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4/28/2014

Department of Health Offers Testing Information and Toll-Free Hotline for Dr. Szada’s Patients

News for Immediate Release

April 28, 2014

Department of Health Offers Testing Information and Toll-Free Hotline for Dr. Szada’s Patients

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced it is offering testing information and a toll-free hotline to assist all former and current patients of Dauphin County physician and surgeon, Dr. Maryjo E. Szada.

A joint investigation by the Departments of Health and State recently found she did not follow appropriate procedures to properly clean, disinfect or sterilize devices and mishandled clinical samples, such as urine and blood samples, at her Steelton office, located at 151 S. Front St.

Due to these findings, the Department Of State, State Board of Medicine issued an order of temporary suspension on April 9 and the board indefinitely suspended Dr. Szada's license on April 22.

As a precautionary measure, the Department of Health is recommending tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for current or former female patients who were seen by Dr. Szada between 1994 and 2014 and had a procedure involving a speculum, which may be used for routine women’s health check-ups, pap smears and STD testing.

“At this time, Dr. Szada is cooperating with the Department of Health and is making arrangements for communicating with her patients,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. “While we have not received any related reports of disease transmission or illness, we strongly encourage patients who have concerns to get tested and call the hotline with any questions to help ensure their safety and well-being.”

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, patients can call 1-877-PA-HEALTH and select 9 for information and assistance in finding testing options. 

On April 24, Dr. Szada agreed to provide free testing for her patients and will be sending out a letter with additional details. In the interim, patients can contact her to discuss any concerns at 717-986-0794.

In addition, the Department of Health will offer two clinics for those who are uninsured at the I W ABEL Hall at 200 Gibson St. in Steelton from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 30 and May 1.  Walk-ins are welcome at the clinic, but the department encourages patients to pre-schedule appointments, if possible, by calling the hotline.

Insured patients, who would like to make arrangements for testing through means other than Dr. Szada’s office, should call the number listed on their insurance provider card for resources in the area. Patients in Steelton may also try calling 717-939-4593 to schedule an appointment at the Family Practice Center, located at 483 N. Front St., Steelton.

Patients who receive health care through ACCESS/Medicaid should call the Department of Public Welfare at 800-440-3989 for information about providers in their area.

In addition to her practice, it has been reported that Dr. Szada has provided medical services, such as athletic physicals, to students at some schools in the Harrisburg area. The department does not believe the students seen by Dr. Szada are at risk, and testing for those patients is not recommended at this time.

Patients of Dr. Szada’s who are seeking their medical records should call her attorney, Daniel Grill, at Thomas, Thomas & Hafer at 717-237-7115.

Media contact:  Aimee Tysarczyk, 717-787-1783

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