Share This Page

Bigger Alle-Kiski Medical Center emergency room debuts

Tarentum native Joseph Guyaux remembers well the first time he visited the emergency room at Alle-Kiski Medical Center, then Allegheny Valley Hospital.

It was 1967 and Guyaux was the senior quarterback of the Tarentum High School Redcats football team. He suffered a facial cut and went to the hospital to get stitches, but needed more than that..

"Dr. John Pacek noticed my hand shaking, looked at it and said, 'Joe, you've got a broken wrist,'" Guyaux said, smiling at the memory.

Guyaux, who now is president of PNC Financial Services Group, had reason to smile Thursday. He told that story just before taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of a new emergency department at the hospital.

The new facility is named for Guyaux and his wife, Tarentum native Kathleen Celko Guyaux, who made the largest individual donation -- $400,000 -- to the fundraising drive for the $15.6 million emergency department.

Guyaux was impressed with the new facility.

"I think it's terrific," he said. "With the way hospitals and health are going, emergency rooms are where you need the space. We knew enough about the hospital to know how small and cramped the space was."

He said the hospital means a lot to him and his wife: His sons were born there, and just about everyone in his family received treatment there.

"My mother was actually a student nurse here," he said. "I'm pleased; but what's more important from what I've seen, the staff is really excited.

"Our sense is that the community will make use of it and for the people who need it, it will be here."

Dr. Jerry Taylor, medical director of the hospital's emergency medical department, said the department treated 80 patients a day when he came here nine years ago. That number is now more than 100.

"You can't overstate the importance of making this department as effective and efficient as possible," said Russ Evans, chairman of the hospital board.

Linda Jaskolka, hospital spokeswoman, said the new department should add to the high marks the hospital has received from Health Grades, an independent health care ratings agency.

"People are surprised that little Alle-Kiski is in the top 5 percent in the country for clinical quality excellence," Jaskolka said.

Dr. Christopher T. Olivia, president and CEO of the hospital's parent organization, the West Penn Allegheny Health System, said the new emergency room is a tangible commitment by the system to the hospital and the community, which it will continue to make.

"We provide the bricks and mortar, but at the end of the day it's the doctors and nurses that make this hospital what it is today," he said.

Taylor, discussing meeting the challenges posed by a new UPMC Urgicare facility planned nearby, summed it up another way.

"We just have to continue to be the best emergency department that we can be," he said with a smile. "We're good, fast and nice,"

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.