Tyrone Hospital still growing

TYRONE – The rebirth of Tyrone Hospital continues.

Next month, tenants will begin moving into the new 12,000-square-foot Tyrone Hospital Health and Wellness Building located on the hospital campus, the first new building to be constructed on the campus since 1996.

“This is part of our growth and evolution. This is like the phoenix rising from the ashes. It shows we are stronger and growing and focusing on health and fitness in the community,” said CEO Stephen Gildea. “The move into the new Tyrone Health and Wellness Building is indicative of the progress that Tyrone Hospital has made in rebuilding the hospital into a regional leader in health care.”

In September 2006, Tyrone Hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In March 2009, a final plan to emerge from bankruptcy was submitted, and 17 months later, Tyrone Hospital was fully emerged from bankruptcy.

The new building will house the new Tyrone Fitness and Wellness Center. The $1.5 million facility is being built by local developer Jeff S. Long, a Tyrone-area native.

“We are leasing the building from Jeff. Jeff is helping Tyrone Hospital to be successful and is positioning us for the future. Jeff stepped up and this speaks highly of his character and his feeling for the hospital,” Gildea said. “He is a big-hearted guy, and is giving back to the community.”

“They needed help, and I felt it was the right thing to do,” Long said. “I am just doing my part to try and help the hospital.”

Programs for the center are being developed through a partnership between Tyrone Hospital and ProCare Physical Therapy, which has been the hospital’s rehabilitation provider for more than eight years.

“We are putting together a unique offering for local businesses in the community. We are trying to help the local businesses keep their employees and families healthy, and when they come to work, productive through work force services. We will have a program for employers to keep their employees healthy,” Gildea said.

The fitness and wellness center will have an adult-based focus.

“The programming will reflect that [adult] demographic. Basic function, range of motion, cardiovascular and resistance-based strengthening are the key elements within the fitness portion of the wellness center,” said Jim Foreman, ProCare president. “Group exercise and group functional training will be offered in small class sizes with an emphasis on high personal touch.”

Integral to the wellness center is a new outpatient physical therapy office, staffed by ProCare, which will offer on-site evaluation and treatment of orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions. Gildea said the new facility will be all about wellness.

“That is what a community-based health care provider should deliver to the community,” Gildea said. “My goal is to make the Tyrone area the healthiest community in the area.”

The new building also will be home to the Breast Cancer and Women’s Health Institute of Central Pennsylvania, which opened May 1, 2012, inside the hospital.

“It will provide them with more room and a comfortable environment for the patients to see Dr. [David] Arbutina [medical director],” Gildea said. “We have patients coming from hours away. It is a comfortable place to be seen.”

Arbutina said the center is a step in the right direction for patients.

“The Breast Cancer and Women’s Health Institute’s move to the new Wellness Center on the Tyrone Hospital Campus is a huge step toward our goal of providing the highest quality care to our breast cancer patients,” Arbutina said. “The plan is for more and better services, and our new home will be just the place to do it.”

The new building also will be home to several physician practices including Cove Surgical Associates, Heimer Eye Care Associates, Advanced Regional Center for Ankle and Foot Care and Nittany Eye Associates. The practices are relocating from other parts of the campus into a central location.

“I can’t think of another hospital that has built a fitness center for the community. We are kind of on the leading edge,” Gildea said.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.