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Lancaster General Health and Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital take first step toward broad pediatric partnership

Infants, children and young adults admitted as patients to Lancaster General Hospital now have onsite access to care from Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital pediatricians.  

The service is part of a new pediatric hospitalist partnership between Lancaster General Health and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and is the planned first step toward a broad partnership between the two healthcare providers to expand comprehensive pediatric specialty care for children and families in Lancaster County.

“The health and well-being of our community's children and their families are best advanced through a partnership that delivers comprehensive and compassionate pediatric care,” said Thomas E. Beeman, Ph.D., FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Lancaster General Health. “With Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital as a partner, the opportunity to unite our resources and professional talents to benefit our infants and children is tremendous.”

“As central Pennsylvania's children's hospital, our goal is provide the highest quality of pediatric care to patients and families as close to home as possible,” said Harold L. Paz, M.D., Medical Center CEO, Penn State's senior vice president for health affairs and dean of Penn State College of Medicine. “It is extremely gratifying that through this emerging partnership we can complement the outstanding care provided by Lancaster General Health and extend the renowned services of Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital so that no child needs to leave the region for care of chronic, complex or even life-threatening health conditions.”

In early January, Penn State Hershey began providing short-term coverage of Lancaster General Hospital's pediatric inpatient unit through a group of eight pediatric hospitalists to augment the current physician staff working on the unit.  All eight physicians are employed by Penn State Hershey and now have hospital privileges at Lancaster General Hospital. The physicians care for patients on the pediatric unit and also provide consultation for pediatric patients in LGH's emergency department. 

Under the agreement, management and oversight of the pediatric hospitalist service will be conducted by Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital physician leadership effective July 1, 2012.

Collaborative discussions continue to assess what other pediatric specialty services may be developed in Lancaster County through an expanded partnership between Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and Lancaster General Health.  The initial focus for further collaboration is on several key pediatric services including cardiology, gastroenterology, psychiatry and pulmonary services. Joint initiatives related to specialty and sub-specialty care include inpatient consultation, ambulatory care and emergency department consultation.

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