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Latrobe, Excela meeting 'productive'

| Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Latrobe officials said Wednesday they had a “productive” meeting with top Excela Health executives to discuss the health system's plans to build an outpatient care center in neighboring Unity, rather than in the city.

Deputy Mayor Kenneth Baldonieri said city officials conveyed to Excela that it could use the existing facilities in Latrobe, without incurring a great deal of expense of buying property and building a new facility in Unity. Excela executives said they were willing to take a look at what the city was proposing, Baldonieri said.

“They were receptive to our point of view,” Baldonieri said, adding that the meeting was “very collegial.”

Latrobe officials had asked for a meeting with Excela to discuss its plans to build a three-story Latrobe Ambulatory Care Center, which is proposed for a 29-acre site behind Arnold Palmer Motors along Route 30. The 100,000-square-foot facility would consolidate physicians from about 20 offices in the Latrobe-Derry area to give patients comprehensive service at one site.

The health system has said that Excela Latrobe hospital will not lose any of its existing patient services as a result of the construction of an outpatient care center.

Representing Excela at the meeting were Chief Executive Officer Robert Rogalski; Michael D. Busch, executive vice president and chief operating officer, and attorney Tim Fedele.

Excela representatives had met with the township supervisors Tuesday to discuss the project, Jennifer Miele, Excela Health's spokeswoman, said.

“We're interested in gathering input from all of the leaders of the communities that we serve,” Miele said.

Unity Supervisor Michael O'Barto said that they were going to proceed with plans to build the facility in the township. O'Barto said township officials met with Excela's developers to discuss its plans, including access roads that will be built to the facility.

Excela representatives have presented plans for the project to Unity's planning commission.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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