PATTON TOWNSHIP — Patients will soon be arriving to use Geisinger’s newly expanded Grays Woods facility.
The $42 million addition has added 78,000 square feet, more than doubling the current size.
It includes a new ambulatory surgery center for outpatient procedures including four operating rooms, four endoscopy rooms and two pain therapy rooms. It also will have expanded clinical space for gastroenterology, gastrointestinal nutrition, general surgery, pulmonology, urology, cardiology, ophthalmology and laboratory space on the second floor.
The second-floor area will begin seeing patients Feb. 17, and the surgery center is expected to see patients after a final inspection in early April, said Matt Nussbaum, associate vice president for regional operations.
He expects the new areas will fill up quickly, because the need exists in Centre County.
“A lot of what this is going to allow us to do is grow our footprint in the area,” he said.
Patients seeking services such as pain therapy would have had to make the 90-minute drive to Danville, so Nussbaum said it became a company goal to provide that service locally.
The expansion also allows for more space and new construction into the Scenery Park location on South Atherton Street. Geisinger will begin pulling services from that facility and expanding others.
Nussbaum said the changes at Scenery Park will create a more developed skin program there, expanding dermatology and other related services.
It also will allow officials to focus on other local projects, such as expanding the Bishop Street practice in Bellefonte. Nussbaum said he doesn’t want residents to even have to drive to the State College area if it can provide more services, such as primary care, cardiology, woman’s health and lab work, in local communities.
The company remains in growth mode, with the state of the industry doing very well and community-need expanding, he said.
“We’re growing in a lot of areas,” Nussbaum said. “There really isn’t a specific area that isn’t growing.”
Geisinger also now owns Lewistown Hospital, which further expands its reach in the western part of its service area. Nussbaum said these additions show a dedication to the central part of the state and show that it’s a viable place for health care services. And he expects it to continue.
In the more than two years that Nussbaum has worked for Geisinger in Centre County, there has always been some kind of construction project in progress.
Though there are no other major expansions planned yet, Nussbaum said additional space will become a more pressing need when the new wing is filled up.
“A year from now, we’ll probably be talking about our next move because we’ll be out of space here,” he said.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.