In the 1980’s three women of mild means and with college background went back to school for both personal and community empowerment. Bonita J. Portier went to Osteopathic Medical School after 15 years of preparatory night school. Linda Kelley-Junker completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology and then got her MBA. Rosemary McDermott became a lawyer after working 14 years at FEMA. Rosemary already had been a high school teacher and had a PhD related to education.
In 1999, these three women founded Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center, Inc.
Incorporated June 19, 1999, EOPCC was granted non-profit status on February 15, 2000 as a 501 (c) 3. Our Fein: 52-2179828.
In the year 2000, EOPCC joined Maryland Non Profits and continues to be a member. EOPCC maintained a Board of 5 or greater to meet the non-profit requirements and has always filed its 990’s. EOPCC has also maintained its State non-profit status with Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Emmitsburg Osteopathic primary Care Center, Inc. would not be able to survive if it were not for the services of its all volunteer Board and its many fundraising efforts. These efforts are all directed for the building project only. For the entire existence of EOPCC William Frances Junker and the Linda Kelley Junker have donated their services as bookkeepers and worked closely with the accountants to make sure of 990’s were in order. Laura Portier LaLumiere has donated her services the last 10 years in non-profit management and was our unpaid webmaster until 2009 when her other duties overtook her ability to continue to assist us. Judy Harbaugh, homemaker and volunteer has worked behind the scenes the last 5 years, helping to set up the office during its many moves and getting out over 1500 Christmas cards annually as well as other mailings to patients. Dr. Bonita J. Krempel-Portier, D.O. donates all her medical services related to Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center, Inc. Rosemary McDermott, PhD and Attorney at Law donated her services through 2002. EOPCC’s present attorney, Ray Speciale has provided very reasonably priced services. These key persons have not taken a salary. Their combined work amounts to an in kind contribution greater than $200,000.00 annually to EOPCC. John Bennett, a master electrician donated his services for Phase II of the building project. His in kind services were estimated by the contractors to have saved us $40,000.00. This savings made it possible to complete phase II of the building project. Grant Cadwallader’s donation of his architect start up saved EOPCC about $20,000.00. Volunteers helped over time gut the old buildings, enabling us to removed over 9 ton of construction trash, saving us two weeks of construction time and perhaps over $20,000.00 These and other contributions have allowed the accomplishment of the service and vision and goals of this small non-profit organization since 1999.
Our first address was in rented space, sublet from The Gettysburg Hospital at 52 Water Street, Thurmont, Maryland 21788. Our phone numbers from the beginning always remained 301-447-3310 and 301-447-3312 as it was always our intent to have our permanent address in Emmitsburg. In the Fall of 2000 EOPCC learned that a fellow physician in Gettysburg had several severe medical issues and might not be able to continue in his present medical practice. The Board voted to inquire whether this physician Byravan Viswanathan, MD was in serious need of assistance. Dr. Viswanathan eagerly asked if we could transition his practice into EOPCC. In 2001 EOPCC expanded its offices to Gettysburg, providing the same medical education and medical care in both places. EOPCC bought Dr. Viswanathan’ practice for $30,000.00 and remained at his original site of practice 124 West High Street. That building then was sold to pulmonologist Kirankumar Viramgama, MD. On July 1, 2001 EOPCC in Pennsylvania moved to 820 Chambersburg Road, again subletting from The Gettysburg Hospital until we could get a lease at 455 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Our phone number in Gettysburg was the same as Dr. Viswanathan’s to provide continuity of care: 717-334-8165.
In all of the locations EOPCC provided medical education and medical care according to our mission, core values and vision. From 1995 through July 1, 2008, Dr. Bonita J. Krempel-Portier, D.O. also provided inpatient medical care from both Maryland and Pennsylvania at The Gettysburg Hospital, 147 Gettys Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 and remains in good standing. Dr. Krempel-Portier, D.O. turned her inpatient care over to Hospitalist care July 1, 2008. Dr. Krempel-Portier, D.O. also provided nursing home care to patients at St. Catherine’s Nursing Center and St. Vincent’s Nursing Center in Emmitsburg Maryland Since 1995. These services became part of Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center, Inc. services when EOPCC began its official first day of services September 3, 1999 and as part of the non-profit services when this status was granted February 15, 2000.
