End of health care contracts leaves 64 workers in limbo

Starting next month, 64 Crothall Healthcare employees working at WellSpan Health in York County will lose their jobs as outpatient housekeeping contracts run out.

The new vendor is expected to hire at least some of them, Crothall said in a letter it sent to the state Department of Labor & Industry to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act.

“We expect this action will be permanent, and we reasonably anticipate that most employees will be hired by the hospital or an incoming vendor,” the Wayne-based company said.

The workers affected aren’t unionized.

The decision to move on from Crothall came as part of a routine contract review of outpatient housekeeping services, Maggi Barton, WellSpan’s media relations manager, wrote in an email. New proposals were evaluated on a variety of factors beyond costs including quality, service and sustainability considerations.

“All employees of the current vendors released from their positions will be provided information on positions available with WellSpan and the contact information for new vendors who have indicated they will be hiring additional staff,” she said.

Crothall’s environmental services contracts will end in four of WellSpan’s regional areas in a phased process: Southwestern York on Sept. 10; Northeastern York on Sept. 17; Southeastern York on Sept. 24; and York Monument on Oct. 1.

Horsham-based Interstate Premier Services Corp. is the new vendor.

Barton said Crothall Healthcare will continue services, with no vendor changes, for WellSpan’s Lebanon and Northwestern York regions.

Along with Morrison Healthcare, Crothall is part of Compass One Healthcare, which combines food/nutrition services and support services.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Wayneboro, WellSpan may collaborate on emergency services campus

The Borough of Waynesboro and York-based WellSpan Health are moving toward a partnership to construct an emergency service campus across from WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital.

Wednesday, Waynesboro Borough Council approved entering into a letter of intent with WellSpan to determine whether the emergency service campus is feasible. At the meeting, it was announced that current police and fire facilities are inadequate to meet current and future departmental needs.

WellSpan owns the land, and in addition to emergency services, the campus could include medical facilities. It would also continue to be the site of WellSpan’s helipad.

“This project would be a win-win for the community,” Council President Harold Mumma said in a release. “The ability to station first responders on a campus with medical personnel would greatly enhance the level of emergency response coordination available to our residents.”

Wayneboro’s Property Committee reviewed a number of potential sites and concluded that WellSpan’s property, which currently houses the helipad and WellSpan Rehabilitation, was an ideal location.

“When first responders are dispatched, it is often for physical, mental or social health needs,” said WellSpan CEO Roxanna Gapstur. “If we can be a part of strengthening the delivery of those critical services, we further our community-oriented mission.”

Over the next 18 months, the borough and WellSpan will determine whether the concept can move forward.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

WellSpan and Waynesboro Area ALS announce new service agreement

York-based WellSpan Health and Waynesboro Area ALS are partnering on an operational model that will provide continuation of advanced life support services to southern Franklin County and create a seamless transition of ambulance services for the region.

The staff, equipment and other assets of Waynesboro Area ALS will become part of WellSpan EMS, effective Oct. 15.

Since its formation in 1983, Waynesboro Area ALS has provided advanced life support services to Waynesboro, Greencastle, Mercersburg and other communities in southern Franklin County.

“Emergency ambulance services and patient transport are essential to the continuum of care,” Dr. Michael Seim, senior vice president and chief quality officer, WellSpan Health, said in a release. “WellSpan Health wants to ensure residents of Waynesboro and the surrounding communities will continue to have access to high quality emergency services whenever they are needed. We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Waynesboro Area ALS to guarantee the continuation of EMS services.”

The health care and ambulance services landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade, the release noted, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating unprecedented stress and strain on local EMS providers.

A large majority of Waynesboro Area ALS team members are already employed by WellSpan, and staff members not currently working for WellSpan will be given the opportunity to apply for employment there as part of the new agreement.

“Our board dedicated more than eight months to this effort and no decision was made lightly,” added David Mackley, chairman of the board of directors, Waynesboro Area ALS. “We look forward to WellSpan Health maintaining these critical services well into the future.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

WellSpan opens first outpatient interventional radiology practice

York-based WellSpan Health has opened its first practice location to perform minimally invasive outpatient vascular procedures.

Under the direction of doctors Andrew Mullins and Aditya Sharma, WellSpan Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology is in the Patrick O’Donnell Pavilion on St. Paul Drive in Chambersburg.

It will offer full-service vein care, including evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Procedures, performed when patients are awake, are minimally invasive and image-guided to diagnose and treat blood vessel and heart diseases without surgery.

“This practice is enhancing the way we care for our patients at WellSpan,” Niki Hinckle, vice president of service line development and diagnostic services, said in a release. “Thanks to advancements in technology and the use of it here at WellSpan, we are able to provide high-quality care for these services without admission to a hospital.”

Mullins added: “Doing this type of procedure outside of the hospital allows us to have better relationships with our patients. We can see them from the beginning for evaluation through follow-up.”

WellSpan plans to use this model to expanding similar services in other regions where it operates.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer.

WellSpan physician performs opioid-free orthopedic surgery

An orthopedic surgeon with York-based WellSpan Health is performing surgery on all patients under the age of 25 without prescribing opioids, as a way to reduce exposure to the narcotic drugs. 

“Eliminating opioids after surgery is definitely a trend and a push in orthopedics in general,” Dr. Michael Day said in a release. “There is an awareness of how problematic opioids have been for our society, and a lot of people are happy not to introduce them in their care.” 

Since 2019, WellSpan clinicians have focused efforts to replace opioids with other pain relief treatments on cesarean sections, hernia repairs, gallbladder surgeries, spinal fusions and total knee and total hip replacements.  

For those procedures, WellSpan has decreased opioid use by 46% in that time, which is equivalent to more than 141,000 5 mg oxycodone tablets now not being prescribed. 

The pain relief methods Day prescribes for his young surgery patients include a medicine that decreases inflammation, a nerve medication, over-the-counter Tylenol and use of an ice machine. 

Day first began forgoing opioid prescriptions for patients under 25 who were undergoing surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He then extended the practice to all orthopedic patients under 25. 

If their pain gets too severe, patients can contact Day for a stronger prescription. But during the past year, he said, no one has called. 

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer 

Carlisle primary care office to join WellSpan Health 

WellSpan Health announced that it is set to acquire a Carlisle-based primary care and internal medicine provider, expanding its access in Cumberland County. 

The York-based hospital system said on Tuesday that Masland Associates in Carlisle has signed a letter of intent to join WellSpan’s network of providers. 

Masland Associates has operated in the Carlisle community for more than 65 years. The provider is made up of four physicians and five advanced practice providers at its office at 220 Wilson St.. 

“As a cornerstone in the community, patients have relied on Masland Associates for generations. Our shared vision for excellence in patient care will provide additional opportunities to access care and specialty services in the Carlisle area,” said Tony Aquilina, executive vice president and chief physician executive, WellSpan Health. “We are pleased to welcome these compassionate and skilled providers to WellSpan Health.” 

Providers and transitioning staff will join WellSpan Medical Group when Masland’s integration with the system is completed in August, said WellSpan. Masland Associates will continue to operate at its current office. 

“In 1955, Dr. David Masland opened this practice to care for the residents of his hometown. After he retired, our team at Masland Associates remained dedicated to caring for our families, friends, and neighbors here in Carlisle,” said Dr. Philip Neiderer, Masland Associates. “WellSpan Health shares these interests and our core values. I believe that joining the WellSpan Health team will provide opportunities to continue that same level of personal care for our patients and expand access to the full network of providers and services in South Central Pennsylvania.”