Health
8:30 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

West Penn Hospital in Monroeville Gets $20 Million for Renovations

Highmark Inc. and the West Penn Allegheny Health System announced on Wednesday morning that $20 million dollars will be spent on updating Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville.

UPMC is scheduled to open a new medical facility less than a mile away this summer.

The renovations to Forbes Hospital will be aimed in part at getting the hospital accredited as a Level 2 Trauma Center. That would allow the hospital to offer advanced treatment of trauma injuries.

"Today, trauma cases in the east are often transferred into the city of Pittsburgh, delaying the life-sustaining measure they may require. These are often life or death situations," said Mark Rubino, Chief Medical Officer at Forbes Regional Hospital.

The plan also calls for updated surgical and medical units and a new breast care center. There will also be cosmetic improvements to the facility, such as a new sign on the 34-year old building.

Keith Ghezzi, President and CEO of West Penn Allegheny Health System, called the improvements an "important milestone" for both organizations.

Forbes Hospital primarily serves residents of eastern Allegheny County and western Westmoreland County. It hosts 50,000 emergency room visits per year.

Highmark also announced an affiliation with Premier Medical Associates, a multi-specialty physician practice that also works with UPMC.

Highmark, the region's largest insurer, announced last year that it would buy the failing West Penn Allegheny Health System, which had more than $50 million in operating losses in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.