Excela Health debuts Unity care center
Excela Health Tuesday offered donors and the media a preview of its new $40 million ambulatory care center in Unity that will begin offering patient services Monday.
Members of the public will have a chance to check out the three-story, 115,000-square-foot facility during an open house from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today on Excela Health Drive, off Route 30, east of Route 981.
Following a “medical mall” concept, Excela Square at Latrobe brings together primary and specialized care and therapy, lab and imaging services from several of the health system's area locations to a central site.
“We are consolidating about 15 different locations, so patients can come here as one stop, being able to see your primary care doctor, your OB/GYN or a variety of different medical and surgical specialists,” said Mike Busch, Excela's chief operating officer.
It's a concept Excela previously introduced in North Huntingdon, with Excela Square at Norwin.
“In these outpatient settings, we're focusing on prevention and health maintenance, and we're bringing physicians of all types together alongside the diagnostic testing and rehabilitation services that are most commonly needed for population health management,” said Bob Rogalski, Excela's chief executive officer. “This frees up our hospitals for those patients who require an inpatient level of care.”
The first floor of the Unity facility houses areas that will most commonly be accessed by patients, including imaging and laboratory services, an advanced pain center, an outpatient rehabilitation area and ear, nose and throat specialties.
At the front of the first floor, on either side of the main entrance, are a community education center and the Side Street Cafe.
The second floor is shared by offices for primary care providers and for specialty services including gastroenterology, cardiology, neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine.
The building's third floor houses a Women's Care Center, including a prenatal clinic.
It also is the new home of Excela's Latrobe Family Medicine residency program, bringing together offices that had been located adjacent to Latrobe Hospital and at Excela's Mountain View medical campus. The program combines patient care and the education of new primary care physicians.
Dr. Tom Gessner, who chairs the Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation, said the Unity care center will be home to about 12 of the 24 residents enrolled in the Family Medicine program. Over its 43-year history, the program has graduated more than 200 residents, 45 of whom are on Excela's medical staff.
“We've outgrown our space,” Gessner said. “The space we put together here we tried to make efficient.”
As in many other offices at the Unity building, the Family Medicine suite includes a central working space for staff surrounded by a series of patient examination rooms.
“This is the basic model to accommodate various people who are involved in education and patient care at the same time,” Gessner said.
He acknowledged more than 300 organizations and individuals whose donations provided $11.4 million to help develop the Unity building.
“It's been five years in the making in terms of design and finding the right site and the capital investments necessary to make this work,” Rogalski said of the project.
“We're so happy the community supported us and helped us get over the top through philanthropy. This is a big part of the future of Excela Health.”