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MedExpress opens urgent care center in Jeannette

| Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

As Excela Health searches for property to build an ambulatory care center in Hempfield, MedExpress has opened an urgent care center on Route 30 in Jeannette.

“This will have no impact on our plans to build an ambulatory center in Hempfield,” said Jen Miele, vice president of marketing and communications for Excela Health.

“We are still exploring the best-fit location option. Construction has not been approved by the board for Hempfield or Latrobe, but we have purchased property in Latrobe,” she said.

The site is the sixth center that Morgantown-based MedExpress operates in Westmoreland County. In addition to Jeannette, near the intersection with Lowry Avenue, the company has medical enters in Greensburg, Latrobe, North Huntingdon, Murrysville and East Huntingdon.

Though MedExpress has urgent care centers near Excela hospitals, officials say the chain doesn't pose a competitive threat. Excela has plans to build ambulatory care centers in Unity, Ligonier and Hempfield to complement a North Huntingdon center already in operation.

“We have an excellent relationship with MedExpress,” Miele said. “They often refer patients to our emergency rooms and our physicians, including the locations in North Huntingdon and Latrobe. Excela was invited to the grand opening earlier this week, and I attended.”

Excela has closed on a deal to purchase property in Unity to build an ambulatory care center but has had difficulty finding suitable property in Hempfield, according to Miele. The health system has been negotiating with THF Realty for property behind Sam's Club on Route 30 in Hempfield, but no deal has been reached, she said previously.

Jeannette has been without a community medical facility since 2006 when the Monsour Medical Center closed and Excela acquired, then shut down the former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital. Residents had to travel to the nearest outpatient clinic or to emergency rooms at Excela in Greensburg or Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville.

MedExpress operates in eight states. The company is one of a number of retail chains that provide care for minor illnesses and injuries such as the flu, broken bones, minor burns, asthma or lacerations that require stitches. They also provide diagnostic services.

Highmark bought a $50 million stake in MedExpress in 2011.

UPMC has a chain of stand-alone centers, and retail outlets Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS have clinics. Shaker Urgent Care, which has clinics in Hempfield and Mt. Pleasant, is owned by Dr. MilladShaker, formerly associated with Excela Health.

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at