BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) — UPMC and Highmark’s Allegheny Health Network have been shoveling dirt on all kinds of new hospital projects lately.
But they are not alone.
“We’re building a 60,000 square foot medical neighborhood,” Heritage Valley Health System’s CEO Norm Mitry told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
Just off I-376 in Beaver County, behind the Beaver Valley Mall, Heritage Valley Health System is building a new medical complex.
“That will have primary care clinic. It will have a diagnostic imaging. It will have blood-drawn phlebotomy. But it will also have a 22,000 square foot outpatient surgery center right in the medical neighborhood,” says Mitry.
Besides hospitals in Beaver and Sewickley, Heritage Valley will soon have eight of what Mitry calls medical neighborhoods, 18 community satellite facilities, and 60 physician offices in the Ohio Valley.
“We happen to be the largest employer not only in Beaver County, but frankly, in the whole Airport Corridor, absent the 911th Air Force Wing. We employ approximately 3,600 people.”
Heritage Valley’s new medical facility is being constructed by Castlebrook Development, owned by Pat Nardelli, who says Beaver County is coming back.
“What I see now is really unbelievable, Jon. I see a re-industrialization of the region,” says Nardelli.
But Nardelli sees a shortage of skilled workers.
“Need for welders, plumbers, HVAC people, and carpenters is so, so desperate right now, so the training is very, very important,” he said.
Training that local building trades unions now offer for free in apprentice programs that help to build medical facilities like this.
And unlike UPMC and Allegheny Health network after next year, says Mitry, “Community health systems are a place where people in the community can really come for health care not worried about their insurance card. We take all insurance companies.”