2nd phase of Excela Frick Hospital work planned |

2nd phase of Excela Frick Hospital work planned

Joe Napsha
Evan Sanders | Tribune-Review
Excela Frick Hospital located in Mt. Pleasant photographed on Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2016.
Evan Sanders | Tribune-Review
Excela Frick Hospital located in Mt. Pleasant photographed on Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2016.
Evan Sanders | Tribune-Review
Excela Frick Hospital located in Mt. Pleasant photographed on Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2016.

The second phase of an initiative to convert Excela Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant into a medical mall housing physician offices, specialists, an emergency room, surgical center and outpatient testing while retaining hospital beds for overnight stays, is set to begin April 4, Excela Health said Wednesday.

The five-year project will transform the 102-year-old Excela Frick Hospital into a hybrid medical facility, with services found in both traditional hospitals and outpatient medical centers, said Robin Jennings, an Excela Health spokeswoman. The name of the former H.C. Frick Hospital, which joined with Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg and Latrobe Area Hospital in 2004 to Excela Health, will eventually be changed to Excela Square at Frick.

“It’s a wonderful combination,” of a hospital and a medical mall, Jennings said, adding that the “best of all pieces” will be included in the hybrid hospital-medical mall. The hospital still maintains about 30 beds for in-patient care, Jennings said.

The five-year project began in 2014 and is expected to cost more than $12 million by the time it is complete, Jennings said. The cost of the project has been included in the capital budgets, Jennings said.

In the second phase of the project, the hospital’s cafe will be updated with more seating and more food offerings. As that construction is occurring, food service will be provided on the hospital’s second floor.

As the main lobby and rotunda entrance are improved, a secondary public entrance to the right of the hospital near the helicopter pad is planned to accommodate the expansion of the main lobby. An information and greeter desk will be located at the secondary entrance.

The QuikDraw Plus blooding testing will be expanded, and the hospital’s chapel and Healing Garden will be relocated in the second phase, which is set to be finished by February.

The second phase starts up after Frick’s emergency department, which serves more than 22,000 people a year, was modernized, along with centers for advanced wounds and sleep studies in the first phase of the work. The hospital’s QuikDraw Plus area was expanded as well.

Medical officers for primary care physicians and specialists will be updated in the final phase of the project. That work will be done within the existing footprint of the building, Jennings said.

Excela wants to create a patient-centered medical home concept that is already in place at Excela Square at Norwin, which is located at the Norwin Hills Shopping Center in North Huntingdon. That facility offers a variety of outpatient services, including blood work and diagnostic testing, along with physician offices, outpatient surgeries and occupational rehabilitation.

“This is a trend and it is a good trend. It’s a national trend,” Patricia J. Raffaele, vice president of professional services for the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania, said of the medical mall concept.

These facilities make it easier for the patient and their families if they have access to their physicians and testing capabilities under one roof, said Raffaele, whose healthcare council is a Warrendale-based trade group for hospitals, long-term care facilities and specialty hospitals in a 30-county area.

“I think they are well-received by the patient,” Raffaele said.

In Western Pennsylvania, the regional two dominant health care providers, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Allegheny Health Network, are applying that model to its facilities, as well as regional hospitals in Butler and Upper St. Clair, Raffaele said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.