PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local health chain is investing tens of millions of dollars to develop a facility in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s converting a former Walmart department store building into a site offering an array of medical services.
It’s been more than a decade since this 124,000-square-foot retail space served shoppers in this area. But soon, it will become a one-stop shop to help meet the medical needs in the community.
Gary Galvin of Exeter stops for lunch at Napoli’s Pizza in downtown Pittston. It’s just up the road from Geisinger Pittston.
“That’s where we go. That’s where I go,” Galvin said.
Soon he and others will be able to go to another Geisinger facility in the Pittston area. As a once-popular shopping destination, the former Walmart department store on Oak Street. Galvin states, “It’s great news. Because the building has just been sitting there for ten years and no one has been able to go through. No one has been able to use it, so it’s good to see it.”
Geisinger completed the purchase of the site in April. The fact that it’s located just off Route 315 and Interstate 81, and in the heart of Northeastern Pennsylvania, is no happy coincidence.
“This is equidistance between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. It’s right off the interstate. It’s easy to get to for everyone,” Geisinger North Chief Administrative Officer Ron Beer said.
The building will be transformed into what will be called Geisinger Healthplex CenterPoint.
“You know, to convert a Walmart into a surgery center, there’s a lot of work to do. But, we’ve got it planned out,” Geisinger Chief Operating Officer Matt Walsh said.
Artist renderings show what the $80 million health facility will look like. It will feature nine clinical suites offering such services as Surgery and Endoscopy, Orthopedics, Urology, Laboratory, and Imaging, Urgent Care, even Ophthalmology and retail eyewear.
“We’re starting to see a lot of services move to the outpatient setting. And so in order to do that, we wanted to make things easy, we wanted to make it convenient,” Beer said.
That kind of convenience is something Christine Manganiello of West Pittston finds appealing.
“Especially when you’re dealing with medical. You know how that is. Medical, you just want to have your answers and doctors looking at you and getting everything done in one day so you’re not thinking about it, ” said Managaniello.
If everything goes according to plan, Geisinger Healthplex CenterPoint should be ready for consumers by summer 2022.
Geisinger says the new health facility will also create 154 jobs. It’s the latest Geisinger investment in Luzerne County which totals more than $200 million since the start of 2019.