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UPMC Pinnacle West Shore to finish expansion in November

UPMC Pinnacle West Shore is expected to finish an expansion to its emergency department in November. PHOTO PROVIDED.

UPMC Pinnacle is nearing completion on its $87.5 million expansion to Hampden Township-based UPMC Pinnacle West Shore.

The Harrisburg hospital system announced it will reopen its walk-in emergency department entrance on Thursday, providing a larger entrance and waiting room for social distancing and patient privacy.

Other portions of the expansion are still under construction but will reopen as they are finished, with the entire project planned to be completed by November, according to Lou Baverso, president of the UPMC Cumberland Region.

The expansion includes 12 cardiac catheterization lab pre- and post-operative bays, an 8,000-square-foot expansion of the emergency department, a 40% increase in the capacity of treatment rooms and 54 additional beds.

“West Shore, from the day it opened, has been a very successful health care facility– it has operated almost always at full capacity,” Baverso said. “This added capacity gives us the ability to manage our (output) in a way that we aren’t always at capacity and will allow us to grow.”

A new pharmacy, built to support the expanded capacity, is also expected to be ready in September, along with three more operating rooms, for a total of 10, will be completed a month later.

The last piece of the project will be West Shore’s expanded emergency room observation unit. The unit will wrap up the expansion in November and allows the hospital to treat outpatient cases that need longer observation.

“It’s for patients presenting symptoms that are concerning and require further testing and evaluation,” said Dr. Rupen Modi, medical director at UPMC Pinnacle West Shore Emergency Service. “It’s quick, speedy care– the key being quality and quick turnaround to make sure that we respect their time and limit exposure to illnesses.”

Expansions to the hospital began in early 2019 and continued throughout the pandemic without pause.

Modi said that the hospital was unique in how quickly it has returned to normal volumes.

“Whatever processes we put in place gained the trust of this community and this expansion will only build on and further that,” he said.

Ioannis Pashakis
Ioannis Pashakis covers health care, the gig economy, cannabis and technology. Email him at [email protected].

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