With the retirement of Dr. Allen Ettenger from the Broad Top Area Medical Center (BTAMC) in December, there was a void in pediatric medical services in Huntingdon County.
Now, BTAMC officials wish to announce that void will soon be filled, as there will be a new facility and new pediatricians to come to the county.
Dr. John Roth, BTAMC CEO, said there will be a new site opening up at the Smithfield Towne Center that will house pediatricians from Pediatric Health Care Associates (PHCA) from Altoona as well as Dr. Gregory Strunk, who currently practices with UPMC Huntingdon Family Practice.
“It will be two doors down from the walk-in clinic,” said Roth. “We were introduced to this group by Dr. Hany Shanoudy, and they said they were interested in helping us out when Dr. Ettenger retired.”
They also realized that it would be easier for the physicians from PHCA to come to a facility that wasn’t in J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital.
“Since the walk-in clinic opened up at the (Smithfield Towne Center), we’ve had good success, and it’s easy access for patients, we thought why not open the site here,” said Roth. “Quite honestly, they wanted us to do that with the distance they were traveling.”
This also coincided with Strunk wanting to move his family practice, and Roth thought with Strunk and the pediatricians with PHCA would be a complementary fit.
“We also have Tyler Mansberger, who is a physician assistant, who worked with Strunk when he was training as physician assistant, so he’ll be joining Dr. Strunk here,” he said. “So, the pediatric group, Dr. Strunk and Mansberger will be working out of that site.”
Though the exact opening date is not set, Roth said they hope to move some physicians in by late March and some in by April.
Roth also said how often the physicians will be in the office.
“The pediatricians from PHCA will be there from Monday through Thursday,” said Roth. “Dr. Strunk sees all age groups, so when he’s not in the clinic, on average, he’ll be at the new site two days a week.”
Renovations for the space are set to begin as early as next week, and Roth said BTAMC officials are excited for this new offering for residents in the county.
“We knew there was a big need, so we thought this would be a good way to continue with the service in light of Dr. Ettenger’s retirement,” said Roth.