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WellSpan to expand access to care in Cumberland County

WellSpan to expand access to care in Cumberland County

As WellSpan Health continues to increase healthcare access to meet the needs of residents in the fastest growing county in Pennsylvania, the health system's latest initiative focuses on constructing a new ambulatory surgery center and medical office building in South Middleton Township, near Carlisle. The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the plan for development at its regularly scheduled meeting earlier this evening.

Key specialists, such as cardiology and orthopedics, are anticipated to perform outpatient procedures at the surgery center with complementary physician practices still being finalized. Located just off Interstate 81, at the corner of Walnut Bottom Road and Sprint Drive, the center will greatly reduce the need for travel for the growing population in Cumberland County.

"Coupled with other expansion plans previously announced in Cumberland County, these plans will allow us to meet our patients where they live. Patients will have access to care at a convenient location in a brand-new facility with state-of-the-art technology and expert WellSpan physicians," said Niki Hinckle, senior vice president of WellSpan Health's west region. "Our value-based care model aims to provide these services in ways that both improve quality outcomes and lower costs for our patients."

Surgical centers offer outpatient surgeries to patients at costs 45 to 60 percent less than in a hospital setting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An analysis of the central and western parts of Cumberland County, including the Carlisle area, show forecasted growth of the population will quickly exceed the current number of providers and physicians in several key specialties within the next five years, including primary care, surgical care and diagnostic testing. The total population of just central Cumberland County is expected to grow by 4.3 percent through 2027, with the fastest rate of that population growth being individuals ages 65 and over. That population group is expected to see a 16 percent growth.

WellSpan has been expanding in these areas in recent years to meet the growing need, welcoming Masland Associates into the health system, as well as opening numerous specialty practices such as Cardiology, Urology, ENT & Hearing Services, and Nephrology, to name a few. WellSpan also recently partnered with Emerus to introduce a neighborhood hospital model in South Central Pennsylvania to address access to emergency care issues in suburban and rural parts of Cumberland and York Counties. The locations are still in final determination.

"WellSpan is stepping up to address this forecasted provider and physician deficit and we are committed to being a trusted partner when it comes to new and improved healthcare options in your backyard," said Hinckle.

"The Township was pleased to see WellSpan Health submit its plan for the property along Sprint Drive," said Cory Adams, South Middleton Township Manager. "A lot of work went into encouraging development into that area by the Township Supervisors and it is great to see that effort coming to fruition."

Construction at the site of the surgery center and medical office building is expected to begin with demolition of the current structure on the property this fall. Groundbreaking for the new building is likely to occur in 2024 with an anticipated opening of these facilities in late 2025.

To learn more about WellSpan services available in Cumberland County, explore our locations.