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Summit Health outpatient surgery center named in honor of oral surgeon

January 20, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Dr. Roy A. Himelfarb and his wife, Debbie, stand Friday in front of the Dr. Roy A. Himelfarb Surgery Center in Chambersburg, Pa., after the center was named in his honor.
By Roxann Miller

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Dr. Roy A. Himelfarb doesn’t like having a big fuss made over him.

But on Friday, the spotlight landed squarely on him when Summit Health named its outpatient surgery center in his honor.

After a short ceremony attended by about 100 of Himelfarb’s colleagues, friends and family, the facility at 757 Norland Ave. in Chambersburg was named the Dr. Roy A. Himelfarb Surgery Center.

“I truly appreciate the honor, but a quick thank you would have been more than adequate,” Himelfarb said.

Himelfarb, an oral surgeon who retired after serving the community for more than 30 years, said he was pleased to have his name associated with a state-of-the-art center.

“In terms of surgery, it is efficient, and it is quick. There are many procedures that you do not need all the hospital auxiliary services. (Here) you come in, your surgery is done, you recover and you go home,” Himelfarb said.

About 3,500 surgeries are performed at the facility annually, according to hospital officials.

“It should be the Debbie Himelfarb Surgery Center for putting up with (me)... all these years,” he joked.

The luckiest day of his life was meeting his wife of 39 years, Himelfarb said.

Not only was Debbie a dental hygienist, but she also raised their two sons and ran her husband’s office for the past 17 years.

Patrick O’Donnell, Chambersburg Hospital’s senior vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, spoke at the dedication ceremony.

“When we created the surgery center in 2000, Roy was an owner, he was the medical director and board member — he was really the glue,” O’Donnell said. “He always believed in the surgery center. He had this vision, and his expectation for giving back was translated into what we do for our patients with respect, quality and service.”

The outpatient surgery center performs tonsillectomies, non-emergent appendectomies and arthroscopic shoulder and knee repairs, O’Donnell said.

When Dr. Roger Robertson came to Chambersburg in 1989, Himelfarb was the only full-time oral surgeon in Franklin County.

“He served a definite need for the community and would care for many people in his office or the emergency room, regardless of their ability to pay,” Robertson said.

He is highly regarded by his peers.

“He’s a dentist, and he became president of our medical staff, which is usually a medical doctor’s position, so that just shows what his colleagues think of his care and leadership,” Robertson said.

Having the surgery center named for him is another way of carrying on his parents’ legacy.

His father started his eye, ear, nose and throat practice in 1938, and was in practice for 47 years, Himelfarb said.

“They just gave and gave and gave, and they always said that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “We’ve always said to our kids that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

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