EAST NORRITON >> In five short years, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery has become such an integral part of the East Norriton landscape that memories of Wood’s Golf Center, which had previously called the land home for 55 years, may be harder and harder to hold onto for some folks.
Just as its first anniversary rolled around in the fall of 2013, the beauty of the facility at 559 W. Germantown Pike had earned the superstructure with the welcoming five-story lobby atrium and a year-round healing garden as its gateway kudos as the fifth “Most Beautiful Hospital in America,” in a survey sponsored by Soliant Health.
At the five-year milestone, it is clear that the world has embraced Einstein Montgomery for far more than its aesthetic qualities since the $350 million vision became a reality on Sept. 29, 2012.
The vast array of Einstein Healthcare Network services here now range from Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery to Cardiac Care, including open heart surgery, cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology intervention and Cancer Care, accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons for demonstrated commitment to patient care, to Physical and Medical Rehabilitation by the top-ranked MossRehab.
“When patients are discharged from the hospital, as an inpatient, or when they get certain outpatient services, they have the opportunity to share with us what their experience has been. We have made strides in improving the patient’s experience as well as elevating the quality of care that we provide,” noted chief operating officer Beth Duffy.
“Our commitment to the community was very clear from the start and I’m very proud of the fact that we have embraced this community, but so happy that this community has embraced us. One of the greatest lessons learned,” Duffy added, “is how needed this facility was in this community. We’ve outpaced every projection that we did when we were getting ready to build the facility, and the re-projecting we did as we went along.”
The growth of the Einstein Montgomery footprint itself exceeded expectations practically from the outset, Duffy pointed out.
“About a year after we opened we were already in expansion mode, which was way above the time frame we originally established,” she said.
At that time, the hotel-like ambiance and privacy of the initial 146 rooms was fanned out to include an additional 24 beds.
“We also added another neonatal intensive care unit because our mom-baby services continue to grow. Our expansion as it relates to outpatient services has also been very consistent,” added Duffy, who said the ambulatory expansion has kept pace with the growth. “We started out with opening our site in Collegeville and about a year and a half ago we opened in King of Prussia.”
The concern in some quarters that as the hospital’s Norristown roots at Montgomery Hospital transitioned to East Norriton various services would be phased out proved to be unwarranted, Duffy allowed.
“That’s where our first commitment came, in maintaining those services, and we’ve actually expanded the services,” she said. “We’ve also brought to Central Montgomery County a tertiary level care hospital that people didn’t have before. We know that the number of patients that had to leave this community to get certain health care services has been reduced, that people are now staying here to get those services.”
Einstein Montgomery will continue to expand its reach, Duffy noted, with sites opening in the near future in Lansdale and Blue Bell.
The latter location, at 676 DeKalb Pike, will house a family practice operation geared toward the Korean community and will feature a gastroenterology practice, as well as gastroenterology procedure rooms.
Lansdale will offer MossRehab services and also serve as a multi-specialty practice “staffed with Einstein and community-based specialists,” noted Duffy, who said that in the future she was looking forward to increasing the hospital’s alliance with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a women’s and children’s tower to be built on the campus, and an academic program planned for 2019.
“We’ll be training the physicians of the future by opening three residency programs here … one in primary care, one in internal medicine and one in what we call a transitional program for people going into specialties who need to have a basic year of training before they move on,” explained Duffy, who said one of the things she is proudest of is the number of jobs that Einstein Montgomery has been able to provide over the last five years.
“When we opened we had a staff of about 900 people and we’ve added almost 500 additional jobs in a five-year period. That’s pretty exciting. Those that came over from Montgomery Hospital and all of the folks that have joined us since are committed to providing services for our patients and are committed to offering quality outcomes to people,” she said. “They are engaged with the patients and many of them live in this community as well.”
The commitment that Einstein Medical Center Montgomery made to the community five years ago was just the beginning, Duffy noted.
“We’re going to continue with that commitment,” she said.