Dr. Baltazar Corcino believes in taking a patient-centered approach to healthcare at the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic.
CLEARFIELD, Pa. – The number of patients served by the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic (SWC), an affiliate of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging (CCAAA) continues to grow as word spreads about the extraordinary level of care that doctors, nurses, and staff there provide to the community. They are, however, still accepting new patients of all ages, 18 and older.
According to American Family Care the top qualities people look for in a primary care physician are trust, accessibility, caring, and competency. For Dr. Baltazar Corcino, who has practiced at SWC since it first opened, providing those characteristics in care means taking a traditional approach.
“The practice of medicine has changed a lot over the years, it’s become too impersonal and not patient focused, as it should be,” Corcino lamented. “Here, we want to make it more like it used to be, with a personal touch, and by really learning about our patients and hearing their concerns.”
Corcino graduated from the University of Santo Tomas School of Medicine of the Philippines in 1963, and went on to become the first full-time emergency room doctor at Clearfield Hospital beginning in 1971. He’s well informed when he speaks of the caring and compassionate approach of days gone by, because he was there. And he advocates bringing that approach, trust, accessibility, and caring back to patients at SWC by offering things like in-home visits for those who are not able to make it into the office due to mobility or transportation issues.
“Some people don’t have transportation, or just can’t get out. So, we go to them,” Corcino said. “We are going to see a lady today who lives alone and doesn’t drive. Otherwise, she would have no access to medical care, so we visit her at her home.”
Staff at the SWC also hold regular remote clinics at area senior centers in addition to making house calls. They are currently offering in-home COVID vaccinations, as well.
“It’s all about access to care for those who are unable to travel,” said CCAAA Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Gillespie, who conceived the idea for the clinic after seeing the need for remote clinics and home visits demonstrated by those who may be home-bound, or find travel difficult. “There were very few options for in-home care in our area, and with a large senior demographic in Clearfield and surrounding counties, someone had to do something to keep these individuals from falling through the cracks.”
According to USA Facts across Pennsylvania, the over 65 age group was the fastest growing between 2010 and 2021 with its population increasing 25.6%. Clearfield County was among the highest counties with a growing senior demographic, with the county’s 65 and over population the fastest growing between 2010 and 2021, increasing 19.6%, demonstrating a significant increase in the need for senior services.
The SWC continues to answer this call through innovative methods. In addition to doctors and nurses making home visits, the clinic also employs pharmacists who visit consumers at home to fill their medication boxes and assure their prescriptions are being taken properly.
However, the SWC does not just serve seniors. Anyone age18 and over may seek treatment at the clinic, and are welcome to take advantage of all services provided including preventative medicine, healthcare screenings, annual wellness visits, laboratory testing, immunizations, telehealth services, chronic pain management, education, and more. Younger adults may be pleasantly surprised by the experience of visiting a traditional, hometown doctor’s office where they can even be treated as a walk-in or make a same-day appointment if a need suddenly arises.
“I like working with people, and we have a good time,” Corcino said through a smile. “We joke, we laugh. We don’t just talk about medicine. We talk about family, we talk about life. And we get done when we get done. As long as it takes.”
The SWC has locations at 1924 Daisy Street Extension in Clearfield, in the former PennDOT building, as well as 28944 Frenchville Karthaus Highway in Frenchville. To schedule an appointment at either location, call 814-765-2695. For more information, visit http://www.susqwell.com/