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Wesley Health Center to add elevator

| Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Connellsville's Wesley Health Center, the only free clinic in Southwestern Pennsylvania, continues to expand its patient services.

The Connellsville Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a site review for an elevator at Wesley Health Center, 410 S. Pittsburgh St. The Fayette County Universal Construction Code Office must now issue a building permit for the elevator, which will be installed on the side of the building. It will allow patient access to the second floor.

Volunteer Executive Director Marilyn Weaver said two grants from the state Department of Public Welfare will pay for the elevator and for redoing the interior of the health center.

"We will have two exam rooms total, but an additional patient education space. We've been fortunate to get these grants," Weaver said. "The elevator makes the second floor accessible."

Once the county issues its UCC permit, a gas line will have to be moved before installation of the elevator begins.

A waiting room will be installed upstairs, as well as a patient exam room. The conference room upstairs will become accessible for patient education. Weaver said education on topics such as hypertension, diabetes and nutrition can be offered.

The downstairs waiting room will remain, as will one exam room. The second exam room downstairs will become an office, and the kitchen area will be converted into a laboratory space. The back office will become a nurse practitioner's office and eating space. The back porch will be enclosed to hold items now stored upstairs.

In 2010, Wesley provided services to 339 residents, 198 new and 141 repeat patients.

By tracking patient data, the clinic documented that hypertension, diabetes and depression were the three most common diagnoses.

The Wesley Health Center has been able to serve Connellsville and the surrounding community since 1993 through generous donations by churches, civic organizations, businesses, mission support from the United Methodist Church, private and public grants and the generosity of friends and those it serves.

To make an appointment or donate, call 724-626-2610.

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