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AHN says first of 4 new regional hospitals will be in Hempfield

Ben Schmitt
| Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, 6:39 a.m.
A rendering showing what the four neighborhood hospitals proposed by Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network would look like.
Courtesy of Allegheny Health Network
A rendering showing what the four neighborhood hospitals proposed by Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network would look like.

Allegheny Health Network on Monday announced the first of four neighborhood hospitals to be built over the next two years will be in Hempfield at the intersection of Agnew Road and Route 30.

It will be called AHN Hempfield - Neighborhood Hospital.

AHN and Highmark officials made the announcement at a news conference in the Courtyard by Marriott near Greensburg.

"With this neighborhood hospital, we are bringing to Westmoreland County an innovative, patient-centered model that will provide the best possible experience, quality and outcomes for those requiring emergency care, short hospital stays and other outpatient services," said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN's president and CEO.

Allegheny Health Network's four so-called micro-hospitals will be built through a new partnership with Texas-based Emerus, a for-profit developer and management firm. AHN and Emerus will split construction costs with Emerus managing the hospitals.

On its website, Emerus describes itself as "the nation's first and largest operator of micro-hospitals." Its facilities typically range from 15,000 to 60,000 square feet and include an emergency department as well as 10 to 12 beds for observation and short stays.

In October, Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network announced a massive $700 million expansion plan that includes construction of the four neighborhood hospitals, a 160-bed state-of-the-art hospital in Pine and renovation of its existing facilities throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Officials have said the seven-hospital AHN is in the midst of a financial upswing. It reported an operating gain of $13 million for the half-year following a 2016 operating loss of $39 million.

The new AHN facilities are expected to add 800 jobs to Western Pennsylvania's health care workforce, officials said at the time of the announcement.

In November, AHN rival UPMC announced it will invest $2 billion to build three hospitals in Pittsburgh on the campuses of UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland, UPMC Mercy in Uptown and UPMC Shadyside. UPMC President and CEO Jeffrey Romoff said he desired to help the health giant become "the Amazon of health care."

AHN employs about 17,000, while UPMC employs nearly 80,000.

Come back to TribLive Monday afternoon for more information.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, bschmitt@tribweb.comor via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

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