More than 300 community members and area visitors toured St. Luke's new Tamaqua Medical Center during a community open house held this week at the center.

St. Luke's administrators, physicians and staff held the event to provide people a chance to tour the new 7,600-square-foot facility and meet the clinicians who now offer an array of health services at the new downtown location.

The Tamaqua Medical Center, formerly the Rite Aid Pharmacy (137 Railroad St.), offers outpatient orthopedic services, sports medicine consultations, X-ray, obstetrics-gynecology, midwifery, neurology, laboratory services and other services.

"St. Luke's has made a concerted effort to bring specialty physicians to the community. We are extremely proud to be able to offer cardiology, medical and surgical oncology and urology all within the past year to the geographical area we serve," said Bill Moyer, president, St. Luke's Miners Campus. "We are pleased to open this outpatient center as another location where our community members have easy access to specialists.

"The primary reason for building this center was to fulfill a need in the community as the growth of our orthopedic service required us to relocate the service into a larger space more easily accessible for our patients," said Moyer.

The St. Luke's Orthopedic Specialist practice at the site is comprised of orthopedic surgeon Chandra Reddy, MD, and sports medicine specialist Maheep Vikram, MD. Dr. Reddy is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who began seeing patients at St. Luke's Miners in April of 2011.

Dr. Vikram joined the practice this year. He specializes in sports medicine and pediatric orthopedics. The orthopedic practice is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments may be made at (570) 645-1835.

Additionally, obstetrician/gynecologist (OB-GYN) Jennifer Episcopio, MD, will start seeing patients in a few days and will be joined by Jami Avellini, MD, in July. Both physicians are part of OB-GYN Associates of St. Luke's and will see patients on Tuesdays at the Tamaqua Medical Center. To make an appointment with Dr. Episcopio or Dr. Avellini, call (610) 379-4900.

"We are very fortunate to have an exceptional women's health team to provide a complete range of gynecological and child birth services," said Moyer.

Offering an array of gynecologic and child birth services, St. Luke's certified midwives Linda J. Anderson and Jo Ann M. Haas will see patients every Friday. Their services include prenatal care, labor and birth, post-partum care, breastfeeding education, gynecological care, annual exams and more. The midwifery practice may be reached at (610) 379-4900 for appointments or for information about services.

Diagnostic Imaging is also provided at the center. Patients needing an X-ray may walk in with a doctor's order anytime Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For blood tests and lab services, a new lab location is on site and is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointments are needed, but may be made at (570) 645-1906.

Specialty physicians at St. Luke's Miners Campus include cardiologists Richard Kolecki, MD; Sobhan Kodali, MD; Lynn Moran, DO; and Christopher Cutitta, DO; as well as medical oncologist Renu Lamba, MD and surgical oncologist Roderick Quiros, MD. Additionally, urologist Jonathan Bingham, MD, recently joined the medical staff at the Miners Campus. Dr. Bingham sees both pediatric and adult urologic patients. To make appointments with Dr. Bingham at St. Luke's Miners Campus, please call (570) 645-1898.

"The new center is fabulous," said Ida Piccin of South Tamaqua. "I can come here for care, rather than traveling far for my appointments."

"Success is never about one person, success is always attributed to a great team effort," said Moyer. "This center would not have been possible if not for many great individuals."

Some mentioned were COO Joel Fagerstrom, CEO Rick Anderson, CMG Construction, Architect MKSD, Ed Reed of Reed Signs, Ed and Tim Genetti of Tamstan Realty Company, Vice President of Network Operations Kevin McGovern, Service Line administrator Natalie Gould, Practice Administrator Michele Landis, Chief of Orthopedics Dr. William Delong, Borough of Tamaqua and project managers Brian Walsh, Matt Breter and Kim Sargent.

Moyer also gave credit to the St. Luke's Miners team of managers and employees, to include Joe Tocci, Jane Infante, Carla Davis Lab, Matt Radzom, Mary Ellen Stevens, Tony Gatta, Greg Kindt and others.

In addition to light refreshments, attendees of the open house were offered free osteoporosis and free cholesterol screenings at the center.

"This center is not something that St. Luke's Miners is doing on our own" added Moyer, who said St. Luke's Network has brought 19 new physicians to the Miners Campus in the past two years.

"It is the mission of the St. Lukes University Health Network to provide high quality services that are easy to access. Our network leadership truly understand the importance of addressing the needs of this community and fully stand behind us and our efforts to grow."