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Penn Highlands Ribbon-Cutting Opens Clarion Community Medical Building; Public Open House on Saturday

Thursday, August 4, 2022 @ 12:08 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

Ribbon cuttingCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – With the snip of oversize scissors on Tuesday morning, the Clarion Community Medical Building officially opened.

(Pictured above: John Sutika, President of Penn Highlands DuBois Julie Peer, resident of Penn Highlands Brookville, and others joined a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning for the official opening of Clarion Community Medical Building, located on Holiday Inn Road – Route 68, in Clarion.)

Leaders from Penn Highlands Healthcare and the Clarion community participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The health system is also hosting a public Community Open House at the facility on Saturday, August 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Members of the community are encouraged to attend the August 6th Open House to see the state-of-the-art building firsthand and learn more about the services offered there. The first 300 guests will receive a free drink from Blended Nutrition Smoothie and Juice Bar. Plus, there will be other refreshments and giveaways while supplies last.

Penn Highlands Healthcare is enhancing health care services in Clarion County with the opening of the Clarion Community Medical Building, located on Holiday Inn Road – Route 68, in Clarion.

“The Clarion Community Medical Building provides the residents of Clarion County and surrounding areas with convenient access to critical services and advanced care,” said John Sutika, President of Penn Highlands DuBois. “And, not only does this facility enhance services, but it also created new healthcare jobs for this region.”

“The complex is a testament to the Penn Highlands healthcare commitment to the residents of this region,” continued Sutika. “In 2018, Penn Highlands began a $111 million master facilities plan that triggered eight major projects that consisted of expansion or enhancement to our hospitals in Brookville, Clearfield, and DuBois, as well as Penn Highlands and Pine Crest Manor in Elk County.

“I’m confident that the Clarion Community Medical Building will be an invaluable asset that the people of this region will be able to rely on for decades to come.”

Clarion Medical Building-0258

Penn Highlands Clarion currently has approximately 20 employees.

The Clarion Community Medical Building offers many specialist services under one roof, including diagnostic imaging, family medicine, gastroenterology, orthopedics, outpatient physical therapy, pulmonology, a retail pharmacy, and walk-in QCare and Penn Highlands Life’s Journey.

OB/GYN and endocrinology services will open soon.

Penn Highlands held a grand opening last week for a new hospital for behavioral health in DuBois.

It will be a direct referral system for both Clarion outpatient and inpatient services at the new hospital. The primary care physicians, the acute care physicians, and other specialties have that referral link.

Max Pavlock, DO will see family care patients at the Clarion Community Medical Building and also serves as the medical director of the New Bethlehem Rural Health Center located at 1323 Brookville Street in Fairmount City.

community pharmacy
Andrew Kurtz, system director for retail pharmacy services provided a tour of the Penn Highlands pharmacy.

The Penn Highlands plan grew from $111 million to $180 million and now includes the construction of a new hospital in State College, with a groundbreaking this spring.

“All of these projects are increasing access to critical services and advanced care for the residents of Northwestern and central Pennsylvania. Not only are the projects such as Clarion Community Medical Building enhancing services, but we are also adding to the economy with construction and healthcare jobs.

“At Penn Highlands, we strive to attract the best physicians, nurses, and extenders and equip our facilities with the latest technology so that people in the communities that we serve can receive the care they need close to home.”

The Clarion Building did have an earlier “soft” opening, according to Julie Peer, president of Penn Highlands Brookville.

“Business is starting to pick up,” Peer said. “It has been a little bit slower to start, but we did do a soft opening just to make sure that we have the staff in place and the things we needed. We are expecting to get busier.”

Sutika said healthcare in general across the country is slower than prior to the pandemic.

“Just like every other health system, we’re experiencing slower volumes and trying to get back to where we were before.”

With the addition of the Clarion community health building, the number of health options for area residents has increased.

“The movement from inpatient to outpatient care really necessitates more outpatient facilities like this,” said Sutika. “Hospitals, of course, are very important. It’s where the sickest people are taken care of, but a lot of care is moving to outpatient. So, building services to get outpatient therapy and walk-in clinics, family medicine, and other primary care close to home is really what is needed.”

Asked if there has been an uptick in COVID cases, and in particular, the Clarion area, Sutika said, “We track it every day of the inpatients that are admitted throughout all of our hospitals. The summer period has been down as far as inpatients, just a very slight uptick recently with people who are sick enough to be admitted.”

Peer agreed. “We haven’t seen a huge uptick here right now in this building for COVID. We are seeing people that are getting that again. People aren’t necessarily very sick and the symptoms have been much less than what they were when we initially started the pandemic. We’re starting to see it more along the lines of body aches, colds, and those kinds of things. We haven’t seen anything more here than we’ve seen anywhere else.”

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