Uniontown Hospital adds doctors, equipment to strengthen service

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

During the past year, Uniontown Hospital continued to improve its capabilities to deliver health care to the patient population it serves.

The hospital reportedly accomplished this through the addition of new services, strengthening existing services, acquiring new diagnostic equipment and continuing to recruit skilled, new physicians to better serve the region.

One of those new physicians was Dr. Gustavo Bello.

Bello is a surgeon with a clinical fellowship in advanced minimally invasive bariatric surgery, which he completed at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He has worked with Uniontown Hospital to develop the hospital's Weight Loss Surgery Center.

Uniontown Hospital's cardiology capabilities were enhanced with the development of a highly experienced group of cardiologists and interventional cardiologists, officials reported.

Uniontown Hospital Cardiology was established with Drs. Abdul Abbasi, David Murello, Muhammad Raza, and newly recruited Dr. Kinda Venner-Jones. The team of cardiologists reportedly continues to underline the fact that “it's okay to stay” at Uniontown Hospital for your cardiac needs.

“Unless you need open-heart surgery, Uniontown Hospital can provide advanced cardiac care right here in Fayette County,” said Paul Bacharach, president and CEO of the hospital. “Cardiac diagnostic studies and, when necessary, catheterization procedures are all performed here with excellent results, results which compare favorably with even the major hospitals across the country.”

Uniontown Hospital Cardiology complements an already strong cardiology staff composed of Drs. Kenneth Judson, Barbara Juriga, Bhagwan Wadhwani and Veerunna Yadagani, among others.

Another service serving a vital need is the hospital's Wound Healing and Treatment Center. In completing its first year of operation, the center continues to provide advanced interdisciplinary care for patients in the region with chronic wounds by helping to accelerate the healing process. The program gets people back on their feet and back to their daily lives when traditional treatments fail to resolve chronic wounds, officials noted.

To improve the hospital's diagnostic capabilities, the hospital recently acquired and installed a Siemen's Open Bore, magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, system, capable of producing extremely high resolution images with significantly shorter scan times.

“This will increase our diagnostic capabilities, efficiencies and patient convenience,” Bacharach said. “The patient-friendly design of this magnet will make it easier for larger patients and those with claustrophobia to have an MRI examination, which produces higher quality images.”

The state-of-the-art unit is in the Elouise Ross Eberly MRI Center and replaces the 13-year old system originally acquiredwith a donation from the late Robert E. Eberly, area businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

The new system costs nearly $1.5 million and was acquired using a donation from Joseph A. Hardy III, founder and CEO of 84 Lumber and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and $150,000 donation from the hospital's volunteer auxiliary.

The hospital improved its Behavioral Services Unit by joining with Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in an agreement that provides for management of the unit.

According to Betty Ann Rock, chief nursing officer at Uniontown Hospital, “We decided to not reinvent the wheel. WPIC is the recognized regional leader in this field, and we felt that bringing their management expertise to our hospital for behavioral health was simply the right thing to do.

“This relationship benefits both the Uniontown Hospital and our behavioral health patients. It provides for not only clinical improvement, but also advanced care management. The relationship, in which WPIC provides management of the in-patient behavioral health unit, has already been proven to work well in other regional hospitals,” Rock said.

Uniontown Hospital was successful is welcoming five physicians to the hospital's staff to better serve the medical needs of the region. They joined a highly skilled medical staff of more than 198 doctors in 27 specialties.

Uniontown Hospital recently expanded the public's access to a number of these specialty physicians by developing a program that rotates them through offices in the Connellsville Towne Center at 224 Memorial Boulevard.

Under the outreach program, seven specialty physicians are made available at the Town Center throughout the week.

The physicians are Bello for weight loss surgery; Robert Fishman for neurology; Nabil Elkhoury for obstetrics and gynecology; Raza for interventional cardiology; Venner-Jones for medical cardiology; Rajendrasinh Rathod for OB/GYN; and Ball for general surgeries.

“We fully realize that health care providers in our country must adjust to a changing health care landscape in the region and country. Health care reform and further reductions in reimbursement will no doubt change the way care is provided and received. We look forward to meeting that challenge and continue to improve the delivery of health care services without any sacrifice in quality and safety,” Bacharach said,

“For over 100 years, Uniontown Hospital has been the trusted provider of health care for Fayette County residents,” he continued. “We look forward to continuing this tradition in the future. We have a remarkable and talented pool of skilled and dedicated staff, physicians, board members and volunteers that share a conviction that our work is essential to the well-being of our community.”

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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