Another hospital expansion in the Pittsburgh region was announced Wednesday.
Allegheny Health Network will construct an $80 million, 90,000-square-foot cancer institute and academic center adjacent to the North Side Allegheny General Hospital. It is part of the $225 million investment the network has made in regional cancer centers.
“We have 15 major construction projects happening today simultaneously across the region. Many of those that relate to cancer,” said Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg.
AHN is also building community cancer centers in Monroeville, Erie, Butler and Beaver County. The academic center in Pittsburgh, expected to open in the fall of 2019, will serve as a hub for the region and cross-country partnerships, according to David Parda the chair of AHN’s cancer institute.
Parda said the new facility will allow the network to expand its partnership with Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. That will mean more clinical trials and residencies.
The hospital expansion is just the latest in a string of hospital openings between UPMC and AHN hospitals. In November, Pennsylvania’s largest hospital system, UPMC announced a $2 billion project to build three “digital hospitals of the future” in Pittsburgh.
Mayor Bill Peduto said the growth in hospitals can be attributed to the need for specialized care.
“Medicine is becoming an import business for Pittsburgh," he said. "People are coming not only from this region and other states, but throughout this world to get care here that they can’t get anywhere else."
AHN currently employees 500 oncology professionals. It expects to hire another 200 to staff the academic hub and the community cancer centers.