TROY - Healthcare in western Bradford County took another step forward Tuesday as the ribbon was cut for the new Guthrie Troy Practice.

The debut of the clinic comes on the heels of the opening earlier this fall of the new Guthrie Troy Community Hospital. According to a news release, the new medical office building is double the size of the former Fenner Avenue location and includes 36 exam rooms, ample parking, and convenient access to hospital-based services at the adjoining hospital. The new $5.9 million medical office is 17,500 square feet.

"The opening of this office kind of completes the circuit for us," said Dr. Joseph Scopelliti, president and CEO of Guthrie Health, before a gathering of people inside the building.

"It now allows patients to come to one stop, indoors, to see their doctor, have an x-ray, get a lab test, or maybe receive an in-patient treatment that's required. They're all in one facility, under one roof, kind of a destination resort for your healthcare needs. And we're very excited that we've been able to provide such a nice environment for our patients and this community."

He noted that "Guthrie is very committed to providing healthcare resources to rural communities."

He said rural populations have been "a bit shortchanged" with healthcare in the last 20 or 30 years, with resources, money, and people going to urban and suburban areas.

"We have been very much committed to replenishing the healthcare resources of our rural community, and I think it's really a wonderful example of what we've now been able to provide for Troy."

But, he said, in reality, Troy has been able to provide the recent improvements for itself.

"The patients, the people of this community, have been ardent supporters of the healthcare organizations here, and our employees have provided a wonderful, caring environment for the people of this community, and those two things together were really the fuel that encouraged us as an organization to make the investment. So, we are very proud of the community here, of our staff and the employees, and we are hopeful that for many years to come this facility will serve their needs."

The second speaker was Troy Practice Lead Physician Dr. Kari Wood.

"Welcome to our new home," she said. "You have no idea how much hard work and dedication have gone into this building."

She said the new building was necessary.

"I cannot even express how wonderful it is to walk in here in the morning and know where things are, to not be tripping over my fellow providers and nurses," she commented. "This is truly a one-stop shop, a medical home for our patients."

She noted that many of the doctors at the new Guthrie Troy Practice are local residents, and two more local doctors are expected to be on the staff in the future, once they finish their residencies.

Wood provided some background information on the office.

"Needless to say, we certainly provide everything you would need for primary care in this facility," she commented, noting that this ranges from pre-natal to nursing home care.

In addition, specialty physicians and other various services are available.

She said Guthrie is happy to have the support of the community.

Afterwards, the official ribbon cutting was held outside the main entrance, located at 285 Guthrie Dr.

The Guthrie Troy Practice opened to patients Monday. Its hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Laboratory hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Those seeking to make an appointment with primary care, audiology, cardiology, gastroenterology, general surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, occupational medicine or orthopaedics should call (570) 297-4104.

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: reviewtroy@thedailyreview.com.