Bellevue hospital to lose ER, beds
Allegheny General Hospital's Suburban campus in Bellevue will shut down its emergency department and stop admitting patients in 90 days, officials at parent West Penn Allegheny Health System said Thursday.
The 106-year-old facility will not completely close. It will continue to offer heavily used outpatient services including radiology, laboratory, dialysis and imaging services. An urgent care center will replace the emergency department to treat minor emergencies.
"I am very, very disappointed," said Linda Woshner, a longtime resident and Bellevue councilwoman. "It's not a hospital if you don't have an ER. They've been removing services for a number of years. This is a real concern."
Officials at financially troubled West Penn Allegheny would not say how many of Suburban's 275 full-time jobs will be affected. Spokeswoman Kelly Sorice said displaced workers will be offered jobs throughout the system or severance packages. The West Penn Allegheny network has about 350 job openings, Sorice said.
In justifying the change, officials said inpatient care constitutes about 4 percent of Suburban's volume. About 86 percent of the 20,000 emergency room visits each year are non-emergency cases that could be treated in an urgent care center.
"The vast majority of patients who visit Suburban's campus do so for outpatient care," said AGH president and CEO Gregory Burfitt.
West Penn Allegheny plans to turn over the hospital's 59 inpatient beds to LifeCare, a company that operates 41 long-term care beds at the Suburban site. The company applied for licensure to use nine of the 59 beds for long-term acute care patients. The company might seek approval to use the other 50 beds for skilled nursing care, said LifeCare CEO Rick Pletz.
Bellevue Mayor George Doscher said he was disheartened by the news but encouraged neighbors to attend a town hall meeting tonight. Although he attended some meetings with West Penn Allegheny, Doscher said citizens were left out of the decision-making process.
"They've made up their minds," he said. "It sounds like our hands are tied. Will this be the first step in closing the entire place down• I don't know. I don't have that kind of crystal ball."
West Penn Allegheny officials said the Suburban site will continue to house physicians' offices, a gastroenterology lab, physical therapy, outpatient medical oncology and outpatient pediatric services.
The hospital will maintain a service to transport emergency cases to Allegheny General's North Side campus. Surgeries previously performed at Suburban will be done at AGH.Additional Information:
Town hall meeting
Who: Residents concerned about changes at Allegheny General Hospital's Suburban campus
When: 6:30 Friday
Where: Bellevue Elementary School, 435 Lincoln Ave.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Nothing huge, but Huntington helped Bucs
- Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played
- Deadly snake bites on the rise in Western Pa.
- Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
- Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
- 2014 showing has Steelers RB Harris confident he belongs
- 2 killed in single-vehicle crash in Pittsburgh
- Inside The Steelers: LB Williams dominates backs-on-backers drill at Latrobe Memorial Stadium
- Pittsburgh Police motorcycle officer seriously injured in crash
- LaBar: Piper’s influence can’t be understated
- Man shot Friday in Washington