and providers across our network for each Geisinger Health Plan member.”

Geisinger and Penn State Health have continued to expand upon a relationship between their hospitals in the past year with Penn State Health offering both cardiothoracic and neurosurgery services at Geisinger Holy Spirit in East Pennsboro Township.

Penn State Health now offering heart surgery at Geisinger Holy Spirit

Geisinger Holy Spirit. PHOTO/SUBMITTED


Geisinger Holy Spirit increased its heart surgery services last month in a new agreement with Penn State Health.

The agreement, which took effect on Sept. 1, allows select Penn State Health employees to provide services at Geisinger Holy Spirit in East Pennsboro Township. Penn State Health will provide four cardiothoracic surgeons from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and five former Geisinger Holy Spirit clinicians now employed by Penn State Health. The clinicians include a physician, three physician assistants and a medical assistant.

The surgeons and providers offer outpatient and inpatient procedures and emergency and trauma cardiothoracic care at the Geisinger hospital. As of Sept. 1, Penn State Health provides all of the cardiothoracic surgery for the hospital.

Cardiothoracic surgery includes operations involving the heart and lungs.

“We are delighted to have our cardiothoracic surgeons working alongside the nurses and physicians of Geisinger Holy Spirit’s heart team,” said Dr. Lawrence Sinoway, director of the Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute. “This is a fantastic opportunity to form a regional network for cardiothoracic surgery for the greater Harrisburg area.”

The two entities made a similar agreement in June with the Penn State Health’s department of Neurosurgery placing three of its neurosurgeons at Holy Spirit.

“By providing expert cardiothoracic and neurosurgical care to people in the West Shore region, we’re working with Geisinger Holy Spirit to ensure patients can receive excellent care closer to where they live,” said Deborah Berini, president of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Geisinger Holy Spirit handles the billing for work done by the Penn State Health providers and offers space at the hospital for them to operate in. Penn State Health is then reimbursed for any expenses and earns a management fee from any services done by their employees.

Geisinger names new executive vice president

Matthew Walsh, COO of Geisinger’s clinical operations, joined the hospital system’s executive leadership team. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

Geisinger COO Matthew Walsh joined the Montour County-based hospital system’s executive leadership team this month as its new executive vice president.

Walsh began working with Geisinger two years ago and has since overseen initiatives within the system to improve access to ambulatory services, operating rooms, the emergency department and inpatient services.

Geisinger announced Walsh’s appointment on Monday. He plans to continue his role as COO along with the executive vice president position. As executive vice president, Walsh will be responsible for strategic and operational leadership and planning for Geisinger.

Walsh is replacing Lyn Miller, Geisinger’s former executive vice president who will be retiring in 2020 after 30 years with the system.

“During his time at Geisinger, Matt has proven that he is the clear choice to lead Geisinger’s efforts to make health easier for our communities by bringing together all aspects of our organization to better serve our friends and neighbors,” said Dr. Jaewon Ryu, president and CEO of Geisinger.

Geisinger operates 13 hospital campuses, including Geisinger Holy Spirit in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County and more than 100 outpatient and ambulatory clinics. The system employs about 32,000 people and more than 1,300 physicians.

Walsh said he doesn’t see a more exciting time to be a part of Geisinger’s leadership.

“In front of us stands an incredible opportunity to make health easier for members of our communities by unifying the touchpoints across their journeys to health with a simple, cohesive experience whether it’s in a physician’s office, walking into an urgent care facility, at the pharmacy or calling in to make an appointment,” he said.

Geisinger Holy Spirit moves, enlarges orthopedic clinic

Geisinger Holy Spirit Orthopaedics moved to a new 14,000 square foot building on the Geisinger Holy Spirit Campus last month. PHOTO/ SUBMITTED 

Geisinger doubled the size and staff of its Cumberland County orthopedic services after a $3.8 million move to a new facility on July 15.

Danville-based Geisinger Health System moved its Geisinger Holy Spirit Orthopaedics clinic in Lemoyne to the Geisinger Holy Spirit hospital campus in East Pennsboro Township last month after the clinic outgrew its former space.

The new clinic is located near Sprit Urgent Care on 429 N. 21st St. and has 21 treatment rooms, two imaging suites and a dedicated hand treatment room for a certified hand physical therapist.

“Every inch of our new 14,000-square-foot orthopedics clinic is designed to bring state-of-the-art, personalized orthopedics care to one of Pennsylvania’s fastest-growing regions,” said Dr. Michael Suk, chair of the Geisinger Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

The staff of the clinic has doubled with the move. It now consists of 50 people including physicians and advanced practitioners, according to Ashley Andyshak Hayes, media relations specialist for Holy Spirit.

New services at the clinic include podiatry, athletic training services and a physical medicine service line, which will be joining the clinic’s previous services, such as foot and ankle trauma and fracture care, sports medicine and joint replacements.

“Our new Camp Hill facility will allow Geisinger Holy Spirit Orthopaedics to continue to grow rapidly and provide personalized, state-of-the-art orthopedic care,” said Dr.Craig Fultz, medical director for Geisinger Holy Spirit Orthopaedics. “This clinic is closer to the emergency department, trauma center and operating rooms, making it more convenient for our patients and providers.”

The previous facility at 550 N. 12th St. in Lemoyne is slated to reopen this summer as a Geisinger Holy Spirit Neurology practice.

Geisinger hires new nursing exec

Janet Tomcavage is Geisinger Health System’s newest chief nursing executive. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

Geisinger Health System’s newest executive oversees the Danville-based hospital system’s 6,500-plus nurses.

Janet Tomcavage was named Geisinger’s chief nursing executive on Aug. 1. Tomcavage had been the system’s chief population officer for the last five years.

In that former role, Tomcavage spearheaded the launching of Geisinger at Home, a care model designed to help patients with limited mobility receive care at home.

Tomcavage also held a number of positions with Geisinger Health Plan, including vice president of health services and senior vice president and chief of strategic initiatives.

As the chief nursing executive, Tomcavage will administer Geisinger’s nursing operations, development and research.

“Janet brings outstanding experience in the full scope of nursing and all aspects of inpatient and outpatient care, and I’m excited for her and for all our nurses as she transitions into her new leadership role,” said Dr. Jaewon Ryu, Geisinger president and CEO.

Tomcavage said that she has been proud to be a part of many of Geisinger’s population health programs but said there are many health care hurdles left to tackle.

“There is so much that Geisinger can contribute to solve health care’s largest challenges: the aging population and chronic disease management in our more senior patients; the social determinants of health; and destination care programs,” she said. “And we need to solve the gaps in health care by growing, recruiting and nurturing our nurses.”

Geisinger has 13 hospitals across the state and employs about 32,000 employees. Geisinger’s nearest hospital is Geisinger Holy Spirit in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County.