New leadership team extends medical services to community
MUNCY – Taking direction is a new team of medical providers at the UPMC Muncy Valley Hospital and Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. With a focus on preventive and specialty services, five new leaders are working together to make a smaller, rural hospital very connected to their community.
With a shift in employees that includes retirements, new hires and promotions, the team is committed to provide quality care in a “life changing medicine.”
Dr. Steven Barrows, a new primary care physician at UPMC Family Medicine said his focus is to have preventive services on the front line as much as possible before it becomes life threatening.
Andrea Reed, now director of nursing for the hospital has replaced Cyndi Whipple who recently retired. She told the Luminary during an interview with all five leaders that outpatient volume is growing. She feels committed and wants to keep the business here in the greater Muncy area now that the expansion of the hospital has been completed.
A large part of the Muncy’s medical service providers is the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Former director, Bobbi Woolcock has been promoted to nursing home administrator. She has seen an increase in short stay at the center with more turnaround for 30 days or less. “We have a 92 percent occupancy and 138 bed capacity.”
Promoted from assistant director at the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center to director of nursing is Rachel Barto. Starting as a nurse’s aid with UPMC Susquehanna, Barto said that her new role as director allows her more time to spend with the family residents. “The Willows unit is always full with a waiting list,” she added.
On the forefront, is Matthew McLaughlin, Vice President of Operations and Chief Administrative Officer for UPMC Susquehanna Muncy. He said he chose to be here in Muncy and prefers the lifestyle associated with a small town community.
All five leaders said they like Muncy and live in the Muncy area. “There is a standard of care here that is unique to our patients,” McLaughlin said and stated that there are many choices here for local consumers.
“Quality speaks to loyalty here in the community,” said Woolcock. Barto replied, “This new transition makes quality better.”
Technology has played an important role when it comes to better care according to Dr.Barrows who is knowledgeable with the latest software systems. They are using Epic, known for its supportive functions related to patient care including registration, scheduling, emergency services, lab technicians, insurers and connecting other care providers. “It works collectively,” according to Dr. Barrows who is assisting other personnel with the tool. “It gives better access to records,” added Woolcock.
The team agrees that preventive services are a key factor for better health as well as keeping costs down. See your doctor regularly and address issues as they come up, they said. Annual screenings can be accessed at the Muncy hospital campus. CT scans for lung cancer were recently added. Lab work and screenings can be done for diabetes, prostate, aortic aneurisms, urinary tract, colon and more.
The Muncy administrators expressed a pro-active, preventive model of care with specialty services. “Catch it early,” they said, now offering 5 to 6 different specialties.
Colonoscopies and mammograms all decrease mortality. Other added services include podiatric surgery, occupational medicine, and ophthalmology. “We want more primary care here,” said Dr. Barrows hoping to expand in that direction. He also added that he loves living in Muncy and purchased one of the historic homes. He and his wife are expecting their first child in July.
Outpatient emergency care is emerging. A clinic with Saturday hours and more accessablility will be added which will be a big shift in health care. “People in their hometown want to be near their family,” McLaughlin said. “We can consult with high-end specialists in Pittsburgh where there are more specialized levels of expertise. With tele-medicine, we can consult from a large hospital to a small hospital.”
Dr. Barrows added that there is a much wider spectrum of care now with medical knowledge.
“We will continue the legacy of care that has been here over 100 years. We are locally invested in this community. The people here support the hospital, and the hospital supports the people,” they said.
This Saturday the hospital auxiliary will be celebrating their 35th annual lawn party and the public is welcome to join this fundraising project. All proceeds will support UPMC Susquehanna Muncy.