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UPMC LH Hospital to see upgrade in 2021

LOCK HAVEN — Exciting new services and projects at local UPMC facilities are expected to come to the Susquehanna Region hospitals later this winter and spring according to Steve Johnson, UPMC Susquehanna president and CEO.

Hospital upgrades, new locations, expanded services and even a hospital police force will be coming to a multitude of the local UPMC facilities starting this spring.

Though many of the details are yet to be determined, Johnson has a lot of hope for UPMC and what 2021 looks like for them.

“No question about it, (Lock Haven Hospital) is in need of a facility upgrade,” he said. “The doctors and nurses at Lock Haven have just done an outstanding job amidst the challenges (fire and COVID-19).”

Some of the significant improvements Johnson mentioned include remodeling the emergency department, upgrading the IT infrastructure, updating the boiler systems for heat and hot water and various painting and interior decorating projects.

The system is always looking to “recruit new providers who can help support and expand services at the facility,” Johnson said.

Some staff have moved into the UPMC Cancer Center located on Grampian Boulevard on Dec. 18.

“We are now renovating the old space to create more private spaces for additional chemotherapy treatment chairs, relocate and expand the laboratory pharmacy spaces and create additional exam rooms,” Johnson said.

All construction is expected to be completed by the end of April.

Virtual tours are available now at www.susquehannahealth.org. Full tours will be available after all renovation has been completed Johnson said.

The UPMC located at the Bald Eagle Outlet in McElhattan will be gaining new services and specialties but Johnson could not announce any details until they are finalized and able to start work.

DuboisTown Borough is expected to have a new Primary Care Office for Family Medicine and other outpatient practices coming this spring.

What is still being determined is whether or not UPMC will purchase a new building and renovate or choose to build a new facility.

As recently reported, UPMC is also looking into establishing their own “private police force” for the Williamsport hospital and practices.

Johnson described the force as something similar to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s police force.

“It has been a long time coming,” Johnson said. “It requires careful coordination with other surrounding law enforcement organizations as well.”

The police force will all be UPMC hired and trained, not affiliated with any local police or law enforcement officials.

He estimates this operation being up and running by spring like many of the other UPMC projects.

“(the projects) Are a major benefit to our UPMC relationship and historic commitment to our communities…to really create a more physically healthy community and a more economically sound community,” Johnson said.

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