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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Groundbreaking Held For $2.2 Million Upgrade & Expansion Of Port Allegany Health Center

Port Allegany Health Center To Expand

2.2 Million Dollar Project Will Nearly Double Space

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital and UPMC Hamot, who have joined forces to expand and extensively renovate the Port Allegany Community Health Center a
t 45 Pine St., Port Allegany, held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday that included board members, community leaders, providers and staff, marking the beginning of the project which has been two years in the making.

Following a welcome by Ed Pitchford, CCMH president and chief executive officer, comments were made by the Rev. Randall Headley, pastor, Port Allegany United Methodist Church and vice chairman, CCMH board of directors; Dr. Jason Tronetti, Port Allegany Community Health Center and CCMH board member; Ron Caskey, CCMH board member; Rep. Martin Causer; and Gary Maras, senior vice president of business development, UPMC Hamot. Others participating in the ceremony included Dr. Marlene Wust-Smith, Dr. Michael Tarbox, Becky Seefeldt, CRNP, and Julie Baker, PA-C.

The $2.2 million project will last approximately nine months and will not interrupt daily operations at the health center. The project will add 4,584 square feet and renovate 7,901 square feet to the current space.

“Investing in our communities through projects like this is essential to the mission of our hospital. We believe it is our responsib
ility to provide excellent healthcare services responding to the changing needs of the communities we serve. We are pleased to be able to improve this community asset as modern and relevant in an era when there is so much emphasis on keeping people well and out of hospitals. This project demonstrates our long term commitment to the health and well being of McKean County residents and to this community for years to come,” Pitchford said.

The Port Allegany Community Health Center provides family and pediatric primary care services, laboratory, radiology and physical therapy and occupational therapy services, and a wellness center. In addition, the facility is occupied by Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Services, Inc a
nd the Asbestos Screening program.

Upon completion, the center will include a total of 22 exam and treatment rooms. Primary care providers at the health center c
urrently see 14,000 patients annually. This project is expected to allow for an increase of more than 4,000 visits per year. Specialists will increase patient visits by an additional 5,000.

The healthcare facility will offer expanded primary care and specialty services including diagnostic testing, behavioral counseling and telemedicine, in an updated patient-centered environment. The center also will include various specialty clinics including podiatric services by Dr. Michael Tarbox, chiropractic care by Dr. Michael Kavouna
s, and women’s health services by Dr. Celso Backes and Dr. Max Laurore.

“I am excited about the new expansion project for the Port facility. CCMH and UPMC Hamot have made it possible to expand our ability to provide more patient care to the community. We have been limited in space and have not been able to fulfill the needs of the community and with the new facility we will be able to offer more care to more people,” Dr. Tronetti said.

CCMH has operated the facility for more than 25 years and while improvements have been made during that time, the most recent project was over a decade ago. Increased demand and limited space for primary care, specialists and ancillary services have created the need for this project.

“When I was
hired as the pediatrician at the Port Allegany Health Center almost 5 years ago, I was amazed at how much this community values its providers. We have been working hard at making this a true patient-centered medical home and I believe that we have succeeded. The improvements that will be made to the health center will help us to provide the very best care to even more patients,” Dr. Wust-Smith said.

“The expansion and renovation of the Port Allegany Community Health Center reflects the growing relationship between two quality health care institutions,” Maras said. “UPMC Hamot and Charles Cole Memorial Hospital are committed to improving access to the highest quality healthcare and services provided to patients in this region.”

In March 2010, CCMH and UPMC Hamot entered into a clinical affiliation agreement through which the two health systems collaborate to improve the access and quality of health services to the residents of the area.

About Charles Cole Memorial Hospital

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital is a full service, comprehensive health system based in Coudersport with service throughout north central Pennsylvania. In addition to the hospital’s
main campus in Coudersport, CCMH provides primary health care, including wellness and physical therapy, to surrounding communities in four counties at rural health centers in Galeton, Ulysses, Westfield, Shinglehouse, Port Allegany, Eldred, Smethport, and Emporium. For additional information on the hospital’s services and medical providers, visit

About UPMC Hamot

UPMC Hamot is a 412-bed, tertiary care facility, located in Erie. UPMC Hamot has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report- America’s Best Hospitals, Top 50 for Pulmonary Medicine, Most Wired, and Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals for overall performance, as well as Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals for outstanding outcomes in heart care, neurological services, urology, orthopaedics, gerontology and critical care medicine. UPMC and Hamot affiliated on February 1. For more information, visit


Anonymous said...

