DANVILLE — At its annual public meeting Thursday, the Geisinger Health System Board of directors discussed the growth of the multifacility health care giant and its plans for the future, emphasizing the $160 million renovation project at Geisinger-Community Medical Center in Scranton.
“We’ve made a significant commitment to CMC that will take years to pay off,” Geisinger President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Glenn Steele Jr. said. “There’s a big hole in the ground up there right now, but in two years you will see a transformation of that hospital.”
Steele said $138 million already has been invested in the project that he called “a facility renewal.”
The project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015. The expansion will include a 14-room operating suite, a redesigned intensive care unit, an enhanced lobby that will extend to Mulberry Street and additional clinical and physician office space.
The expansion will enhance clinical programs, increase physician recruitment, expand and improve facilities and implement new information systems in Scranton and its surrounding communities, Steele said. “This is an exciting time at G-CMC,” he said. “All hospital services will remain available and will not be interrupted during construction.”
The two-phase project also calls for the hospital’s main entrance to be relocated to Colfax Avenue for the duration of the expansion project. Valet services will be available for patients and visitors at the Colfax Avenue entrance 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The parking garage on Colfax Avenue will remain open for patients and visitors.
The $160 million capital improvement project is a seven-year commitment, Steele said. “We are currently in year two, and the board has already approved $138 million,” he said.
There are 19,504 people employed throughout the Geisinger Health System, Steele said.
At Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, projects completed within the past 15 months include:
• A $9.5 million progressive care unit in the Critical Care Building (in March)
• A $1.2 million Center for Women’s Imaging (this month).
• $3.2 million in renovations to the Richard and Marion Pearsall Heart Hospital (June 2012).
• Over the past decade, more than $1.1 billion has been reinvested into the health system.
Kevin Brennan, Geisinger’s chief financial officer, reported patient days and outpatient visits have increased significantly. About 7,800 full-time employees have been added and total revenues have increased, he said.
“It’s been a year of growth,” he said.