CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – One year after completing its affiliation with WellSpan Health, Franklin County’s leading health system, formerly Summit Health, reflects on a year of growth and expansion as leaders continue to look towards a bright future as part of the largest coordinated health system in South Central Pennsylvania.
WellSpan Health is comprised of more than 19,000 employees, approximately 1,500 physicians and advanced practice clinicians and more than 170 patient care locations – including eight respected hospitals.
President and CEO of WellSpan Summit Health, and Executive Vice President for WellSpan Health, Pat O’Donnell, said within the first year of the affiliation, the newly-joined organization has started to realize its initial goals.
“When I look back over this first year, I can’t help but feel so proud of all of the hardworking and dedicated employees of WellSpan Summit Health,” O’Donnell explained. “They truly are like a family and continue to put the needs and care of this community at the top of every decision. It’s been so exciting to see our departments working together to enhance care locally and across the entire region.”
Local Growth and Expansion
According to O’Donnell, an important objective of the affiliation was to invest in new services, facilities and technology for the long-term health of residents in Franklin County and surrounding communities.
In June, WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital opened a new Interventional Radiology Suite, offering a new service to community members. The hospital also invested in a new daVinci surgical robot, expanding options for non-invasive surgery.
In late August, WellSpan Summit Health expanded specialty care services in Cumberland County, adding Cardiology, Pulmonology and OB/GYN to a new location off Progress Boulevard.
In early September, WellSpan Summit Health opened a brand new, state-of-the-art medical facility in Greencastle off of Antrim Commons Drive. The 45,000 square foot facility boasts primary and specialty services as well as an Urgent Care clinic.
“As I look at these buildings, I see so much more than bricks and mortar,” O’Donnell said. “I see a strong commitment to our friends and neighbors that we will continue to find better ways to care for their health and wellness needs closer to home.”
Friday, WellSpan officials gathered at Waynesboro Area School District to celebrate the opening of WellSpan Convenient Care, the health system’s latest offering to make care more accessible to the Waynesboro Community.
“It’s certainly not lost on me that on this first anniversary of our affiliation we are celebrating with a ribbon cutting event at a new clinic on the campus of Waynesboro Area Senior High School,” he said. “WellSpan Convenient Care is the perfect example of how we are working with our partners to address the specific needs of our community and ways we can better improve access.”
O’Donnell said future expansion efforts are being evaluated that would either increase or improve services provided within the community. He said data from the recent Community Health Needs Assessment, for example, is a guiding factor in determining which services are most needed.
Electronic Health Records System
Another goal pursued by the affiliation is to upgrade the patient experience through an advanced, new electronic health record (EHR) system. The initiative is aimed at transforming the care experience for patients.
The system, a product of Epic, will allow patients to more easily connect with their care team, and will allow better coordination of care across WellSpan’s many locations in the region.
The platform allows the health system to maintain all clinical data and patient information on one EHR platform – providing one patient record no matter where they receive care in the system.
The installation of the system takes about two years to complete, and began almost immediately after the affiliation was finalized in November 2018. The “go-live” date is set for October of 2020.
As part of the affiliation agreement, a new charitable foundation will be established for the purpose of raising funds and using them to provide support for Summit Health and its tax-exempt subsidiaries and their related activities in Franklin County and the surrounding communities. All charitable donations currently held or pledged to Summit Health will be retained by Summit Health or, at Summit Health’s discretion, transferred to the new foundation and used only to provide this support.
WellSpan has established similar community-based philanthropic foundations in Adams, York, Lancaster and Lebanon counties.
O’Donnell said the health system’s commitment to the community; to continue to assess the needs of families living in Franklin and Cumberland County, will continue to drive growth and expansion.
“I want the community to rest assured that they will be well-cared for by us for generations to come, that our facilities and services will continue to grow with them that they don’t need to travel for the care they deserve,” he said. “We may have a new name, and a larger coordinated system of care, but we will always be the hometown provider of Franklin County.”
For more information, visit SummitHealth.org/Affiliation.
WellSpan Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.
As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, WellSpan Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.