SUNBURY, PA (WBRE/WYOU) — A hospital is closing its doors next year in Northumberland County.
The announcement was made Thursday morning and many people who use the medical center are in shock. UPMC Susquehanna announced Thursday after carefully evaluating options for future health systems, it will be closing its doors next year.
“I’m certainly hoping that there is something close by. I mean, it’s unfortunate that this is happening,” Jamie Koons said.
Koons is a patient of UPMC Susquehanna and was in complete shock when she learned about the closing, especially after starting physical therapy less than a month ago.
“I’m shocked. I just walked out after I got my physical therapy and I just heard about it. I’m in shock because now I’m going to have to find another place to get my therapy which I’ve been three weeks into,” Koons said.
The public announcement was made Thursday morning. Hospital officials say they are consolidating services and will be placing the current employees at other positions within UPMC facilities in the Susquehanna region.
Eyewitness News asked to speak to employees in the hospital, but were declined. UPMC of Susquehanna says there will be no lapse in patient care and their top priorities are patients and their employees. Angela Baylor of Sunbury says this closing will impact many people in the town.
“I’m really sad by it because a lot of people don’t have cars and it’s an easy access for emergencies, even the elderly. I mean, it’s a hike for another hospital,” Baylor said.
“I’m surprised. I really am because I thought that they were going to make and bring back Sunbury a little bit and you know, I’m just really surprised that we just found out today,” Donna Parente of Sunbury said.
Without UPMC Susquehanna, other hospitals aren’t relatively close by.
“Geisinger and E-Van (Evangelical Community Hospital). Geisinger is like a 25-minute drive and E-Van is like a 30-minute drive.
“They have to go so far if they close this one down. You see an ambulance go up in here every day, trying to get to the place, so it’s a necessary thing to have here in Sunbury,” Bobby Mayhew of Sunbury said.
No plans have yet been made for the future use of the Sunbury facility and will be officially closing March 31st, 2020. For more information, visit UPMCSusquehanna.org.