Through an agreement between MedExpress and Highmark Inc., a new urgent care center will be opening in Braddock next year. The facility will be part of a larger development being erected on the site of the closed UPMC Braddock Hospital.
"You have no idea what this will mean to a single mother at 6:00 at night on a Sunday knowing that she can take her child now to get her ear ache looked at," said Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.
UPMC closed its hospital in January of 2010 and later agreed to demolish the building to make way for redevelopment of the site. The community has been fighting ever since to land another hospital.
The entire project will include 25,000 square feet of retail/office space under one roof (including the 5,000 square feet MedExpress facility), 24 rental housing units and 11 single family homes. It all comes with a $20.3 million price tag, of which $13 million will come from a variety of public sources.
CCAC is expected to move into a portion of the space and the Allegheny County Health Department is said to be considering a satellite office in the facility.
The rental units will target families with incomes of about 60 percent of the county's median income, but it will not be subsidized or Section 8 according to TREK Development, which is building out the site.
Despite the use of state and county money, MedExpress has not made a long-term commitment to the site. Highmark Vice President Deborah Rice said Highmark will be there for MedExpress in the long term. "We understand that some of the costs may not be covered, so we are committed to MedExpress to make sure we can provide these services… we'll make it work," Rice said.
Mayor Fetterman said the facility would be busy, noting that in 2009 the UPMC Braddock emergency room treated more than 22,000 patients.
The MedExpress urgent care office will be open seven days a week, 12 hours a day. The company currently operates nearly 80 urgent care centers in 6 states, including more than a dozen in the Pittsburgh area.