New surgery center planned for Bethel Park

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South Hills residents can look for a variety of medical services offered closer to home.

The spring of 2015 is the targeted opening for a new surgery center at Jefferson Regional Medical Center’s Health and Wellness Pavilion in Bethel Park. The 35,750-square-foot addition is intended to provide expanded health care in a closer locale for those who require services.

“We have been waiting for this for a long time, and not only us, but our patients,” Natalie Furlong, primary care physician and member of Jefferson Hospital board of directors, said during a groundbreaking ceremony last Thursday. “It is truly going to be a pleasure to provide care to patients in a convenient manner.”

The $17 million project will entail an ambulatory surgical center with three operating rooms and two gastrointestinal procedure rooms, a medical oncology suite with six treatment chairs, family practice suite and physicians’ office.

“We tend to dream big. But our dream is really about patient care,” John Dempster, Jefferson Hospital president and chief executive officer, said at the ceremony.

The expanded services represent a commitment by health insurer Highmark Inc.’s Allegheny Health Network to meet patients’ needs and expectations.

“When this whole idea started, it was about, how can we change the way health care is delivered in this region?” said John Paul, president and chief executive officer of the health network, which as Highmark announced a strategic partnership with Jefferson in 2012 and acquired the medical center the following year.

“We can change the way health care is delivered,” Mr. Paul noted. “We can do it in the neighborhood and make it affordable.”

Echoing his comments was Gregory Harbaugh, chairman of the Jefferson Hospital board of directors.

“It’s going to be such a major plus for patients and the community, convenience coupled with excellent patient care,” he said.

Several facets of the project have been going through the approval process with the municipality of Bethel Park.

“We know that we have a good working relationship, and it’s only going to grow,” Bethel Park Mayor Jack Allen said about Jefferson’s local presence.

Jefferson Regional Medical Center has 18 satellite locations in addition to its main facility in Jefferson Hills.

The 60,000-square-foot Bethel Park location, on Higbee Road near Baptist Road, was built in 2003 and was previously owned by Mercy Life Care Corp. before its purchase by Jefferson Regional in 2008.

Harry Funk, freelance writer:

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