Pana Community Hospital, SIU HealthCare Partner to Offer Orthopaedic Care


February 26, 2016

Pana Community Hospital, SIU HealthCare Partner to Offer Orthopaedic Care

Pana Community Hospital has partnered with SIU HealthCare, the Springfield-based clinical practice of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, to provide Pana area patients with orthopaedic care for bone, joint and muscle injuries. SIU orthopaedic surgical specialist Youssef El Bitar, MD, is now seeing patients at Pana Community Hospital.

“Recruiting specialty physicians can often be a challenge for small communities like Pana”, said Trina Casner, President and CEO. “Our partnership with SIU will expand the depth and breadth of our services, improve our patients’ access to specialty care, reduce the time from referral to appointment and, ultimately, better our community’s overall health. Sports medicine and bone and joint care are significant needs in our community because of our large population of young athletes and senior citizens.”

A dedicated team of on-site, clinical staff will assist El Bitar as he sees patients for general orthopaedic care, including pre- and post-operative care. He will also provide surgical services at Pana Community Hospital. “This is truly a full continuum of care experience for our patients,” said Casner. “They can be seen, treated and receive physical therapy without the inconvenience of having to travel great distances.”

Having completed fellowships in sports medicine, spine and adult reconstruction and hip preservation, El Bitar specializes in:

• Sports Medicine

• Shoulder & Elbow Surgery

• Knee Surgery

• Hip Preservation

• Joint Reconstruction

• Neck & Back Pain

• General Orthopaedic Conditions

“SIU and Pana Community Hospital share a common goal: to improve the health and health care for patients in rural Illinois,” said Jerry Kruse, MD, MSPH, dean and provost of SIU School of Medicine and CEO of SIU HealthCare. “This partnership will ensure that patients in Christian County and surrounding areas receive better access and better care when faced with musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions.”

Before joining SIU HealthCare, El Bitar worked as a team physician for the University of Iowa’s football team, the Hawkeyes. He said he’s eager to continue working with young athletes in the Pana area. “I’m excited to bring the experience and knowledge I gained as a team physician to the athletes here,” said El Bitar. “Having quick and convenient access to Pana Community Hospital’s Orthopaedic, Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine programs will greatly benefit our student athletes and ensure they’re ready to compete, without risk of further injury, as soon as possible.”

El Bitar Youssef El Bitar, MD

Previously, El Bitar completed an orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City (2015). He also completed a spine fellowship at SIU School of Medicine (2014), a hip preservation fellowship at the American Hip Institute in Westmont, Ill. (2013) and an adult reconstruction fellowship at SIU School of Medicine (2012). El Bitar completed an orthopaedic residency at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon (2011), where he also earned his medical and bachelor’s degrees.

“I truly believe that providing patient care requires a holistic approach taking into consideration each patient’s circumstances, occupation, background, lifestyle and family. My goal is to help patients overcome their conditions as quickly and safely as possible, so that they can go back to enjoying their lives and being productive,” stated El Bitar. He is married and has a son and a daughter. He enjoys all sports especially football and soccer, reading, traveling, history and music. He volunteers in providing orthopaedic care overseas while traveling.

To schedule an appointment with El Bitar, call Pana Community Hospital at 562-6246. Appointments will be available Thursdays and Fridays.

About SIU HealthCare

SIU HealthCare has more than 250 teaching physicians as well as other medical professionals, offering both primary care and specialized treatment services. SIU HealthCare is the clinical practice of SIU School of Medicine and works in partnership with hospitals and clinics throughout Illinois. For information, visit

Pana Community Hospital’s medical mall provides office space for many specialists from the area to allow patients in our service area to see doctors close to home instead of having to travel. Specialists currently utilizing the Pana Community Hospital Specialty Clinic are: General Surgery, Urology, Oncology, Nephrology, Cardiology, Podiatry, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Gastroenterology, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, Obstetrics (Gynecology) and ENT specialists.

Media Contacts

Karen Carlson,
SIU, 217-545-3854

Lauren Murphy,
SIU, 217-545-2819


Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health care needs through education, patient care, research, and service to the community.


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