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UPMC Adds New Service for Laboring Mothers at UPMC Wellsboro

UPMC Magee

February 21, 2022

WELLSBORO, Pa. – Mothers delivering at UPMC Wellsboro now have the option to choose an epidural for pain management as part of their birth plan, a service that was previously unavailable due to the challenges of rural health care.

An epidural is a procedure that injects local anesthesia in the space around the spinal nerves in your lower back which is very effective pain relief but often still allows a mother to move her legs and push their baby with contractions. Previously, Wellsboro-area mothers who planned to have an epidural birth would need to travel to a neighboring birth site.

“Our hospital has a long history of quality and compassionate care, but we face challenges related to resources and staffing like many others serving in rural communities,” said Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Wellsboro and UPMC Cole. “We have worked very hard to address the barriers we face here in Wellsboro, and we now have a board-certified nurse anesthetist who will administer and monitor the epidural, working alongside the physicians caring for mother and baby.”

This is one of the many benefits UPMC Wellsboro has implemented as part of UPMC. Recently, UPMC Wellsboro aligned its women’s health services with the best practices and standards of the nationally known UPMC Magee-Womens. UPMC Magee-Womens providers and patients at UPMC Wellsboro are connected to the latest in women’s health care, research, technology, diagnosis, and treatment.

“We know mothers want choices in their birth plans, and we are so pleased to be able to provide another option for helping with pain management in labor,” said Gary Fornera, MD, OB-GYN, UPMC Wellsboro. “Many mothers will want to wait and see how their labor goes before committing to or selecting medication. Having options is always a good thing, because every labor is different, and every birth is unique. Our staff are happy to be able to have this option to meet the mother’s needs and wishes, helping her have a special and memorable birth experience her in Wellsboro.”

Gary Fornera, MD; Steven Smith, MD, FACOG; Ryan Wojnicki, CRNA; and their team of providers in Wellsboro are dedicated to the highest standard of care for women, no matter the stage of life. Women’s services are easily accessible at UPMC Wellsboro Office of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 15 Meade St., Suite L-1, and UPMC Wellsboro, 32 Central Ave. To schedule an appointment with, call 570-723-0637.

For more information on Women’s Services offered at UPMC, visit

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