Jamestown has successfully recruited enough hospitalists to the area that it is no longer in need, but is still seeking a variety of other qualified doctors.
The Health Care Action Team is a working group of the Strategic Planing and Partnerships Commission. It was formed to focus on the impact of health care on development in the community, as well as accessible, high-quality health care for residents.
During Thursday's Health Care Action Team meeting, Dr. Marlene Garone spoke about recruitment efforts for an ear, nose and throat surgeon at WCA Hospital. Currently, there is not an ENT surgeon on staff at the hospital.
"We are working with, as partners, UPMC Hamot. A significant part of the relationship with the clinical affiliation is assistance with bringing physicians to Jamestown," Garone said. "They asked us what specific areas that we felt we wanted to add additional physicians, and ENT has been one."
For four years, Garone said she has been attempting to recruit an ENT surgeon. Although she has found several candidates, none of them have chosen to move to this area.
"It is hard to recruit a single specialist. They want to feel connected to a larger group of their peers," Garone said.
Working with a doctor from Erie who currently has several ENT surgeons on his staff, Garone said they are working to establish an outpatient ENT service. The intent, Garone said, is to recruit another ENT surgeon.
Additionally, Garone announced that recently, WCA Hospital received its New York state license for its hospitalists.
"That moves us to six full-time hospitalists that are actually employed and living in the community," Garone said.
According to Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney, action team chair, hospitalist positions are completely full now. The Health Care Action Team will be focusing on finding another orthopedic surgeon, as well as another physician assistant.
Also at the meeting Thursday, the Health Care Action Team discussed the health care facility The Resource Center is looking to build.
Already, The Resource Center has expanded its existing location and brought in two additional physician assistants, who will be starting in September. As for the proposed Harrison Street location for the new facility, Steve Riczker, director of health and diagnostic and treatment services for the Resource Center, said TRC is still open to other locations.
"We never said we have to keep that site," Riczker said. "We were kind of directed toward that site a little bit. It's been open for a long time, and there might be some federal dollars available to develop the site. But, we're definitely open to other sites."
The facility TRC is looking to develop is a 13,000-square-foot facility. It would also need room for parking.
"We looked at some of the other options, and they just didn't have that level of space," Riczker said. "But again, we're open to anything. I think there might be a few options out there developing at this point. Our commitment is to the patients and making sure that we are accessible to them."
According to Riczker, once the new facility is built, it will be a "one-stop shop" for a variety of programs, including mental health, speech, podiatry and medical services.