Geisinger expansion nearly complete; Gray’s Woods facility upgrade set for February finish

Geisinger Health System’s expansion of its Gray’s Woods facility is on track for completion in February, President and CEO Dr. Glenn D. Steele Jr. said Monday.

Steele spoke to local business and political leaders during a luncheon at the Ramada Conference Center in State College.

The $42 million, 80,000-square-foot addition will double the size of the Gray’s Woods medical center off Interstate 99 in Patton Township.

The site will house an ambulatory surgery center with four operating rooms, Geisinger has reported. The center will allow Geisinger to consolidate local surgical specialties in one location, moving some services there from the system’s Scenery Park site.

Steele said that one goal of the Geisinger system is to strengthen relationships with organizations such as Mount Nittany Medical Center, where Geisinger doctors see patients through an agreement between the two systems.

Mount Nittany President and CEO Steve Brown attended Monday’s luncheon.

“We thought what we’re building at Gray’s Woods would help bring people to State College in a way that would be good for both the hospital (and Geisinger),” Steele said. “We never wanted to build a hospital here that would compete with Mount Nittany.”

Centre County businessman and Geisinger Health System Foundation board member Robert Poole on Monday credited Steele with elevating the system’s national reputation since his arrival in 2001, especially during a recent flurry of acquisitions and mergers.

Steele said Geisinger’s acquisition of Lewistown Hospital, completed Nov. 1, was made easier by that hospital’s proximity to State College. He said Geisinger plans to provide specialty medical services at Lewistown and will maintain the nursing school there.

Steele applauded Lewistown Hospital CEO Kay A. Hamilton, calling the facility “well run” but said it was a “difficult location” for a small hospital to remain independent.

“Without having State College here, it would be very hard for us to do what we’re planning to do in Lewistown,” Steele said.