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Jefferson Hospital enters 5th decade with new name, commitment

| Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 10:23 a.m.
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More than 100 community leaders attended Jefferson Hospital's 32nd Community Recognition Night, including, counterclockwise from left: Bill and Rita Bruno of Munhall, Patricia and James Thompson of West Mifflin, Sister Nancy Hupert (a hospital consultant), Sister Mary Parks and Ruth Pastore of Clairton and Pastore's guest Joanne Walsh.
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From left, Jefferson Hospital senior executive vice president James Cooper, obstetrics/gynecology division chief Dr. David Logan and Allegheny Health Network obstetrics/gynecology system chair Dr. Allan Klapper are gathered around a diagram drawn up by the Astorino firm of Jefferson's new obstetrics unit, scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
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Mary Beth Lowery, Jefferson marketing and communications director, left, and Louise Urban, hospital executive vice president and COO, right, honored Blanche Buscanics, hospital outreach manager and organizer for the past decade of Jefferson's annual Community Recognition Night. Buscanics is retiring next month.

Jefferson Regional Medical Center is moving into its fifth decade with a new name and a renewed commitment to the South Hills, particularly in women's health care.

“My colleagues and I are excited to share details with you tonight about our new name — Jefferson Hospital — and our new role as a proud partner of Allegheny Health Network,” was CEO John J. Dempster's message in the program for Tuesday's 32nd annual Community Recognition Night.

The name change was announced in July when Highmark reported the formation of the seven-hospital Allegheny Health Network, which extends from Erie to Canonsburg and includes Forbes Hospital in Monroeville.

“We are still in a transition period as signage, stationary, publications, business cards and everything else that references our former name, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, are changed,” spokeswoman Candy C. Williams said.

Dempster was unable to attend the recognition of community support at South Hills Country Club, but others talked about plans to provide comprehensive obstetrical and newborn services by this time next year.

“Access to women's health care was determined to be a crucial need” based on a year-long assessment, executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer Louise Urban said.

Dr. Allan Klapper, system chair for obstetrics and gynecology for Allegheny Health Network, said 3,700 women leave the communities served by Jefferson Hospital each year to deliver babies.

Klapper displayed a diagram drawn up by the Pittsburgh-based Astorino architectural firm of plans to bring a broad range of women's specialty services to the hospital, including a Mothers and Babies Center.

It will have a two-bed triage unit; nine suites for labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum care; a seven-bed post-partum unit; a Level II nursery for special needs and two dedicated cesarean-section rooms.

Allegheny Health Network has a Level III nursery at Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Bloomfield. Klapper said it is only 10-15 minutes away by helicopter.

The new obstetrics unit's medical director is Dr. David Logan, a veteran of 20 years at West Penn.

He compared the “remarkable” management and staff at Jefferson to what he found when he first started at West Penn.

“We all have the same goal, to help our constituents,” Logan told an audience that included 13 mayors, from Castle Shannon to Elizabeth to White Oak.

Logan knows something about constituents. His brother is former Monroeville mayor and state senator Sean Logan, who left the Senate in September 2010 to take a job with rival University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Sean Logan served as UPMC vice president of community relations until January when he moved on to head up Monroeville's convention and visitors bureau.

Before making his dinner remarks, David Logan talked to Sister Mary Parks, executive director of Sisters Place in Clairton. Parks told him that her facility serves 30 families, including some with pregnant members.

She was one of 18 members of the steering committee that conducted the year-long community health needs assessment.

Jefferson Hospital evolved from merger between Homestead Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital on Pittsburgh's South Side that created South Hills Health System in 1973.

It became Jefferson Regional Medical Center in 2002. On June 11, 2012, Jefferson Regional's board of directors voted to pursue the strategic partnership with Highmark that led to Jefferson's part in Allegheny Health Network.

“We will continue to value your support and dedication as we move toward a patient-focused future in high quality, affordable health care in your communities,” Dempster wrote in Tuesday's program.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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