The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 15, 2013

Project consolidates doctors’ offices

Randy Griffith

WINDBER — The newly renovated Windber Professional Building is designed to better coordinate services by bringing together a wide range of surgical specialties at Windber Medical Center, leaders said.

But just as importantly, the consolidation of physicians’ offices on the Seventh Street end of the hospital will clear the way for demolition needed for an emergency department expansion on the Fifth Street end.

“One of the most exciting aspects is that the completion of this space allows us to move forward with the next step of our master facility plan for a new emergency room,” hospital President and CEO Barbara Cliff said Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 9,000-square-foot professional building.

The facility includes office space for 12 physicians. Those moving over the next couple of weeks include Drs. Kim R. Marley, James Ridella, Vincent Vena, Brian Oberneder, Rodolfo Furigay, Dewitt Kemp and Deba Sarma.

Rental agreements with additional doctors are wrapping up, Cliff said.

“The goal is to have greater coordination among the various physicians by having them occupy the same space,” Cliff said.

In addition to the doctors relocating their practices, the facility has an area for physicians who will see patients there on a rotating basis, Doug Gardner, director of plant operations, said during a tour of the suite.

Johnstown Construction was general contractor on the $650,000 renovation, which features a large common waiting area, 12 exam rooms, two treatment rooms, physicians’ private offices and clerical space.

An open house is planned from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 27 as part of a community outreach event.

The wing formerly housed the Medical Group of Windber, which is now located in the Windber Research Institute building across Seventh Street. Physicians include Drs. David A. Csikos, David J. Bencie and Robert J. Swansiger.

Demolition work is to begin soon on the former nursing school residential area and two houses at the Somerset Avenue intersection with Fifth Street, said David Klementik, Windber board chairman and Somerset County judge. The work will make way for additional parking and the emergency department work.

“The emergency room project will be off and running here in another couple of months,” Klementik said.