CLEARFIELD – Penn Highlands Healthcare is making major investments in the communities it serves, including in Clearfield and DuBois.
At Tuesday’s county commissioners’ meeting, Steve Fontaine, chief executive officer of Penn Highlands Healthcare, discussed the upcoming building projects within the Penn Highlands system.
Between 2018 and 2021, Penn Highlands is implementing a $111 million Master Facilities Plan, which Fontaine said is designed to increase the system’s footprint and provision of critical services and advanced care for residents of northwest/central Pennsylvania.
He said the eight major expansion and renovation projects will modernize, improve and increase the services offered to patients at its five hospital campuses and numerous outpatient facilities in the 13-county region it serves.
Fontaine said the projects include:
- the expansion and renovation of the Penn Highlands DuBois East Campus’ Behavioral Health Hospital. The project will create a 126-bed hospital to provide behavioral health services, a walk-in urgent care center for behavioral health issues, outpatient care, child/adolescent care, adult care and drug and alcohol detox and rehabilitation.
- the construction of an emergency department/patient tower at Penn Highlands DuBois West Campus, which will allow the department to become a Level III trauma center. The tower will include 30 emergency department bays, a 12-bed observation and clinical decision unit, a four-bay vertical care area and two large trauma rooms. The tower will provide a combination of traditional medical/surgical patient rooms, which will be single-patient with private bathrooms.
- a five-story annex at Penn Highlands DuBois West Campus, which will add a new kitchen and cafeteria, a physicians’ lounge and administrative wing, an expanded maternal and childcare center, an ambulatory surgery center and an expansion of the heart center and cardiology services.
- a new healthcare Center of Excellence that will be built onto the existing Penn Highlands West Campus, which will create a facility for orthopedics, pediatrics and women’s health. The center will provide offices for orthopedic surgeons, an outpatient rehabilitation center for physical, occupational and speech therapies, x-ray and imaging services and pain management care.
- a medical office building, which will be constructed at Penn Highlands Brookville. The building will house primary and specialty care “super clinics” for multiple providers. The new building will be located adjacent to the main hospital for convenient drop-off and pick-up of patients and additional parking.
- Pinecrest Manor in St. Marys will be modernized with new rooms for residents, a solarium, a multipurpose room and modernized furnishings, window and accents.
- a new two-story Q-care walk-in clinic will be built in Monroe Township, Clarion County to provide specialty care and a “super clinic” to house multiple providers. The facility will provide virtual care using innovative technology to reach out and see patients and provide care any time, from multiple locations. The new clinic will minimize the need for patients to travel for specialty care.
Rhonda Halstead, president of Penn Highlands Clearfield, said the Emergency Department at Penn Highlands Clearfield will also be renovated and modernized to provide easier access to patients and additional room for staff. The renovations include improved ambulance access and relocation of the main entrance.
“This is impressive …. and quite an investment, especially in the DuBois area,” Commissioner Mark B. McCracken said, adding, “This is very exciting and encouraging for Clearfield County.”
Established Oct. 1, 2011, Fontaine said the healthcare system now has five hospital campuses, including Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands DuBois, Penn Highlands Elk (St. Marys) and Penn Highlands Huntingdon.
Currently, the system has 4,400 employees, 405 inpatient beds, 361 physicians and 250 advanced practice providers in its 13-county service area. He said the system realizes an annual net revenue of approximately $600 million.