SUNBURY, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — It’s a big blow. UPMC Sunbury is in the process of closing its doors. Some services will end by next week.
In less than a week, local ambulance companies will no longer transport patients to UPMC Sunbury. All inpatient and outpatient services will end by the end of January 2020.
“Oh it’s a shame many of our patients use our ER and our inpatient facility and it is a shame for our patients,” said Dr. Jessica Pagana-Defazio of the Family Practice Center.
This is just the beginning. The hospital announced the entire facility will be closed by the end of March. This is partly because people in the area are going to other hospitals for their care.
Pastor Richard Fangmann of Zion Lutheran Church said,
“It came I think as a shock to the whole community. A lot of us weren’t aware of struggles through running of the hospital.”
He tells Eyewitness News that this could create issues for many in the region.
“People that have trouble traveling are the ones that depend on that hospital the most and they’re going to be left scrambling to find other places.”
The next closest hospitals include Evangelical in Lewisburg, Geisinger in Danville and Shamokin Area Community Hospital.
“And they all provide very good care but they’re all ten minutes away if not more,” said Pagana-Defazio.
Julie Keely of Sunbury posted on Facebook
“I’m worried about my mom and her health issues. COPD and a heart condition. She would never make it to any other hospital,” said Keely.
Not only do people depend on the hospital for treatment, others will lose their jobs.
PA CareerLink set up a healthcare job fair Thursday with at least 20 businesses showing up with potential jobs for people out of work because of the hospital closing.
Jamie Mercaldo with PA CareerLink says, “My hope is that they can quickly find jobs that they’re happy in.”
“Well we hate to see it close, we were just there not too long ago. A lot of jobs were lost. We’re still from Wood-Mode trying to find a job yet,” says Yolanda O’Neal of McClure.
The closing process is already underway. Behavioral health admissions stopped services at UPMC Sunbury last Friday.