New 72,000-square-foot Penn Medicine facility opens in southern Chester County
● By Steven Hoffman
Penn Medicine Southern Chester County, a sparkling new 72,000-square-foot medical office building designed to provide a patient-focused “one-stop shop” for health care, debuted on June 2, as hundreds of people turned out for the official opening and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We are pleased to open this facility so that we can better serve the community,” explained Mike Duncan, the president and CEO of Chester County Hospital. Duncan noted that Penn Medicine and Chester County Hospital have been collaborating for years to provide greater access to top-quality physicians and health care providers, and this is the latest example of that collaboration. The new facility, located near the intersection of Route 796 and Route 1 in Penn Township, offers comprehensive outpatient services to area residents, including everything from primary care to physical therapy to radiology and laboratory services. Chester County Hospital will be the primary tenant, and the new location serves as a natural extension of the other health care services already provided in the area.
“It's obviously an extraordinary facility to see the range of care that will be available here,” said Ralph Muller, president and CEO of Penn Medicine. He explained that Penn Medicine has opened other facilities like this during the last decade to take Penn Medicine care to where the patients are.
Lauren Speakman, a member of the Marketing Department for Chester County Hospital, talked about how Anchor Health Properties, a full-service health care development company, carefully and thoughtfully designed a building that is patient-focused throughout. A spacious lobby area with plenty of seating and natural light is just inside the main entrance. There's also a small cafe that serves refreshments and light meals.
The radiology department, which includes MRI, CT, 3D mammography, X-ray-ultrasound, and bone density testing, features equipment with the latest technological advances. Speakman explained that this is important because the clarity of the images helps a physician make an accurate and timely diagnosis. The state-of-the-art equipment is matched by the skill level of the physicians on site.
“It does matter where you get an MRI because of the equipment and who is reading it,” Speakman explained. “These are all Penn Medicine radiologists.”
The building was designed to include consultation rooms that ensure privacy and comfort, and there are community rooms for wellness programs, physician outreach events, and health fairs.
The outside of the building, Speakman said, is designed to fit in with the look, feel, and style of southern Chester County. There's even a walking trail on the 45-acre property.
Speakman explained that Chester County Hospital already has a strong presence in southern Chester County, with the Medical Office Building at New Garden (located at 830 W. Cypress St. in Kennett Square), the Kennett Medical Campus (on McFarlan Road in Kennett Square), and the Jenners Village Professional Building (located at 105 Vineyard Way in Penn Township).
“Chester County Hospital has been a part of southern Chester County for years,” Speakman explained. “We had a following in the area and we saw a need to expand here.”
In fact, Duncan noted, Chester County Hospital got its start when, in 1892, a group of women from the Kennett Square area formed an auxiliary to support the effort to get a hospital in the county.
Penn Township, which has long been a hub for health care facilities, was a natural location for Penn Medicine Southern Chester County.
“It's a very nice facility,” said Penn Township supervisor Victor Mantegna, one of several township officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
As of June 1, Penn Radiology, Penn Medicine Laboratory, the Center for Physical Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Penn Family Medicine Southern Chester County, and Chester County Eye Care Associates are open. Penn OB/GYN Southern Chester County will be open for obstetrics and gynecology patients starting around July 1. Other offices opening during the summer include Premiere Orthopaedics, West Chester Cardiology, Chester County Otolaryngology & Allergy Associates, and West Chester Gastrointestinal Group. The Chop Care Network West Grove and the Outpatient Surgery Center are expected to open sometime in the fall of 2015.
Paula Crowley, the president and CEO of Wilmington, Del.-based Anchor Health Properties, commented about how remarkably close the finished facility resembles the original vision that Penn Medicine and Chester County Hospital officials had for it five years ago.
Crowley noted that Penn Medicine Southern Chester County became extremely important to Katie Jacoby, the senior vice president of Anchor Health Properties, because she lives in the area.
“As a local resident to Jennersville, it's been particularly rewarding to develop this project in my own backyard,” said Jacoby in a statement. “We designed Penn Medicine Southern Chester County with the patient experience first and foremost. From its visible and convenient location to the amenities and services within, every element is designed to make the experience seamless and pleasant.”
Duncan said that the new facility will serve a growing southern Chester County community.
“Many of the patients who utilize ancillary and inpatient services of Chester County Hospital are residents of southern Chester County,” he explained. “With this population growing, Penn Medicine Southern Chester County allows individuals and families to be seen locally in one convenient location. We anticipate that this will make a very positive difference in the lives of those living in this part of our region.”