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Commonwealth Health Marks First Anniversary; Making Major Impact Across Northeastern Pennsylvania

Commonwealth Health Marks First Anniversary on February 1, 2013; Making Major Impact Across Northeastern Pennsylvania

Commonwealth Health touched almost two million lives last year, positively impacting quality patient care, contributing to the well-being of communities across Northeastern Pennsylvania and solidifying its position as the region’s largest network of healthcare providers.

The hospitals admitted almost 48,000 patients and had over 1.7 million outpatient visits, performed nearly 40,000 surgeries and over 3,700 deliveries. Affiliated emergency departments saw more than 152,000 visits.

“Patients clearly count on us for the healthcare services they need,” said Cornelio Catena, chief executive officer of Commonwealth Health and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. “We appreciate their trust and are committed to quality care and personalized service for every patient.”

Quality of care at the hospitals has been recognized by national organizations including The Joint Commission, Society of Chest Pain Centers, American Heart Association, American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. HealthGrades has also given 5-star ratings to Moses Taylor Hospital for maternity care, total joint replacement, total knee replacement and stroke treatment, and Regional Hospital of Scranton has received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence for the 10th consecutive year as well as garnering the Best Hospital honors in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area from U.S. News & World Report for the last two years. The Scranton hospital was also named in Becker’s Hospital Review list of the leading 100 hospitals in the United States, and has been recognized for excellence in cardiac care and surgery, stroke care, patient safety and more.

“Quality is our number one priority,” says Moses Taylor Hospital Medical Staff President Edward Dzielak, MD, noting that through its Community Cares culture, Commonwealth Health has achieved consistent improvements in its patient satisfaction scores. “When you encourage a culture of quality throughout the organization, everyone benefits--our medical staff, employees and most importantly, our patients.”

Catena notes that patients have greater access to specialty services close to home thanks to Commonwealth Health’s recruitment of both independent and employed physicians. More than 21 new physicians have come to the region in the last several months, including specialists in interventional cardiology, pulmonology, neurosurgery, rheumatology, orthopedic surgery, gynecologic oncology, oncology hematology, podiatry, neonatology and primary care. Several physicians have offices in more than one community to increase patient convenience.

The network is also collaborating in the development of the region’s future physicians by working with The Wright Center and The Commonwealth Medical College to strengthen opportunities for medical education and residencies.

“It’s been exciting to harness our respective strengths and work together to serve our communities,” says Patrick Conaboy, MD, a Scranton family practitioner, pointing to Commonwealth Health’s combined medical staffs of more than 1,500 specialists and primary care physicians. “What’s more, significant investments are being made right now in facilities and equipment to support the delivery of quality care and services. Ultimately, the whole community benefits from our hospitals and clinics across the region.”

In particular, Dr. Conaboy cites Commonwealth Health’s nearly $40 million investment in clinical automation and electronic medical record development over the next year as an example of how the health system is harnessing information technology to support its clinicians and provide quality patient care.

Relatedly, Catena points out that in just the last year, more than $71 million in capital investments were made across Commonwealth Health’s affiliated hospitals, part of a quarter billion-dollar investment planned over the next several years. Examples include:

  • Berwick Hospital invested in a wound center and new ultrasound equipment.
  • Mid-Valley bought an EKG and radiology equipment and updated the elevator and flooring.
  • Moses Taylor Hospital patient rooms have new beds and furniture, the operating rooms and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) have new equipment, a new digital phone system has been installed and the hospital’s nursing units have new flooring.
  • Regional Hospital of Scranton has renovated cardiac catheterization and interventional radiology rooms, purchased an endoscopic system for the surgery center, and improved facility comfort by replacing the air conditioning cooling tower and convenience with parking garage repairs.
  • Tyler Memorial Hospital renovated the emergency department and added MRI equipment.
  • Wilkes-Barre General Hospital opened its expanded Emergency Department and Heart & Vascular Institute.

“All of this is only possible through the skills and dedication of our employees, medical staff and volunteers,” said Catena. “We thank them for their commitment which gives us a strong foundation for continued success. This is just the beginning.”

  Wilkes-Barre General Hospital
575 North River Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18764
(570) 829-8111
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