There isn't enough parking there now! Where do they think everyone will park if they are seeing more patients?

Anonymous said...

Seriously?!? You people can find anything to complain about! Have you driven through Port Allegany lately? All you see is empty buildings or spaces where building have been demolished. At least one organization - besides Sheetz - is willing to commit to improving the services available to the residents of Port and surrounding areas. Maybe the Boro can tear down the entire east end of Main Street and put in a parking lot for you - of course then you'd probably complain you have to walk 2 blocks to get to the doctor's office!

Anonymous said...

More and better parking is being addressed in this renovation.

Anonymous said...

It IS a ligit complaint 4:43.
Obviously you are a doctor with parking provided. There is NOT enough parking space as it is so where is this expansion project goint to take place and is there more parking included in the plans.
Port Allegany is no worse than any other small town around rural Pennsylvania. Look at all of the closed stores in surrounding communities.

Anonymous said...

Too much moaning. This is just fabulous and great for the community and terrific for the people who need medical care.
Bravo Hamot and Charles Cole and thanks.

Anonymous said...

You know some people want to complain about everything. I think it will a great thing for our community and surrounding area. GOOD FOR YOU COLE.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful opportunity for Port Allegany I do hope that this new venture with Hamot will grow and bring opportunities to Charles Cole as well.

Pearl Harris LPN said...

I was a nurse in that facility in Port for 5 years, that is a facility with providers that are very compassionate to their patients needs. Building onto this site will be a wonderful asset to that community. Great going Dr. Tronetti,Dr. Wust-Smith and all of their staff, CCMH and Hamot.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to all the people & entities involved! Dr. Shelly is an excellent Doc too!

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that there probably is a need. But, doesn't anyone find it ironic that C.C. cut everyone's pay last year and now they can spend money on buildings?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post -- "because CC is not making a profit we all have to give a little" said ED. Now the same people are spending 2.2 mil and our 6.25% pay cut has not been addressed. We lived for a year with our pay cut and now ED says we have a commitment to our community -- how about the people who make Charles Cole run --the little people who handel all of our medical documents, do all the phone work and oh ya the ones responsible for getting info on our charts correct --- these are the people who took it on the chin and now we should rave about the good things Pitchford is doing?

Anonymous said...

About the parking -- we are not just trying to complain about the parking but Doc G is a foot doc --think walking is a issue? Distance from the ofiice is an issue. I know that there have been days there was not 1 spot on the block. Lets put more Docs and patients in the building and see the foot surgery patients walk! Sounds like a plan!!

Anonymous said...

Pearl-They are all wonderful doctors! But if they are going to see more patients with you working there, you have to admit that parking is a HUGE issue at that facility.
11:43 pm-I totally agree with you about the pay cut the hospital employees took and have no received anything back yet! Go figure the cost of living has gone up since then.
They will put $2.2 million into a new building, but nothing back into the employees of the hospital, just keep working your butts off for less money!

Anonymous said...

While I strongly desire this type of developement in Port Allegany, there is more than just a parking issue there. Zoning calls for all parking to be on lot, or off street. The Off Street Parking Requirements, chapter 100-16, are quite strict. The Borough Council can only waive parking requirements in the CC district. According to that, the building as it stands is non-conforming. Anything new would have to conform.

According to current zoning, Section 100-19 A,1, it reads, No such nonconforming sue shall be enlarged or increased no extended to occupy a greater area of land than was accupied at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter.

This property is in the RLB zone. It is a business, and will require a conditional use permit in order to expand businesses.

I hope these issues can be solved while maintaining equal treatment to all citizens in this town. Not all businesses in Port Allegany have to follow local zoning. Some meet zoning only to have findings of fact made up.

Anonymous said...

1:47.... Dude you need to find some kind of hobby...

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, CCMH's benefactor Charles Cole left a huge sum of money for the express purpose of expanding and renovating the physical structure. Those funds by his directive are only to be used for that purpose and can't be used for salaries etc.