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UPMC Announces New Innovative Hospital Model in Lock Haven to Best Serve Community Needs

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Tyler Wagner

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LOCK HAVEN, Pa. — After careful evaluation of the evolving health care needs of communities in and around Clinton County and how best to continue meeting those needs, the Board of Directors of UPMC in North Central Pa. and UPMC Lock Haven have developed an innovative plan to ensure continued support of UPMC’s mission to provide high-quality health care for area residents now and in the future.

UPMC in North Central Pa. will work with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) to convert services at UPMC Lock Haven to an outpatient emergency department, the first of its kind in the commonwealth under the new guidance provided for Innovative Hospital Models.

“The Innovative Hospital Models released last year by the PADOH gave us a unique opportunity to explore and support the most effective and efficient delivery of emergency care in this rural area where inpatient hospital admissions have been very low for a long time. Local and national trends also show an exponential increase in patient preference for outpatient services,” said Patti Jackson-Gehris, president of UPMC in North Central Pa. “We are pleased to announce this plan and we are confident that this is the best model of care to meet the needs of this community.”

Lock Haven releaseUPMC in North Central Pa. intends to retain and incorporate 100% of the Lock Haven employees by placing them in comparable positions at UPMC facilities in the region. Many employees will continue their roles at UPMC Lock Haven in our emergency department, outpatient services or Haven Place, part of UPMC Senior Communities. Thorough plans are in place to assist and work with employees, and to communicate with current patients and the community.

“As an organization, we must emphasize innovation and quality. In health care, one size does not fit all, and models of care that are effective for larger, urban hospitals are not necessarily effective for a smaller, rural hospital like UPMC Lock Haven,” said Jackson-Gehris. “UPMC Lock Haven is fortunate to have a very dedicated, skilled and compassionate staff who are committed to the best possible clinical outcomes and overall patient experience. Our commitment to Lock Haven and Clinton County remains strong and we look forward to bringing the future of health care to this community through this new innovative model and further investments in our robust outpatient services in the region.”

UPMC acquired Lock Haven Hospital from for-profit Quorum Health Corporation in October 2017. In addition to the acquisition cost of $5.2 million, UPMC has invested an additional $4 million in capital improvements and in 2022 incurred operating losses of $4.4 million including physician investment. The health system also launched a number of community outreach and marketing initiatives and provided $4.7 million in support of community-based health program partnerships, physician practice support, and other "in-kind" health and social services in 2021.

In addition to the outpatient emergency department, which will be staffed 24/7 by a comprehensive team of physicians and nurses, UPMC specialists will continue to offer outpatient services for foot and ankle, and pain management on the campus at 24 Cree Drive, Lock Haven. This hospital conversion does not affect Haven Place, also located on the campus.

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