Susquehanna Wellness Clinic innovates patient care with home visits, personal touch, and more
Registered Nurse and Practice Manager Megan Patrick looks up from her computer screen at the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic on Daisy Street in Clearfield. She turns to her colleague and fellow registered nurse Laura Nearhood. “He’s been in with this patient for two hours,” Patrick says. “What other doctor would do that?”
Mature Resources, a subsidiary of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, (CCAAA) opened the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic at 28944 Frenchville Karthaus Highway in Frenchville in 2020. The agency followed that with the opening of a second location in the former PennDOT building on Daisy Street in Clearfield in 2022.
Though Patrick has worked with Dr. Baltazar Corcino since the clinic’s inception, she is still in awe of the personal investment he makes in the care of his patients. Corcino explains his commitment saying, “I take time with my patients. Some have concerns, some are anxious. When they leave, they’re not so anxious any more. That’s because I take all the time they need to talk with them, explain things to them, and to really hear them. I don’t hurry them. I listen. I listen for as long as it takes to put them at ease; and we schedule appointments in a way that allows that extra time without making others wait.”
When the patient emerges from the exam room, she’s smiling, indicating that Corcino’s methods work. The veteran in the medical field has been in practice since 1965, yet his colleagues say his passion and enthusiasm is just as strong as it was nearly six decades ago. That’s what keeps him in the white coat when he could be enjoying retirement.
“I just love to work,” Corcino says. “I especially love to work in Clearfield and Frenchville. The people here are so nice, so friendly and caring, and I love to help them and keep them healthy.”
Corcino graduated from the University of Santo Tomas School of Medicine of the Philippines in 1963. He completed a residency in New Jersey before a coworker told him about a new emergency room opening in rural Pennsylvania. He jumped at the chance to be the first full-time emergency room doctor at Clearfield Hospital beginning in 1971. He and his family have called Clearfield home ever since, as he has continued to serve the community over the years while at the hospital, in private practice, as a founding member of the Clearfield Professional Group medical center, and now at the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic, operated by the Area Agency on Aging.
Corcino’s caring bedside manner made him a natural fit for practicing at the Susquehanna Clinic. Wholly unique in their approach, the clinic employs some of the only medical staff in the region who still make house calls and hold remote clinic days at senior centers and high rises, bringing the care to the patients. If an office visit is necessary, the clinic also provides transportation to and from the clinic for those who have no other options for transportation.
“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 though the cracks.”
While senior care initially inspired the clinic’s care model, adults of any age, 18 and over, may also seek treatment at the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic, and are welcome to take advantage of all services provided. In addition to geriatric care, those services include adult medicine, preventative medicine, healthcare screenings, annual wellness visits, laboratory testing, immunizations, telehealth services, chronic pain management, education, patient transportation, and of course, the remote clinics and in-home visits.
“We take a holistic approach,” Patrick explained. “We don’t just treat one symptom. If you come in with a concern, we’ll address that, but we’ll also check everything we can to assure you’re in good overall health, and really get to the bottom of the illness or injury you may be struggling with.”
Patrick continued, “We have one patient who just had his wisdom teeth taken out. We are not a dentist or oral surgeon’s office, so we did not perform the work. But we knew he had the procedure, so we called to check in and see how he was, just because we really care about every aspect of our patients’ health.”
Doctors and nurses divide their time between the two clinic locations in order to make visits convenient and close to home for patients. The Clearfield clinic is fully staffed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The Frenchville clinic is fully staffed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
To schedule an appointment with the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic at either location, call 814-765-2695. For more information, visit http://www.susqwell.com/