HONESDALE — After more than 40 years as a privately-owned practice, on August 1st , Pediatric Practices of Northeast Pennsylvania (PPNP) will become part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC), a burgeoning multi-specialty network of physician offices with sites throughout Wayne, Pike, Lackawanna and Susquehanna Counties.

According to Paul M. Diamond, MD, FAAP, board-certified pediatrician and one of four physician partners of PPNP, the move from independently owned to member-organization practice offered significant benefits.

“We decided to join a larger entity to enhance our recruiting efforts to replace retiring partners.

“Also, like many other small businesses, the ever increasing cost of computer support and health insurance for our employees posed challenges that we thought could be better addressed if we were part of a larger entity,” stated Dr. Diamond.

Across its three offices in Honesdale, Waymart and Sterling, PPNP serves 10,000 infant, children and adolescent patients.

Over 26,000 visits are conducted annually. Pediatricians Dr. Diamond; Robert Morton, MD, FAAP; Meredith Hellstern, MD, FAAP as well as mid-level providers Stephen Cahoon, PA-C; Janet Eisele, MSN, CRNP; Gwen Miller, PA-C and Kayla Esterline, PA-C in addition to nearly 40 staff members will all remain employed as WMCHC takes ownership. A fourth physician, Basya Marcus, MD, FAAP, will retire on July 31st .

According to WMCHC Executive Director Frederick Jackson, PPNP is a very welcome addition, “we spent a great deal of time working with the physician partners and administrative staff to ensure that the coming together of WMCHC and PPNP would be in the best interest for all concerned—from parents and patients to providers and support staff.”

Based on remarks from Robert Morton, MD, FAAP, board-certified pediatrician and 35 year physician partner at PPNP, partnering with WMCHC fulfills the desire to allow the local community to enjoy the same high quality specialty care it has for over four decades.

“We chose WMCHC because we recognize the health centers are invested in providing quality care in our community,” Morton stated, “ We felt the WMCHC team understands how best to provide that personalized care as opposed to a larger institution.”

As part of the transition, all three PPNP offices will be renamed to reflect the area they serve as well as carry the WMCHC identifier as a “health center.” Updated signage will be placed at each site soon bearing new names – the 1837 Fair Avenue office will be called the Honesdale Pediatric Center; Waymart’s 27 B Woodlands Drive location will become the Waymart Pediatric Center and lastly, the Lake Ariel office at 62 Industrial Park Road will be known as the Sterling Pediatric Center.

As far as parents and patients are concerned, the PPNP partners expect minimal disruption. “We anticipate a seamless transition,” said Dr. Diamond, “our patients will likely not notice any changes.”

WMCHC is a federally qualified health center clinically affiliated with Wayne Memorial Health System, Inc.

For more information on all of the services provided by WMCHC, visit www.wmchc.net or call 570-253-8390.