City Administrator on UPMC Closure: Sunbury working to preserve care

SUNBURY – It may not be sustainable as an inpatient community hospital, but the shutdown of UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury will leave thousands without care, Sunbury City Administrator Jody Ocker expressed that concern in a statement submitted to WKOK.


She told us by mid-Thursday morning, she did receive a courtesy call from UPMC Sunbury President Bob Cane about the March 2020 closure.  Ocker says she asked Cane a series of questions about the future of care in Sunbury after the closure.


Ocker asked about mental health and addition care. Cane noted UPMC is increasing the number r of inpatient psychiatric beds at their Williamsport location. But Cane says in order to get access to that care; patients would have to go to Evangelical Community Hospital, Geisinger, or Geisinger Shamokin. If those hospitals couldn’t admit them, patients would then be taken to Williamsport.


Ocker then expressed deep concerns about many transportation issues for the city’s population, should they need to get care for serious or emergency health issues. Ocker says Cane offered to have further discussions. Ocker says she also wants the city and community to be involved in addressing these issues.


Evangelical Community Hospital President and CEO Kendra Aucker also released a statement:

“Sunbury Community Hospital has a long history of serving the members of our community well,” said Kendra Aucker, President and CEO, Evangelical Community Hospital. “Any closure of this magnitude impacts everyone. Fortunately, this region is rich with excellent healthcare providers. At Evangelical, we will work to ensure the health and wellness needs of the Sunbury community continue to be met and we will work with UPMC to match impacted employees with openings in our organization.”

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