Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 32

L A N C A S T E R M E D I C A L S O C I E T Y.O R G

Perspectives

" I anticipate seeing some additional ambulatory sites in the county, " he said.
A challenge Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health may encounter in 2021 involves
the willingness of Lancaster County residents
to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Burgess
said the medical community must work hard
to educate the public about the value of the
vaccine and encourage residents to get it.
" I think you might have pockets of people
who resist getting it, and that's unfortunate, " he
said. " I think 2021 could see us getting pretty
much back to normal, but only if enough
residents get the vaccine. "
DR. CHRISTOPHER DEFLITCH,
CHIEF MEDICAL INFORMATION
OFFICER, PENN STATE HEALTH,
AND AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN
AT PENN STATE HEALTH MILTON
S. HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTER
Penn State Health expanded in 2020 despite
the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dr. Christopher DeFlitch, Chief Medical Information
Officer at Penn State Health and an Emergency
Physician at the Penn State Health Milton S.
Hershey Medical Center, predicted continued
growth for 2021.

" We have two major building projects
underway, and in 2020 Holy Spirit Hospital
became part of the Penn State Health family, "
DeFlitch said. " We will continue to grow in
2021 and 2022, both with new construction
and partnerships with medical groups that
wish to join our family. "
Currently under construction are the Penn
State Health Hampden Medical Center, located
off Route 81 in Enola, Cumberland County,
and the Penn State Health Lancaster Medical
Center, located near the intersection of State
Road and Harrisburg Pike in East Hempfield
Township. The Hampden Medical Center is
on target to open in summer 2021 and the
Lancaster Medical Center in summer 2022.
Penn State Health in November completed
the acquisition of Holy Spirit Health System,
including Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill.
Also, according to DeFlitch, Penn State
Health has been able to increase its staff size
through recruitment and partnerships with
physician groups.
" We've had a number of physician groups
wanting to come and join us at Penn State
Health, " he said. " I anticipate these partnerships
will continue to grow. "

LANCASTER

32

PHYSICIAN

Regarding the pandemic, DeFlitch predicted
life will begin to return to a sense of normalcy
by fall of 2021. However, he said, the COVID
experience will have some lasting effects on the
medical community and how it treats patients.
Telehealth, in limited use prior to the
pandemic, quickly came to the forefront of
care when in-person doctor visits were all but
halted with the advent of the virus. DeFlitch
believes virtual visits are here to stay, and for
good reason.
" We've found that telehealth works really
well for a lot of patients, " he said. " Twenty-twenty forced us into that situation, but
I believe it will remain with us as part of our
future. There are some things we can't do
remotely, but there are many things we can
do, and maybe should do remotely. "
It is his hope, DeFlitch said, that insurers
will continue to support the use of telehealth
by providing reimbursements comparable to
those for in-person visits.
The pandemic has raised awareness of a
variety of challenges, DeFlitch said, ranging
from supply chain logistics to widespread need
in communities across the country, and those
issues should continue to be addressed as we
move into the new year. He also cited inclusion
and diversity as issues to be addressed in 2021,



Lancaster Physician Winter 2021

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