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Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014

News

West Penn Hospital Celebrates One Year Anniversary of Rebirth as Full Service Provider

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Exactly one year ago today officials at the West Penn Allegheny Health System and Highmark joined leaders from Bloomfield and its neighboring communities to announce the restoration of emergency medicine and other critical services at West Penn Hospital
 
The anniversary of West Penn’s rebirth as a full service healthcare provider reflects a year of great progress at the hospital and sets a foundation for continued growth and success in the future, said Duke Rupert, West Penn Hospital’s President and CEO.
 
Since reopening the emergency department, West Penn has experienced significant growth in many of its clinical service lines. Outpatient care volume increased 25 percent at the hospital while inpatient discharges grew by 45 percent. Surgical volumes also rose by 30 percent. The hospital added approximately 240 full time employees to its workforce.
 
“We are exceedingly proud of the impressive strides that have been taken over the past 12 months to bring many important healthcare services, programs and jobs back to this community. Thanks to an outstanding leadership team, our incredibly dedicated and talented employees and the unwavering support of the community we serve, West Penn Hospital is once again a vibrant and vital healthcare resource with a bright future ahead of it,” Rupert said. 
 
Featuring an array of technical advances, including a state-of-the art, 128-slice CT scanner, the revamped 23-bed West Penn Hospital Emergency Department (ED) was the central component of the hospital’s rejuvenation, but just part of a major upgrade to services hospital-wide, Rupert said. 
 
Patient rooms throughout the hospital were transformed to all-private beds. Medical, surgical and intensive care units were renovated and reopened. Renovation and expansion of the hospital’s labor and delivery center is in its final stages, with completion slated for late spring.  
 
The hospital is also preparing for the restoration of its cardiovascular services. Expected to be launched in the spring, the program will include both diagnostic and interventional cardiology and cardiothoracic and vascular surgery services. 
 
According to Bruce MacLeod, MD, Medical Director of West Penn Hospital’s Emergency Department, the return of cardiovascular services will significantly increase patient admissions to the hospital via the emergency department. 
 
“We are eagerly looking forward to the opening of our Cardiovascular Institute. Given the prevalence of heart disease in the community, the percentage of patients needing emergency care related to cardiovascular issues, such as suspected heart attack or stroke, is extremely high,” he said. 
 
Under Dr. MacLeod’s leadership, utilization of the emergency department exceeded all projections in its first year of operation while also ranking in the 90 percentile nationally for hospitals of like size in terms of patient care quality and satisfaction.
 
“There’s virtually no wait for accessing care in our department. Patients get the care they need right when they need it,” said Dr. MacLeod. “I attribute this to an exceptional, focused clinical staff that  work diligently and with great passion to ensure the highest standards of quality and service excellence are met. They are constantly striving to minimize delays for patients and I’m very proud of their commitment to the providing the best care possible for our patients.”
 
West Penn also added numerous physicians to its medical staff in 2012, including specialists in bariatric surgery, endocrinology, general surgery, gynecologic oncology, neurology, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics, palliative medicine and urology. 
 
In July, one of the nation’s preeminent esophageal disease specialists, Blair Anderson Jobe, MD, transitioned his clinical practice and research programs from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to WPAHS and assumed key leadership roles in the West Penn Allegheny organization. He is the Director of West Penn Allegheny’s new Institute for the Treatment of Esophageal and Thoracic Disease and also serves as Chair of the Department of Surgery at West Penn Hospital. 
 
Dr. Jobe’s recruitment coincided with that of Howard Edington, MD, an internationally recognized surgical oncologist and physician leader from UPMC who was named Chair of the West Penn Allegheny’s  Department of Surgery. Working out of both Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital, Dr. Edington also serves as Director of the West Penn Allegheny Cutaneous Oncology Center specializing in wound healing and the surgical treatment of skin and breast cancer.
 
West Penn Hospital earned multiple other plaudits in 2012 as well, including the region’s first Magnet Recognition® re-designation from the American Nursing Credentialing Center, indicating its nursing program continues to rank as one of the best in the nation; accreditation from the Joint Commission; and a successful biennial licensure survey by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
 
The hospital’s cell transplantation program, neuro-diagnostic lab and OB/GYN residency program were also accredited this year, representing the highest level of performance recognition by their respective accrediting agencies.
 
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