During this time EOPCC was looking for a place in Emmitsburg that could eventually be its permanent home. The Board found and approved the purchase of a side by side property at 121-123 West Main Street in Emmitsburg. One portion of the property was built in 1790 and the other in 1885. This Property was purchased from Ernest Schriver for the price of $120,000.00 in 2001. EOPCC paid $26, 0000.00 at Settlement for down payment and settlement fees, and borrowed the balance from Farmers and Mechanics Bank, Emmitsburg, Md, 21727.
After this purchase, the economic resources of EOPCC were strained. Nevertheless, the Board voted to consider architects to help us design the reuse and remake of the property. Local architects were considered. During the decision period, Grant Cadwallader, a world renowned architect, offered to help design the structure and use of the property at no cost to Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center. With great gratitude and relief, the Board accepted Grant Cadwallader’s most gracious offer. The basic plans were drawn up and reached a point when EOPCC was ready to engage a construction company. The plans were given to local construction companies in the Emmitsburg, Thurmont, Westminster, and Frederick areas. Bids were also sought from construction companies in Fairfield and Carlisle. Approach was also made to Emmitsburg Glass to see if they might be part of the project. The response to our inquiries was limited to Westminster and Carlisle companies. A late entry was declined by the Board. Emmitsburg Glass never responded to our inquiries. Under the guidance of architect Grant Cadwallader and a thorough review of the bids, the Board chose McCoy Brothers to do the construction.
The permit process proved to be very complex, the town rejected the work of the local Civil Engineers and Civil Engineers from Baltimore. Finally, the Town of Emmitsburg accepted the work of Civil engineers Fox and Associates out of Frederick, Maryland. During the many delays regarding the building project, Architect Grant Cadwallader died. Mr. Cadwallader had chosen for his successor architect Richard Washburn of CMW Group of Frederick, Maryland. CMW architects worked with many non-profit projects and helped keep costs to essentials. They also worked closely with Emmitsburg Osteopathic Board and staff each step of the way, helping in the permit process and interfacing with the Officers of the town of Emmitsburg.
Concern over handicap access for the building and old easement issues resulted in Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center paying for relocating sewer and electric services for 125 West Main Street as these were under what would be the west wall footer for the building project at 123 West Main Street, Emmitsburg. There were delays and months passed by without progress. A redesign of the building’s ramp access made it possible to proceed without any need to use the sidewalk at 125 West Main Street. The legal fees and the rise in construction costs due to building delays resulted in a addition of $150,000.00 to the total project of construction. The Town of Emmitsburg had many other concerns and the project was stopped a total of five times until the Town was satisfied that its concerns were addressed. Multiple meetings with the Town resulted in a request from Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center to complete the building project in two phases. The first phase would enable the consolidation of the medical practice combining the Gettysburg and Thurmont Practices in the Emmitsburg Location. The second phase would remodel the 1790 and 1885 buildings facing Main Street, Emmitsburg for medical subspecialty use. The Town of Emmitsburg found this a very unusual approach and voiced its concern that EOPCC might tear down buildings that had been a part of the original “Village of Emmitsburg.” Assurances were given on this and other issues and on February 14, 2004 the Town agreed to two building phases. Due to the stop orders the Phase I of the building project was not completed until December 2005.
During the winter of 2005, the Board approved an option for the Gettysburg practice, for the patients unable to make the shift from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Emmitsburg, Maryland. A young Medical Family: Dr. Talbot Smith and Dr. Nora Olsen wished to take over the medical practice in Gettysburg and would maintain the location by taking over the lease at 455 South Washington Street, Ste 22 and maintaining the phone number 717 334-1885. In return for the assumption of the lease, EOPCC agreed to charge no fee for the practice.
On December 27, 2005, Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center, Inc. opened its doors for business at its permanent home in Emmitsburg. Our open house was held January 22, 2006. Office Manager Kristin Harbaugh addressed the many issues of credentialing required at the new location. In all Emmitsburg Osteopathic primary Care Center participates in 172 medical insurance programs, many of these are subsets of larger umbrella companies, and include all Maryland based medical assistance programs, Medicare programs, and Healthy York Network. Uninsured patients were not charged for any of the care given them, including office visits, on site diagnostic tests, immunizations, injectable antibiotics, nebulized respiratory therapy, minor procedures. EOPCC networked with pharmaceutical companies to obtain medications for the uninsured. Often we were able to provide months of blood pressure and diabetic medications to ensure medical compliance and care. In any given year 8 to 12 percent of our patients were uninsured, another 8-12 percent are on medical assistance, another 8 to 12 percent are underinsured or are unable to meet their deductibles and co-pays. In 2008 EOPCC donated $29,000.00 in services for the uninsured alone. This does not include donated medications. Nor does this include services at severely reduced re-imbursements such as medical assistance programs. Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center has delivered this universal medical care with kindness and compassion since coming into being in 1999.
