Since its creation in 1954, Lower Bucks Hospital, located at 501 Bath Road, has grown to become a staple healthcare facility in Bristol and its surrounding communities, offering medical, surgical and emergency care.
Last week, the hospital entered a brand new era with the launch of its Community Health Center – a one-stop-shop for non-emergency services. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Thursday, Aug. 1 on the third floor in Founders Hall, where staff members, residents and elected officials convened to celebrate the center’s grand opening.
According to Michael J. Motte, the hospital’s newly-appointed chief executive officer, the Community Health Center is much like an urgent care.
“The Health Center will be available for everyday illnesses and non-life threatening injuries such as cold, flu, fever, asthma, allergies, minor lacerations, cuts, burns, urinary tract infections, sports injuries, fractures and strains,” Motte said.
But unlike freestanding urgent cares, the center is located within a hospital, bringing added perks to patients.
“One of the things that’s really unique about this clinic is, it’s like one-stop-shopping. You’re right under the hospital’s roof, so everything’s right here. You’ve got radiology, laboratory, physical therapy if you need it,” said Dr. Christopher Belletieri, D.O., head physician of the center and program director for family practice residency. “It’s not just urgent care-type stuff that we’re going to be doing here, although we are open for all of that. We’re primary care docs, too, so we can manage diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, you name it. It’s full service.”
Sonia Mehta, MD, MBA, corporate chief medical officer and regional CEO, named additional services of the Community Health Center, which she said has been in the works for three years. Patients can take advantage of travel immunizations and sports physicals, and residents who are training to become doctors can gain hands-on experience in the center.
“Our goal is really to serve this community,” Mehta said. “The doctors are ready, the clinic is ready. We just need the patients.”
The starting rate for services at the Community Health Center is $38, and discounted prices are available for patients without insurance. Primary care physicians are also on-hand for those who don’t have their own primary care doctor.
Present at the ceremony was Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, who shared his deep ties to Lower Bucks Hospital. While his mother helped with fundraising efforts in the ‘50s to get the facility on its feet, he stayed in that third floor hallway a handful of times to receive treatment.
“The idea of creating this Community Health Center, this urgent care center, is a great idea,” Tomlinson said.
Attendees then heard from Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who presented Motte with a token of appreciation on behalf of all present elected officials, including Bristol Borough Mayor Joe Saxton, Rep. Frank Farry, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, Bensalem Township councilman Ed Tokmajian, Bristol Township councilman Craig Bowen, and representatives from the offices of Rep. John Galloway and Rep. Tina Davis.
“We’re not just proud Bucks Countians. We’re proud Lower Bucks Countians. We all want and need to see this hospital survive and succeed because, as Tommy pointed out, where would we be without Lower Bucks Hospital? Who would be serving this population? We need this hospital to do well,” Fitzpatrick said. “This is an indispensable institution for our proud Lower Bucks County community.”
After the ribbon cutting, catering was provided by Bristol’s King George II Inn.
The Community Health Center has daytime and evening hours, and is open one Saturday a month. For more information, visit lowerbuckshosp.com/Services/Community-Health-Center or call 215-785-9677. ••
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com