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Excela Health plans 2 outpatient facilities in Westmoreland

Joe Napsha
| Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, 10:54 p.m.
Former Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett, speaks to attendants of the 2015 Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence Business Summit at the Fred M. Rogers Center at St. Vincent College on Oct. 14, 2015 in Latrobe.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Former Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett, speaks to attendants of the 2015 Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence Business Summit at the Fred M. Rogers Center at St. Vincent College on Oct. 14, 2015 in Latrobe.
Excela Health Chief Executive Office Robert Rogalski speaks to attendants of the 2015 Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence Business Summit at the Fred M. Rogers Center at St. Vincent College on Oct. 14, 2015 in Latrobe.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Excela Health Chief Executive Office Robert Rogalski speaks to attendants of the 2015 Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence Business Summit at the Fred M. Rogers Center at St. Vincent College on Oct. 14, 2015 in Latrobe.

Excela Health plans to break ground on two facilities next year — an orthopedic and spine treatment center in Hempfield and an ambulatory care center in Unity — as part of its expansion of outpatient services, according to a health system official.

“We're trying to maintain good quality health care in Westmoreland County,” and the goal is to deliver as much treatment as possible so patients can remain in the area, Robert Rogalski, chief executive of the three-hospital health system, said Wednesday after a discussion on health care at St. Vincent College near Latrobe.

Excela anticipates that construction of the facilities will take 12 to 18 months, said spokeswoman Robin Jennings.

Rogalski updated the projects after his presentation on how the health system was able to reduce costs by operating more efficiently.

Plans are proceeding for the three-story, 96,000-square-foot Orthoplex on a 43-acre site along Weatherwood Lane near the Mt. Pleasant Road interchange of Route 30, he said. A traffic study must be completed and Hempfield still has to approve the plans.

A few patient services may be moved from Excela Westmoreland Hospital to the Orthoplex, Rogalski said.

The Orthoplex will bring together sports medicine, physical therapy and orthopedic treatment, which are offered at different locations that are not large enough to house all three, Jennings said.

Excela was awarded a $3 million state grant in July 2014 to pay for the design and construction of the orthopedic treatment center.

The other outpatient facility on the drawing board is the 110,000-square-foot Latrobe Ambulatory Care Center off Route 30 near the Mountain Laurel Plaza in Unity. Access roads have been built to that site, Rogalski said.

Excela, which operates hospitals in Latrobe and Mt. Pleasant, plans to have primary care physician and specialist offices, as well as rehabilitative and diagnostic services, at the Unity site. It will bring physician offices from various locations under one roof at the Latrobe Ambulatory Care Center, Rogalski said.

Kennametal Inc.'s recent announcement that it will move part of its headquarters workforce from Unity to Pittsburgh will not impact Excela's decision, Rogalski said.

The business summit was sponsored by St. Vincent's Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence.

Another speaker, former Gov. Tom Corbett, said compromise will be critical in resolving the 110-day budget standoff between Gov. Tom Wolf and Republicans in the General Assembly.

“When I negotiated with the General Assembly on budgets, I did not get close to what I wanted. ... I knew I had to compromise,” Corbett said.

“He's got to figure this out for himself,” said Corbett, who pointed out that state budgets were passed by the July 1 deadline in each of his four years in office.

Corbett told the 70 participants at the business summit that the state pension system must be reformed, at least in the short term, to reduce the cost to taxpayers by changing the formula under which pensions are computed.

Without reform, Corbett said, the state employees retirement system will fail.

Turning to national politics, Corbett predicted the field of 14 Republican presidential candidates will narrow by Christmas, leaving about seven candidates for the Iowa caucus and primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina. After that, he anticipates only three or four will remain in the race.

Corbett said he wonders how long businessman Donald Trump can lead the polls of GOP hopefuls when he hasn't explained how he can accomplish his goals to secure the border, increase national security and improve health care.

“I could not vote for him right now 'cause I don't know what he is going to do. We need somebody who has been a chief executive,” Corbett said.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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