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Alle-Kiski Medical Center back to Allegheny Valley Hospital name

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By Rossilynne Skena and Tom Yerace
Friday, April 22, 2011

HARRISON -- Same hospital, new -- actually old -- name.

The hospital in the Natrona Heights section of Harrison is no longer called Alle-Kiski Medical Center by its parent company, West Penn Allegheny Health System.

Instead, it's back to Allegheny Valley Hospital.

That's what many Alle-Kiski Valley residents have called it for years anyway, despite the corporate name change made more than a decade ago.

"We did market research and we found that most folks know us as Allegheny Valley Hospital. There was little brand equity in Alle-Kiski Medical Center," hospital spokeswoman Linda Dalak said. "We had brand equity in that name for 90 years. Alle-Kiski Medical Center never really resonated."

Indeed, said a handful of hospital visitors interviewed at the hospital Thursday evening.

"It's always been 'Allegheny Valley' to me," said Richard Scott of Vandergrift.

The large sign out front of the hospital says Alle-Kiski Medical Center. As do green, cloth banners mounted onto light poles in the parking lot.

Smaller ground-mounted signs include both names.

The signs will be updated gradually, Dalak said.

To be environmentally responsible, she said, already printed materials will be used up, so people may see both names for a while.

All advertising, however, will say Allegheny Valley Hospital.

"It's funny because our employees said, 'You should have asked us, we could have told you,' " Dalak said. "Our employees are very excited; our doctors are very excited because we had 90 years with that name."

The switch is solely a result a market research, Dalak said.

The Alle-Kiski Medical Center, New Kensington campus -- formerly Citizens General Hospital -- will keep its current name, she said. When CGH closed as a hospital and reopened as an urgi-care center, it was known as Citizens Ambulatory Care Center. It was listed last night on the West Penn Allegheny website as AKMC Ambulatory Care Center.

Another hospital within the West Penn Allegheny Health System will also go back to its original name -- Forbes Regional Hospital, formerly West Penn Hospital-Forbes Regional campus in Monroeville.

Tribune-Review staff writer Luis Fábregas contributed to this report.

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