The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

December 12, 2012

New purpose for ‘old’ site

Medical park now geared toward patients

— The Johnstown Regional Technical Park in Kernville has a new name and a new focus.

While the complex never materialized into the economic power plant once envisioned, its future as Conemaugh Medical Park appears to be extremely bright.     

“Creating an excellent patient experience is at the core of these changes,”

Dr. Brian Lieb, Conemaugh Physician Group chairman, said.

And as pointed out by one of the original technical park planners, the park did clean up a former brownfield site while leading to several other projects in the once-run-down Kernville neighborhood.

Five years ago, Johnstown Regional Technology Park had area leaders

bubbling with excitement and optimism. The state-of-the-art medical and technology complex, they promised, would provide the economic shot in the arm the city of Johnstown so desperately needed.

Unfortunately, our economy, along with that of our nation, soured. New businesses didn’t come knocking. A spin-off effect in the downtown never happened. And certainly a second building that was being planned was never built.

“I am disappointed,” Johnstown businessman and former hospital board chairman Robert Gleason said. “I thought it would attract new business, but I think the hospital – the way they reacted and decided to use the space – is a good thing for the people who live in Cambria County.”

We agree. With our region’s aging baby boomer population, our health care industry should continue to flourish.

What Conemaugh Medical Park now offers, in essence, is one-stop shopping for patients.

As detailed last week by our Randy Griffith, much of the 90,000-square-foot facility is now occupied by offices and clinics of the Conemaugh Physicians Group and Memorial Medical Center.

Five primary care doctors are joining the Conemaugh cardiology program to fill a majority of the sprawling three-story building.

“Having primary care physicians come together at this convenient location allows us to enhance our services as well as potential efficiencies, said Dr. Samuel Massoud. “Patients will remain with their physician of choice but now there will be a network of physicians working together. I think our patients will be very pleased.”

Another plus is that the facility sits along Franklin Street between Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center’s 8th Ward and downtown facilities, with each only minutes away.

We expect it will attract top-notch physicians and health care workers – and a lot of people traffic.

While it won’t, at least initially, include the technology development once envisioned, the site still presents a lot of potential for the future.

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