LEWISBURG – Another major collaboration between Valley health providers has been made with hopes of making greater impacts of the community’s health and wellness. During a press conference Thursday, Evangelical Community Hospital and Geisinger announced a joint venture that is acquiring Lewisburg’s The Miller Center. The Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA will manage the overall facility. Therefore, the new facility will be named ‘YMCA at The Miller Center powered by Evangelical and Geisinger.’
Matt Miller, Miller Center Board Member and acting Executive Director, says the family always wanted this to be a collaboration when it opened in July 2017, “This had very little to do with any benefit to the Miller family, and it had everything to do with how we could change the community dynamically, and bringing these partners on board just elevates that vision.”
Evangelical President and CEO Kendra Aucker says the joint venture is expected to be finalized no later than December 15. Aucker says all Miller Center employees of around 100 will be retained either by the YMCA or Evangelical. The joint venture will also acquire six additional acres of land on The Miller Center Property, which will be converted into additional parking at the facility.
Aucker says since all the involved organizations had the same vision to collaborate, the time was right to make the move, “When ‘The Y’ started down this path, when The Miller Center started down this path, they each had their visions, and Geisinger and Evan have been speaking for years about what we could do together, saying, ‘We could realize something that’s greater for the community.’”
The YMCA will also be installing an Olympic and therapeutic pool in the facility, as well as expanding child care services. YMCA CEO Bonnie McDowell says a little under $2 million in funding has already been raised from a similar campaign, and that money will be transferred to the current campaign. The announcement also means the current YMCA Express building in Lewisburg will close at the end of the year, and those 20 employees will be transferred to The Miller Center. McDowell says all members’ ID’s of the current YMCA Express will be good until December 15 at the current facility, and are scheduled to be accepted at the new Miller Center December 16.
Geisinger President/CEO Dr. Jaewon Ryu says the move is about making health easier, “Our organizations individually…we’ve been working on programs and resources that promote that healthy lifestyle, and now together, we’re going to be able to do that. I think health is one of these things where at Geisinger, we think about how it takes a village to make health easier.”
You can watch the announcement on the WKOK Facebook Page.