Uniontown Hospital, WVU Health System may combine services for Pa. residents

MORGANTOWN — Uniontown Hospital officials announced discussions with representatives from WVU Health System regarding a new relationship to strengthen combined services for residents in and around Fayette County (Pa.).
“We are in the process of establishing a relationship with WVU Medicine regarding a broad range of services,” Uniontown Hospital CEO Steve Handy said in a press release. “We have been impressed by WVU Medicine’s clinical growth and expansion. It was easy to recognize the value for our community to partner with such a great organization.
“WVU Medicine has expressed an interest in helping us meet the health care needs of our community. This was an offer that we have welcomed and embraced. The potential for expanded local access to healthcare in our community is exciting.”
Handy said the specific parameters of the relationship are still being finalized, but hospital leaders recognized the benefits of creating partnerships with WVU Medicine, noting the proximity of their hospitals in Morgantown to Uniontown. Morgantown is roughly half the distance of Uniontown to Pittsburgh.
“We’re excited to explore with Uniontown Hospital ways we can partner and collaborate to serve better the people of Fayette County and the surrounding area. Our shared goal is to utilize our respective strengths to ensure people have better and more convenient access to advanced specialty care,” Albert L. Wright Jr., president and CEO of WVU Health System, said in the release.
While new avenues for collaboration are being determined, Handy said the hospital maintains a solid relationship with UPMC and will continue partnerships in some aspects of care. Uniontown Hospital will also continue to accept UPMC, Aetna and most Highmark plans during and after this change.
“This move will be all about what is best for our patients and for the community we serve,” Handy said. “Our decisions are never just about the bottom line or the short-term, but what options are available to us to provide the best care and sustain that level of care long-term. We will continue to partner and collaborate with those that recognize the importance of Uniontown Hospital to the region and Uniontown Hospital providing the best care for the region.”
Last fall, renovations to the Uniontown Hospital campus and continued investment in the 160-bed facility were announced.
In October, hospital officials announced they were awarded one of the largest U.S. Department of Agriculture loans in the state, nearly $27 million, to move forward with a major campus renovation in the coming years, the release read.
The Rural Development loan through the USDA will allow the facility to construct a three-story parking garage, as well as a new patient and visitor entrance and other enhancements at the acute
care facility on Berkeley Street in Uniontown.
The $32 million upgrade was part of strategic plans at the hospital for several years.

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