A place of healing, hope, help: Frick Hospital plans to open time capsule in the next 50 years |

A place of healing, hope, help: Frick Hospital plans to open time capsule in the next 50 years

On Sept. 15, 2053, the administration of Frick Hospital and Westmoreland Health System will open a time capsule that will have been encapsulated in a far corner of the hospital lobby for 50 years.

That time capsule was dedicated Wednesday morning at the hospital as part of its 100th anniversary celebration and contains such items as pictures, a pair of scrubs, a stethoscope, medical journals, program brochures, an employee directory and different essays, according to Dale Walker, chairman of Frick Hospital’s Board of Directors.

“The next 100 years are now in our collective hands, and our commitment, dedication and ability to navigate change together are imperative,” said Walker. “We have inherited much and now we must improve upon it.”

A number of dignitaries graced the ceremony, including state Rep. Jess Stairs, Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Balya, members of East Huntingdon and Mount Pleasant Township boards of supervisors and mayors Tim Carson of Scottdale and Gerald Lucia of Mount Pleasant.

“I think we have an obligation not only to our children but also to future generations to do what we can to make sure Frick Hospital serves future generations for many more years to come,” said Balya.

Verna Uber, chairwoman for the Frick Centennial Committee, spoke and introduced various speakers throughout the program.

“This day honors and recognizes the community, employees, medical staff and the volunteers of Frick Hospital,” said Uber. “The health care delivered by Frick is a vital part of the strength of Mount Pleasant and surrounding areas.

The Rev. Dennis Henley, Frick Hospital chaplain, added that Frick not only cares for patients in bodily forms, but also in mental and spiritual needs as well.

“In addition to the employment that it offers, Frick has more importantly been a place of healing, hope and help,” said Henley. “No one knows the quality of life that has been enhanced because of this facility. It’s my prayer that Frick Hospital will be here for another 100 years.

David Gallatin, acting chief executive officer of Westmoreland Health System, added that they were celebrating 100 years of healing, compassion and community service.

“This is a milestone that not every hospital can claim, but we’re very proud to claim it,” said Gallatin. “We all look forward to the next century of care delivered at Frick Hospital for the well being of the community.

Donald Kettering, M.D., medical director of Frick Hospital, said that this is a new beginning for the hospital and added that since it merged two years ago to form part of the Westmoreland Health System, it has competed three strategies.

Those three strategies have been to consolidate and strengthen hospital-based services, enhance outpatient services and enhance medical staff development.

Albert Saloom, M.D., a physician at Frick for 45 years, also spoke to those in attendance.

“We’re survivors,” said Saloom. “Frick people are caring. They care about their workplace, their patients and about each other.”

“The Frick community built this hospital and only you can help it survive,” he added.

Peggy Tepper, a Frick employee for 35 years, talked about the changes she has seen at Frick over the years but summed up with the one thing that has never changed.

“The most important thing, which has not changed over the last 35 years, is the dedicated doctors, board members and employees who have delivered the highest quality of health care to the Fay-West area,” she said.

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