Penn Highlands Clearfield will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for its new Moshannon Valley Community Medical Building to be opened in November. “Overall, construction has progressed on schedule, and we are excited to open it to the community” says Amy Duke, marketing director at Penn Highlands Clearfield. (Provided photo)
PHILIPSBURG – Residents of the Moshannon Valley anxiously await the opening of a new Penn Highlands facility that will serve Philipsburg and surrounding municipalities in the Moshannon Valley.
Construction began nearly a year ago on the Moshannon Valley Community Medical Building located at 271 Railroad St. Plans are being made for its opening in November.
According to Amy Duke, marketing director at Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands’ Philipsburg clinic, currently housed in leased space at Peebles Plaza in Decatur Township, Clearfield County, will relocate to the new building.
Services presently offered at Philipsburg that will be moved to the new facility are primary care, surgical and orthopedic services, ophthalmology and outpatient diagnostic testing such as general x-rays, ultrasound, EKG, as well as blood and specimen collection.
Additional services that Moshannon Valley Community Medical plans to offer are a walk-in care clinic, digital mammography, bone mineral density testing, and mobile MRI. The “Q-Care” walk-in clinic will be open extended hours, seven days a week.
Duke said the Moshannon Valley Community Medical Building will have a dedicated staff. Doctors presently practicing at Philipsburg are Wilkerson Compere, M.D. and Salman Azim, M.D., both in internal medicine; Mary Clare Ocampo, M.D., pediatrics; Robert E. Steward Jr., M.D., general surgery; Ryan Bisbey, M.D., ophthalmology; Mark A. Nartatez, D.O. and Rodolfo Polintan, M.D., FACS, orthopedics.
“We also have nursing, clerical and support staff as well as employees of our diagnostic service, Philipsburg Outpatient Services,” Duke added.
The $6 million project is partially funded with two grants. Penn Highlands Healthcare was awarded $1.75 million through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RAC-P), a grant program administered by the state Office of the Budget.
The grant was awarded in 2014 for the acquisition of approximately 7.32 acres of land that Penn Highlands purchased, and to subsidize construction of the 23,000 square foot, one-story building. The anticipated purchase price of the land as noted in the grant proposal was for $450,000.
RAC-P grants, authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, focus available capital funding on projects that display significant potential for improving economic growth, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity.
A second funding source for the project is from a Highmark Community Investment Grant. Penn Highlands Clearfield was allotted $1 million of a larger grant awarded to Penn Highlands Healthcare for system-wide facility improvement projects.
Penn Highlands Healthcare is providing the balance of the project costs, or more than $3.25 million.
KTH Architects of DuBois designed the building with the objective of creating a welcoming environment for patients. The building features a large atrium at the main entrance that brings in natural light. Also a focus in the design is the potential for future expansion. Hallstrom Construction Inc. of DuBois is the general contractor.
The objective of Penn Highlands Healthcare in providing the new facility to this underserved area is to enhance medical services already offered. “Because the area is rural, driving long distances for medical care is an obstacle for many in the region, most notably disadvantaged families and senior citizens. Having access to quality healthcare locally will improve the health and quality of life for the region’s residents,” says Duke.
The area was deprived of major medical services with the final closing of the Philipsburg Area Hospital in 2006, forcing residents to travel to hospitals in Clearfield, State College, Altoona and Dubois. The permanence of that loss was felt with the demolition of the old hospital structures completed earlier this year.
The new Moshannon Valley Community Medical Building is owned by Penn Highlands Clearfield, which is a subsidiary of Penn Highlands Healthcare.
Penn Highlands Healthcare was established Oct. 1, 2011 with the coalition of Clearfield Hospital, DuBois Regional Medical Center, Brookville Hospital and in 2013, Elk Regional Health Center.
The organization serves eight counties in north central/western Pennsylvania, employs more than 3,600 people and reports annual net revenue of more than $450 million, per statistics published on the organization’s Web site. Penn Highlands Healthcare Corporate Offices are located at 204 Hospital Ave., DuBois.
Per Gary Macioce, Penn Highlands Clearfield president: “This is an exciting time for residents of the Moshannon Valley community, as they have been asking for additional medical services in the region for some time now. Soon we will unveil our new facility, one that will help us realize the vision of providing additional medical service where the community needs it – close to home.”
Penn Highlands Clearfield plans to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Penn Highlands Healthcare, local officials and others instrumental in the project, along with a public open house in November. The date of the event will be announced in the local media.