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Officials ponder effect of Highmark-West Penn split on Monroeville

By Kyle Lawson
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:29 p.m.
 

As officials of West Penn Allegheny Health System search for a new financial partner, Monroeville officials are weighing in on the affect the situation might have on Forbes Regional Hospital, which is owned by the health system, and the community at large.

The hospital in Monroeville generates employee tax revenue for the municipality and out-of-town customers for the business district, Monroeville manager Jeff Silka said. However, the affect on Monroeville is yet to be seen, said Councilman Nick Gresock.

“I would think that (the health system) has its reasons for their actions because it seems to me they are looking for someone to partner with, and I don't think they would ruin their situation with Highmark without knowing they can go somewhere else.”

Councilwoman Lois Drumheller said there is some cause for concern, based on reports that a bond debt rating for WPAHS was downgraded.

“It makes it harder for them to compete,” she said.

Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko said he was shocked when he first heard news of the severed agreement. “I thought with the infusion of cash it would've really kept Forbes competitive with UPMC East.”

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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