The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

January 22, 2013

Readers' Forum 1-22 | Windber grant wasted? CEO responds

— My wife recently received a letter from Barbara Cliff, president and CEO of Windber Medical Center, to the patients of Windber OB/GYN. The letter was to announce the closing of the labor and delivery floor.

Cliff and the board members of Windber Medical Center should be held accountable for wasting $250,000 in grant money given less than two years ago to update the nursery and labor floor, not to mention the money given by people and businesses that were kind enough to donate to projects that benefit the community.

I hope more people will speak up before more damage is done to a hospital that is such a benefit to Windber and the surrounding communities.

Jeremy Kohan

Johnstown

Windber Medical Center employee

Editor’s note: We asked Winber Medical Center officials for response, which follows:

OB renovation was small part of plans

At the time donations and grant funds were received, the hospital maintained a strong commitment to the continuation of our obstetrics services.

Multiple unforeseen factors led to our decision to discontinue obstetric services and to focus on expanding gynecological services through the creation of a comprehensive women’s health care service line.

Patients, donors and staff were notified of the change that will take place by  March 31.

We plan to transition patients, staff and the space to accommodate the continued growth of surgical services. The future plans for the space will continue to be in compliance with the terms of the grant funding agreement.

The OB renovation was only a small part of the overall capital campaign and expansion plans for WMC’s Emergency Department to continue to move forward. The newly renovated medical office building is nearing completion, which will house those services currently in the space that will be demolished for the future ED. 

WMC continues to grow and will continue in its mission to provide excellence in personalized, quality, patient-centered health care services.

On behalf of Windber Medical Center, we are truly thankful for our patients, donors and staff who put their trust and health into the hands of our community hospital. You have truly made a difference by your commitment to maintain the vital health care services that we will continue to deliver to the community.

Barbara Cliff

President/CEO, Windber Medical Center

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