To expand care for our patients, Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center, Inc., has sublet portions of its property for the following services: Oncology and Hematology, Drs. Hegazi, Hudhud and Oh; Allied Foot and Ankle Podiatry Care, Dr. Douglas Butler, DPM; Acupuncture, M J Parkolay. We are currently hoping to find Psychiatric Care for our patients as well. EOPCC provides a blood draw lab that sends blood work to Lab Corp, Quest and Gettysburg Hospital. This service saves patients time and assists with patient compliance by not deferring the drawing of patients’ required blood work. EOPCC also provides HbAlc’s, Hearing tests, Spirometery, Protimes, EKG’s, spot urine/albumin levels and ratios.
As we cared for our patients and educated our students EOPCC has remembered its commitment to bring subspecialty care close to home. The requirement for this included completing Phase 2 or Phase II of the building project. Fundraisers were held to help provide an economic equity and base to proceed soundly for the completion of construction. Every penny donated went straight into the building fund. All monies spent for the fundraising effort came from the income of the business itself, but never from the donations. While Phase I was built through the auspices of Farmers and Mechanics Bank, Emmitsburg/Frederick Maryland, that bank was merged with and became PNC Bank for the funding for Phase II. For better harmony with the Town of Emmitsburg during Phase II the Board voted on April 8, 2008, to hire a Project Coordinator, Dennis Tobin, PhD. His job was to interface with the Town of Emmitsburg. The EOPCC Board voted to continue with Architect Richard Washburn from CMW Group. Richard Washburn assisted in finalizing the final look of the remodeling of 121-123 West Main Street, building on the plans drawn up in 2002. Once again local Construction Companies were sought out and one Bid was received from Bollinger, but the architect voiced his concerns that his attempts to call and meet with Bollinger representatives were met with no response at all. A Maryland based construction company, ICDC, was chosen by the Board as their bid was within $2,000.00 of Bollinger’s Bid. The permits were in place and the building project began April 2009, despite the Bank’s delay of the loan finalization. PNC Bank came through with the loan and the building project was completed August 10, 2009, including final inspections. The completed project keeps the history of the building by preserving a window on the past with original logs from the 1600’s exposed for view and the original Rumford Fireplace.
From its inception, Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center, Inc., has been committed to educating all those interested in medicine. Networking with Osteopathic Schools, University of Maryland School of Nursing and Penn State School of Nursing’s Nurse practitioner programs, providing credited internships through Mount St. Mary’s University, and encouraging local high school and college students for rotations in medicine. EOPCC is also partnered as a training site for Frederick Community College and Kaplan College medical assistant programs.
Some Osteopathic students have included: Heather Kipa, Jenna Stokes, Jeffrey Moyer, now students at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Brian Brill, Kevin Hoang, Nicholas Tomasello, and Steven Beaudry now students at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Ayesha Kahn, now a student at Kansas Osteopathic Medical School. Clare Herrick, Aaron Shephard, Margaret Hallahan, and Brittany Kostiha, Keira Boyce. We have trained Martha Bowman, D.O., Lisa Zaleski, D.O., Okey Mwaumba, D.O., all graduated from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Melissa Schmidt, Deepal Dharia, Alanna O’Connell and Heather Hanley are now applying to Osteopathic Schools.
Some of Our Nurse Practitioner Students have included: Olufemi Olawlae, Deborah Smith, Scott Feldman, Malaya Robinson, Jeanine Isenhoff and Kathryn Malenfont.
Some of our Medical Assistant Students have included: Brittany White, Mary Ann Wivell, Fallon Green, Cheryl Wood, Heather Dumhart, Erick Riffle, Samantha Robertson, Alexandria Boswell, Sarah Rohrbaugh, Amanda Haines, Jennifer Druck, Keshawn Snowden, Amanda Wivell and Heather Ridgely.
Through the kind efforts of Martha Bowman, D.O. in 2006 were inducted into the Osteopathic Mentoring Hall of Fame and have an A rating as a rotation site.
Our present concern to improve our economic stability so that our good work could continue to serve Northern Frederick County’s many medical needs especially for the uninsured and underinsured.