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UPMC St. Margaret Breaks Ground for New Emergency Department

PITTSBURGH, October 10, 2003 U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) today joined the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, UPMC St. Margaret, local government officials and emergency medical services personnel to break ground for an expanded emergency department at UPMC St. Margaret at 9:15 a.m. Senator Specter supported the grant of $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Emergency Preparedness to construct a decontamination facility at UPMC St. Margaret as part of the project. In addition, Senator Specter will discuss his support for strategic medical intelligence programming.

UPMC St. Margaret will add a two-story, 32,000 square feet emergency department expansion that will wrap around the southeast corner of the hospital. The emergency department, which treated more than 33,000 people last year, will grow from 12 to 24 treatment rooms and eight holding rooms to accommodate an 11 percent increase in emergency visits in the past three years. To provide effective emergency treatment of patients exposed to chemical or biological agents, the project includes a 170 square feet decontamination area that features its own outside entrance, and separate air exhaust and water drainage systems.

Last January Senator Specter toured UPMC St. Margaret and talked with UPMC bioterrorism experts about emergency preparedness and the role of community hospitals

and first responders in decontaminating and treating casualties from bioterroristic events. The senators support led to approval of a federal grant to fund the decontamination area.

This expansion project is vital to our ability to respond to a critical need in our community today and into the future, said David Martin, president and CEO, UPMC St. Margaret. We need additional space to treat the more than 100 patients we see every day. At the same time, we must enhance our ability to respond to bioterrorism while keeping our staff and patients protected from contamination by chemical or biological agents. We are grateful to Senator Specter for his support of our efforts.

The $8 million emergency department expansion project will take nearly one year to complete, and the existing emergency treatment areas will remain in full operation throughout the construction period.

UPMC St. Margaret is a 254-bed community and teaching hospital that serves one-quarter million residents of Pittsburghs northern and eastern suburbs and Alle-Kiski Valley. UPMC St. Margaret is home to a nationally recognized family practice residency program and many of the areas premier primary care and specialty physicians practice there. The hospital offers specialty programs in general and orthopaedic surgery, complete outpatient care, arthritis and rehabilitation, comprehensive cancer care, geriatrics, sports medicine and bariatric surgery, and includes three neighborhood family health centers and two schools of nursing.

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