Penn State Health to Suspend Non-essential Surgeries

HERSHEY, PA – Penn State Health will begin suspending non-essential, elective surgeries on Thursday morning. The health system is communicating directly with affected patients of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center about any changes to their surgical care.

On Monday morning (March 16), all Penn State Health surgeons were asked to start conducting a case-by-case review of their operating room schedules with the intent of canceling all non-essential, elective procedures. The move is part of extensive plans to respond to the COVID-19 issue, and precautions designed to protect the health system’s patients, physicians and staff. Cancelling non-essential, elective surgeries will help Penn State Health preserve medical supplies and personal protective equipment that may be needed to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is important to note that the term ‘elective’ when used to describe surgical care is extremely broad in scope,” said Dr. Peter Dillon, executive vice president and chief clinical officer, Penn State Health. “There are some procedures we perform that may appear to be routine but that, if canceled, could result in significant negative impact on a patient’s health. This is why case-by-case reviews are vital.”

Penn State Health will continue to provide urgent and essential surgical care for all patients who need it.

About Penn State Health
Penn State Health is a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across 29 counties in central Pennsylvania. The system includes Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterPenn State Children’s Hospital, and Penn State Cancer Institute based in Hershey, Pa.; Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading, Pa.; and more than 1,400 physicians and direct care providers at 119 medical office locations. Additionally, the system jointly operates various health care providers, including Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital, Hershey Outpatient Surgery Center, Hershey Endoscopy Center, Horizon Home Healthcare and Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute. In December 2017, Penn State Health partnered with Highmark Health to facilitate creation of a value-based, community care network in the region. Penn State Health shares an integrated strategic plan and operations with Penn State College of Medicine, the University’s medical school.


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