PUNXSUTAWNEY – The long-awaited project to provide access to Penn Highlands Healthcare patients in the Punxsutawney region is complete and services will be opening over the next two weeks.
The Punxsutawney Community Medical Building, located at 551 W. Mahoning St., in downtown Punxsutawney, started to welcome patients on specific dates, beginning Dec. 2 with the opening of the relocated pediatrics office.
“We’re excited to provide these new and expanded services to our patients from the Punxsutawney area,” Raymond Graeca, Penn Highlands Healthcare chief executive officer, said.
“Thousands of people from this region choose Penn Highlands as their healthcare provider each year, and this is our way of bringing the same quality that they have received at Penn Highlands Brookville and Penn Highlands DuBois to their hometown.”
Penn Highlands Pediatrics, the offices of Dr. George Fatula and Dr. James Fugate, Jr., relocated to the new facility and welcomed patients Dec. 2. They were formerly located at 81 Hillcrest Dr. In addition to the physicians, physician assistants Emily Bish and Nicole Grunthaner will also be seeing patients at the new location.
Opening at 8 a.m. Dec. 7 is the new QCare Punxsutawney, a walk-in, urgent care clinic that will serve patients needing immediate care for minor illnesses and health issues such as flu-like symptoms, fever, vomiting, coughs, sinus problems, earaches, sprains, rashes, minor cuts and abrasions, minor aches and pains, bladder infections, tick and insect bites, animal bites, etc. No appointments are necessary to see a provider at QCare.
Patients suffering from a life-threatening injury or illness should go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room. This is sometimes best accomplished by calling 9-1-1. QCare is not the appropriate facility for those suffering from things like chest pain, severe abdominal pain, major head injuries and other trauma, visibly broken bones, shortness of breath, ingestion of poisons, seizures, dizziness, severe burns, shock, snake bites and uncontrollable bleeding.
QCare is also not appropriate for children under the age of one-year-old.
Additional services that will be available at QCare include sports and Department of Transportation physicals, tetanus shots and suture removal.
QCare allows Penn Highlands Healthcare to provide fast, convenient care for patients in a private setting and is the choice over the emergency department for shorter wait times and co-pays similar to a primary care visit. Most major insurance programs are accepted at QCare. Those who are unsure about their insurance coverage should ask their insurance provider about specific coverage at QCare.
“QCare is a service that helps patients get the care that they want, when they need it,” Graeca said. “There are many times when your primary care physician is unable to immediately see you. QCare is convenient, has expanded hours – seven days a week – and has local providers who you know and trust.”
Providers at the new QCare include Darlene Brink, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, Heather Griffith, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Ashlee Spack, Physician Assistant.
Brink is a resident of Punxsutawney and a fixture in the healthcare community, working for more than 30 years of her career as a staff nurse and nurse manager in the local emergency department.
Griffith is a resident of Worthville and graduate of the Punxsutawney Area High School. She has spent time working as a nurse and a nurse practitioner at Penn Highlands DuBois in both the hospitalist program and in the Hahne Regional Cancer Center.
Spack is a lifelong resident of Rossiter and also a graduate of the Punxsutawney Area High School. She has been a physician assistant at a large physician practice in Clarion for the last year.
QCare Punxsutawney is open seven days a week with hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The office is closed only three days per year, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
In addition to the QCare walk-in services, patients will also be able to complete outpatient testing at the Punxsutawney Community Medical Building. These services will also open on Dec. 7.
Patients with physician orders will be able to walk in and have x-rays seven days a week with hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. X-ray services will also be closed only three days per year, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Laboratory testing will also be available five days per week with hours from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The building also includes additional space to add primary care and specialty physician offices in the future. Penn Highlands will be announcing those physicians in the near future.
“We have a large number of Punxsutawney area patients who use Penn Highlands Healthcare for their primary care, pediatric care, cardiac care, cancer care and much more,” Graeca said.
“The Punxsutawney Community Medical Building is a way for us to show our commitment to our loyal patients and expand access to everyone in the Punxsutawney region.”