Shriners Erie Becomes Ambulatory Facility; Children’s Hospital to Establish Specialty Care Clinics

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Officials at Shriners Hospitals for Children® – Erie announced today that the facility is now officially an ambulatory surgery center and outpatient specialty care center, following a successful licensure survey by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. While retaining the Shriners Hospitals for Children corporate name, the facility will be known as the Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Erie Outpatient Specialty Care Center. Erie is the first facility in the Shriners Hospitals system to undergo this transformation.

In addition, officials from Shriners Hospitals and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC announced that they have signed an agreement for Children’s Hospital to lease a portion of the Erie Shriners second floor to establish Children’s Hospital Specialty Care Center Erie. The center, operating as an independent outpatient satellite of Children’s Hospital, will begin seeing patients this summer. It will be staffed by physicians from Children’s Hospital on a rotating basis, and include such pediatric subspecialties as endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, neurosurgery and pulmonology.

“This transformation of the Erie Shriners facility has been in the planning stages for nearly three years,” said Charles R. Walczak, Erie Shriners administrator. “Under this new ambulatory model we will be continuing our mission that began in 1927 by providing ambulatory pediatric medical services, including ambulatory surgery, outpatient rehabilitation and outpatient medical care through our Outpatient Clinic. Children will continue to have access to these services regardless of their family’s ability to pay.”

Inpatient surgeries (those requiring at least an overnight hospital admission) remain available to any Shriners patient that needs such care, but those surgeries have been transitioned to partnering hospitals: Shriners Hospitals for Children® – Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC or UPMC Hamot in Erie. Such surgeries will be performed by Shriners’ physicians, and all pre-surgical and follow-up care continues to be provided at the Erie Shriners facility.

The Erie Shriners Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center will maintain all of its other clinical services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiology, movement analysis, care coordination, etc.

The new leasing agreement with Children’s Hospital involves portions of the second floor of the Erie facility which used to house the inpatient unit.

“With this new agreement, pediatric subspecialists from Children’s Hospital will come to Erie on a regular basis to see children for outpatient care,” said James Roach, M.D., pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital and medical director of the Shriners Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center. “Children’s Specialty Care Center will allow families from the Erie region to receive expert subspecialty medical care for their children that is among the best in the world without having to leave their community and travel long distances.”

Though located at the Erie Shriners facility, these new subspecialty clinics will be under the direction of Children’s Hospital.

“With the Shriners continuing to provide expert pediatric orthopedic care, and Children’s Hospital establishing other pediatric subspecialty clinics on our second floor, the Erie Shriners facility will become a regional centerpiece for medical care for children,” Walczak said. “Over time, we will lease space to other pediatric providers of care that will complement the existing services in the facility.”