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UPMC Lock Haven reopening Monday

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Ron Reynolds, UPMC Lock Haven Hospital president, is interviewed by the media Friday afternoon.

LOCK HAVEN — UPMC Lock Haven hospital had some good news for its patients and the community on Friday afternoon.

The facility, which has been closed for repairs due to a Sept. 10 fire in the boiler room, will resume health care services to the community on Monday, Oct. 12 at 6 a.m., according to Tyler Wagner, UPMC manager of communications.

“UPMC Lock Haven provider offices will be contacting patients to coordinate and schedule appointments,” he said.

On Friday, Ron Reynolds, president of UPMC and UPMC Muncy talked to the media about getting the hospital reopened.

“It was a huge challenge, but in an organized way,” Reynolds said. “We had hundreds of people — not only from our community — but the most qualified vendors come in and very thoroughly assure that we’re back on track. (Friday) we had our regulatory bodies as well, meaning the Department of Health, give us full permission to move forward after a very rigorous inspection over the last two days.”

Reynolds said that the hospital is ready to get back to business as usual.

“We are safe, we are cleaner than ever and we’re open for business on Monday morning at 6 a.m.,” he said.

More than 200 UPMC employees will head back to work Monday morning.

“The hardest part of the whole process is looking at people’s faces that work here and seeing the doubt and the fear that they have in their eyes about what has happened to their beloved hospital,” Reynolds said.

He also talked about the fire, which took place just around a month ago.

“To be clear, the fire was never inside the hospital. It was in a tunnel that was being repaired. It was part of a construction process. The fire did not occur through normal operations. With that, they are still looking at various causes. But the predominant amount of things that we needed to remediate was smoke, and we’ve done that. That’s what takes so long because it can get into different parts of the hospital,” Reynolds said. “The great news is that it was really contained to certain areas that we call hot spots.”

According to Reynolds, 17 patients were evacuated in 14 minutes.

“Never once was one of those patients in harm’s way,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said that he’s excited for the hospital to open its doors again.

“The most important message is that the community has to support this hospital. We have to give the best care. And if we prove that, we need this community to come to this hospital because I think they see what it would be like if they didn’t have it,” Reynolds said. “It is so vital to this community.”

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