LEWISTOWN - As the Lewistown Hospital and Geisinger Health System merger date draws closer, patients have been consistently concerned if their doctors will continue to practice in the area, said Kay Hamilton, hospital president and CEO.
To address this concern, the hospital has issued an open letter to the community, naming those doctors that have confirmed they are staying as the merger moves forward.
"There has been a concern since the beginning about doctors not wanting to join the Geisinger system," Hamilton said. "I know the concern is out there. We felt this letter was necessary so patients are aware of what's happening."
The list was compiled after the hospital sent a letter to the doctors, requesting they confirm their status. However, because some doctors didn't want their name listed in the paper, patients are encouraged to call their doctors for confirmation should they not appear on the list, Hamilton said.
The full list appears below followed by the letter:
Jose R. Acosta, M.D.; Rajeshwar P. Malhotra, M.D.; Nitin V. Sheth, M.D.; G. Scott Anderson, M.D.; Shashpal K. Malhotra, M.D.; Stephen U. Solomon, M.D.; Paul M. Bramakulam, M.D.; Cathy Michaels, PA-C; Emily Turzanski, D.O.; Angelique Clemson, D.O.; Michael J. Murray, M.D.; William B. Swallow, D.O.; Joylin G. Dsa, M.D.; Adaku U. Orisadele, M.D.; Pratibha V. Vakharia, M.D.; Patricia A. Farley, D.O.; Nalin G. Patel, M.D.; Cathleen M. Veach, M.D.; John W. Gehman, M.D.; Carlos M. Recalde, M.D.; Kimberly Williams, PA-C; Karina Henriquez, M.D.; Danielle Rheel, PA-C; Virginia M. Wray, D.O.; Nancy Hepler, CRNP; Edward H. Ridings, D.O.; Spencer Kepner, PA-C; and Bernard R. Rogers, M.D.
"To Our Community:
"As you know, the Lewistown Healthcare Foundation and the Geisinger Health System recently signed an agreement to merge. Our closing date is set for September 30th.
"In the meantime, though, it is important that the community knows what to expect regarding our physicians and their plans for staying in our community. As we've said before, and as it states in our agreement with Geisinger, all physicians are welcome to stay in the community and continue to see their patients in their offices and in the hospital whether they are employed, contracted or independent.
"We know that many of you have heard comments from some physicians indicating that they are going to leave the community and no longer use the hospital. We also know that, because of these comments, you are concerned about the status of your own physician, so we decided it was important to share the following information with you now. The physicians listed below have informed us that they plan to remain in the community and continue to see patients in their offices and in the hospital just as they do today.
"We hope that this information is helpful to you and we hope that you continue to use Lewistown Hospital for your healthcare services when you need them. It is vital to remember how important our community hospital is to us, both in terms of the life-saving measures it stands prepared to give twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, but also in terms of its role as the chief economic engine for this community.
"If you have questions or concerns, please call Kay Hamilton at 242-7102.
"Sincerely, Kay Hamilton, RN, MS, President/CEO and Ned Ridings, D.O., President Medical-Dental Staff."