UPMC plans grand opening in New Kensington; AHN closing outpatient center
BRIAN C. RITTMEYER| Thursday, April 15, 2021 11:01 a.m.
UPMC will hold a grand opening on Friday, May 7 for its St. Margaret Family Health Center at 1080 Fifth Ave.
The ribbon-cutting event, including speakers and a reception, is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., said Mary Lee Gannon, president of the St. Margaret Foundation.
UPMC broke ground on the $4.6 million, 8,000-square-foot facility in June.
The center will offer primary care, obstetrics, pediatrics, opioid use disorder intervention, psychiatry, social work and behavioral health support.
Gannon said the New Kensington center has a new medical director, Dr. Winfred Frazier. He replaces Dr. Jonathan Han, who has become the program director of the family medicine residency program overseeing all three health centers, the others being in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville and Bloomfield/Garfield neighborhoods.
One of the region’s largest medical providers will be closing a facility in New Kensington and its rival will be opening a new one within days of each other in May.
Allegheny Health Network will close its outpatient center in the former Citizens General Hospital on May 11, the network announced. The date is tentative, AHN spokeswoman JoAnne Clobus said Thursday.
A few days before, UPMC St. Margaret will open a family health center.
The AHN facility, offering laboratory, medical imaging and cardiology services, has been in the former Citizens General since November 2000, when the hospital closed.
It occupies less than a sixth of the total building that the network is leasing, and its lease is up, Clobus said. She said the center is being closed because the building is not a good fit for the services offered there.
AHN said it is looking for a smaller, more suitable site nearby.
“We are exploring our options for how best to meet the needs for these services in the community,” Clobus said. “No definitive decision has been made at this point.”
In the meantime, AHN is encouraging patients to visit Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison or its neighborhood hospital in Harmar for their health and medical needs.
Clobus could not say how many patients use the New Kensington outpatient center, which she said varied from month to month.
“While we consider our options, we have plenty of capacity to meet the needs of patients at our other facilities,” she said, noting Allegheny Valley Hospital is five miles away.
The six employees impacted by the closure are being counseled on their benefits and opportunities to apply for positions elsewhere at AHN or within the Highmark Health enterprise, Clobus said.
AHN recently closed its Express Care clinic in New Kensington, which had opened in July 2019 and had been located on Seventh Street across from the former hospital’s main entrance.