ERIE, Pa. (May. 19, 2017) — Officials of Highmark Health, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Saint Vincent Hospital joined community leaders and hospital staff today to celebrate the hospital's future and put the first "shovels in the dirt" toward the construction of a new state-of-the-art Emergency Department (ED) and operating room suite at the facility. The ceremonial groundbreaking marked the official launch of a $115 million capital investment plan for the hospital that was announced in February.
The new 104,000 square foot structure on Saint Vincent's campus housing the ED and operating rooms will extend from the Hardner Building at 2315 Myrtle Street to the north side of the hospital. The project is slated for completion in 2019.
"We are excited to see our vision for how to better serve the communities of northwestern Pennsylvania begin to unfold here today," said David Holmberg, president and CEO of Highmark Health. "When complete, this beautiful new facility and the many other improvements we have in store for Saint Vincent and the Erie community will be the most visible examples yet of our strong commitment to the region and the well-being of all who live and work here."
Since becoming part of Highmark and Allegheny Health Network in 2013, Saint Vincent has made a number of important investments in its capabilities and capacity to meet the healthcare needs of the Erie community, including the opening of its West Side Health + Wellness Pavilion, new electrophysiology and cardiac catheterization lab facilities for advanced cardiovascular disease care, expansion of its medical infusion therapy program and the launch of its minimally invasive robotic surgery program.
"By almost every measure, Saint Vincent and its exceptional caregivers have long provided the people of Erie and neighboring communities with a quality of care and service that is second to none in the market," said Cynthia Hundorfean, President and CEO, AHN. "The significant investments we are planning for the hospital not only honor that legacy, but assure that the hospital's tradition of excellence and transformative health care only grows stronger in the future."
Saint Vincent President and CEO Scott Whalen, PhD, acknowledged the hospital management and staff who are working with architects to help design the new emergency department and operating room suite.
"The insights of our clinical and administrative teams have been invaluable to the planning of these wonderful new facilities at Saint Vincent. Together we are creating not just an extraordinary new physical space for these critical services, but a new health care model that will further empower our physicians, nurses and support staff to provide the highest quality of care and experience possible for patients," Whalen said.
Saint Vincent is also engaging the community in the hospital's transformation plan, seeking input on such things as paint colors, wall décor and the style of seating chosen for the ED waiting areas.
"We are here to serve the community and what better way to recognize our neighbors and others who have supported us for so long then by affording them the opportunity to help shape the future look and feel of our hospital as we embark upon this major transformation," Whalen said.
The new Saint Vincent ED will be expanded to more efficiently accommodate the 65,000 patients who seek emergency care at the hospital every year.
The operating room suite will feature four new state-of-the-art rooms and allow for future expansion and upgrade as needed. The rooms are being constructed to accommodate the advanced surgical technologies Saint Vincent provides, including its MAKO robotic system for minimally invasive hip and knee replacement and its da Vinci minimally invasive robotic surgical system.
Saint Vincent employs more than 400 physicians and has recently added a number of new surgeons to its medical staff, including specialists in orthopedics, bariatrics, neurosurgery, colorectal, cardiovascular and general surgery.
"As ground is broken today for this exciting building project, I would like to express appreciation on behalf of the medical staff to both Highmark and Allegheny Health Network for the investment they are making in Saint Vincent Hospital and our region," said Saint Vincent cardiologist Ross Peterson, MD, who also serves as the hospital's medical staff president. "We look forward to continuing to offer our patients access to the region's most advanced clinical and surgical care in what will be extraordinary state-of-the-art facilities."
Saint Vincent Hospital is part of Allegheny Health Network, a Highmark Health owned integrated healthcare system serving the greater western Pennsylvania Region. Founded in 1875 as Erie Pennsylvania's first hospital, Saint Vincent offers a full spectrum of primary and specialty healthcare services to patients who live in the northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York areas. With 371 beds, 2,900 employees and 425 physicians, Saint Vincent's commitment to superior patient care quality and service has earned the hospital national recognition. According to the 2017 Quantros CareChex® quality report, Saint Vincent is ranked #1 in Erie for Medical Excellence in Overall Hospital Care, Overall Medical Care, Overall Surgical Care, Cancer Care, Cardiac Care, Major Cardiac Surgery, Heart Attack and Heart Failure Treatment, Stroke, Women's Health and Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage care. For more information about Saint Vincent, visit www.ahn.org.