Alternative to allergy shots is in the works
A new alternative to allergy shots, studied by doctors at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, could become available soon to allergy sufferers. Patients can take under-the-tongue tablets at home as they would with any kind of medication, eliminating the need for months of weekly visits to the doctor's office for injections. It's an exciting development because allergies affect so many people, Dr. David Skoner told WTAE-TV. A Phase III clinical trial, the results of which were presented at the recent 2013 meeting of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, found that drops are safe and effective for people suffering from ragweed allergies. Approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the next step.
Highmark, WPAHS Announce Facility Upgrades Planned for Forbes Regional Hospital
$20 Million Initial Investment to Enhance Medical/Surgical Units, Open New Breast Care Center and Launch Trauma Program, Among Other Improvements
On Jan. 4, 2012, officials from Highmark Inc., and West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) outlined the first phase of plans to significantly enhance the scope and sophistication of patient care services offered at Forbes Regional Hospital. Through an initial investment of $20 million in the Forbes facility, the goal is to begin a process of modernizing and reconstructing the hospital and its campus to better meet the healthcare needs of the community and greatly improve the patient and visitor experience.
Among the projects planned at Forbes during the first phase of the initiative include a complete renovation of the hospital’s fourth and sixth floor medical/surgical units; the opening of a comprehensive breast care center; the addition of a third cardiovascular surgery operating room; new facility signage and exterior landscaping; and aesthetic upgrades to many patient/visitor areas, including waiting rooms and the cafeteria.
Considerable investment will also be made in technology and construction supporting Forbes Regional’s plans to become accredited as the Pittsburgh area’s first Level II trauma center, a designation by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation that identifies hospitals with advanced capabilities for treating adult patients with complex traumatic injuries.
“As the only full-service healthcare provider in the eastern suburbs, Forbes Regional has served this community exceptionally well for more than three decades,” said Keith T. Ghezzi, MD, interim president and chief executive officer, WPAHS. “Highmark’s commitment to this hospital will build upon its proud legacy by moving forward critical investments in programs, technology, people and infrastructure that will enable us to continue offering comprehensive patient care services that are unsurpassed in their quality and state-of-the-art capabilities.”
On Nov. 1, Highmark and WPAHS announced they had reached an affiliation agreement between the two organizations that, pending regulatory approvals, will considerably strengthen the health system and position it as the centerpiece of a new and innovative integrated healthcare delivery system for the region.
As part of the affiliation agreement, Highmark has committed to providing WPAHS with $400 million in grants and loans to support capital investment in its various facilities and programs. Officials announced in mid November plans for a major upgrade and expansion of West Penn Hospital, including the reopening of its Emergency Department in the first quarter of 2012.
Established in 1978, Forbes Regional is a 350-bed hospital that annually admits more than 14,000 patients, performs nearly 11,000 surgical procedures and logs approximately 50,000 Emergency Department visits. The hospital also delivers more than 1,000 babies each year and houses a Level II neonatal intensive care unit.
Throughout the past five years, Forbes Regional has grown substantially through the addition of key services such as cardiovascular surgery and neurosurgery and the opening of both a new 38-bed Emergency Department and a completely refurbished Women and Infants’ Center. The hospital has also recently become an affiliate of the world-renowned Joslin Diabetes Center and is a Joint Commission-certified primary stroke center.
More than 500 physicians and 1,380 employees share the hospital's commitment to patient care excellence.