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Unity will host Westmoreland's 1st new hospital since 1950s

| Friday, May 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The first hospital to be built in Westmoreland County since the 1950s will be constructed in Unity.

Township supervisors Mike O'Barto, Jacob Blank and John Mylant on Thursday granted final approval for a site plan to Post Acute Medical LLC, a for-profit health care company based in Dauphin County, for the 40-bed specialty rehabilitation facility.

The 54,400-square-foot hospital will cost $20 million and employ 125, according to the company.

The last hospitals to be built in the county were the former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital in 1959 and the Monsour Medical Center in 1952, in Jeannette. Monsour closed in 2006. Jeannette was acquired by Excela Health and was closed several years ago.

At one time, Westmoreland County had seven hospitals.

Citizens General Hospital in New Kensington closed in 2000. Latrobe Area, Frick Community in Mt. Pleasant and Westmoreland Hospital merged and are part of Excela Health. McGinnis Hospital in Ligonier, once the smallest hospital in the state, was acquired by Westmoreland Hospital.

It was converted into a surgical center and was closed in 2011 by Excela Health.

The new hospital is a joint venture between Post Acute Medical and Avail Health Care Ventures of Dallas, Texas. Avail is a medical real estate development firm.

The new hospital will be built off Route 30 along Grayhawk Drive. The facility will treat victims of strokes, amputations, brain and spinal cord injuries.

It will include an outpatient clinic and wound care center, according to the company.

Excela Health opposed plans for the hospital, fearing that competition would hurt its rehab unit in Latrobe and an ambulatory care center that will be located in Unity.

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

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