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Entrance to the center during the tour inside new WellSpan Endoscopy Center in West Earl Township on Monday, April 29, 2024.

Wait times for a colonoscopy are expected to decrease from as long as nine months to as little as several weeks now that the new WellSpan Endoscopy Center at Barrett Boulevard is open.

Located at 4150 Barrett Blvd., West Earl Township, the practice is the health system’s first dedicated endoscopy center in Lancaster County. It has a staff of four doctors, two nurse practitioners, eight nurses, one central sterile processing team member, six technicians and six anesthesia providers. The center is expected to treat thousands of patients each year, spokesperson Ryan Coyle said.

The WellSpan Endoscopy Center was created to increase availability of appointments, according to Dr. David Gasperack, vice president and regional chief medical officer at WellSpan Health.

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Endoscopy procedure room during the tour inside new WellSpan Endoscopy Center in West Earl Township on Monday, April 29, 2024.

The newly renovated building is also home to the WellSpan Digestive Health specialty practice, which relocated from its former location at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital. The practice had been based at the hospital for about a year before the move, said Gasperack. Also in the building is WellSpan Pain Management, which has been at that location since opening in 2009 and joined WellSpan around 2015, Coyle said by email.

WellSpan Digestive Health is staffed by the same doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners as the endoscopy center, according to Coyle.

Historically, wait times for a colonoscopy would be six to nine months, Gasperack said, but the new center and its additional staff mean patients can get in for the procedure in as short as a couple weeks.

The practice is located in a now renovated building that was part of an $8.5 million real estate purchase WellSpan Health made in October that also included two empty lots in the same Brownstone Commons business park.

Originally set up as offices, the building space was renovated and the floor plan completely changed to create the endoscopy center, according to Gasperack.

“This was pretty much a gut job, because we took what was office space and turned it into procedure rooms,” he said.

The center has 10 exam rooms, Coyle said, in addition to two procedure rooms currently ready for use and a third available for expansion. Coyle declined to disclose the cost of the renovations.

The center is located next to US Digestive Health at Oregon Pike, which has a doctor’s office and endoscopy center and is not affiliated with WellSpan.

The location for the WellSpan Health center was chosen because it’s convenient for patients and central to WellSpan Health’s market, Gasperack said. He added that it’s hard to find space in Lancaster County that’s available to be repurposed into space for medical procedures.

The first patients were seen at the beginning of this week, and the first procedures will begin Monday, Gasperack said. According to Coyle, those first patients would likely have been seen in the practice, not the endoscopy center.

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