The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

June 18, 2013

Windber Medical Center goal: Stay independent

WINDBER — Hospital leaders knew there were those in the audience who expected to hear an announcement that Windber Medical Center would close or merge with a larger system.

“What you heard, I hope, was just the opposite,” Chairman David Klementic said after the hospital’s annual community meeting on Tuesday.

“We are going to remain the Windber community’s hospital as long as it’s in the cards,” he continued.

It won’t be easy, hospital President and CEO Barbara Cliff said after a guest speaker outlined challenges all hospitals are facing with federal health care reform and deficit reduction initiatives.

“Being small, we can’t do everything on our own,” Cliff told about 100 people who attended the program in Arcadia Theater. “We are exploring strategic partnerships. Our goal is to continue to be as independent as we can, but also to continue to be an acute care hospital in Windber.”

Discussions are ongoing with several organizations, she said, explaining that leaders are exploring various affiliations and cooperative programs, but are not ready to move forward with any.

 “We just want you to know this is something we are exploring,” Cliff said. “We need you and you need us.”

She encouraged the Windber community to support its hospital by volunteering, donating money and participating in fundraisers.

But most importantly, neighbors can support the hospital by using its services for their health care needs, she stressed.

Cliff also announced that the fundraising is complete and the long-awaited emergency department renovation and enlargement project will begin later this summer.

The first step will renovate the recently closed obstetrics unit to be the new home for critical care beds. That move will free the old critical care area to be backfilled with emergency department operations, which will also expand into a new addition to be built.

“We believe this is critical to our hospital and our community,” Cliff said.

She referred to statistics and projections included earlier in Tuesday’s program during a presentation by Timothy Ohrum, director of legislative services for the Hospital and Healthsystems Association of Pennsylvania.

Ohrum charted shifts in the health care business that have increased emergency room and outpatient patient volume, while reducing admissions.

The future, he said, will shift payment from treatments and procedures to preventing illness, commending Windber for being ahead of many hospitals with its HealthStyles wellness center and Planetree focus on mind, body and spirit.

“This community has done it,” Ohrum said. “Cost are coming down, and quality is going up.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 4/20/2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads