The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 24, 2013

Hospital to receive $3M grant for obstetrics and emergency upgrades

— Somerset Hospital will receive $3 million in state funding toward an upgrade and expansion of its obstetrics and emergency departments, Gov. Tom Corbett announced on Tuesday.

“We are absolutely thrilled to learn that our project has been selected by the Corbett administration to receive funding under the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program,” the hospital said in a statement.

“As we look to the future, funding received under the RACP program will allow Somerset Hospital to make much-needed investments in the modernization of our inpatient facility, specifically obstetrics and emergency medicine,” the statement continued.

State funding requires an equal investment in local funds, so the hospital will be seeking donations for the local match, spokeswoman Michele R. Beener said.

The scope of the work remains on the drawing board, Beener said.

“We are going to start by working on our emergency department,” she said. “We will add new treatment rooms and streamline the patient flows.”

Renovations to follow in the obstetrics department will expand the labor and delivery area to accommodate the expanding practice of hospital-owned Somerset OB/GYN Associates.

Drs. Arpitha Kalghatgi and Shijun Huang have joined long-time Somerset obstetrician-gynecologist Charles Camacho.

Certified nurse midwives Julie M. Huston and Laura Aughinbaugh complete the professional staff.

Both are also women’s health nurse practitioners.

“This comes at a great time because we have added two doctors,” Beener said. “This grant will provide funding to renovate our obstetrics area into a whole new women’s health suite.”

All of the renovations and expansions will be completed inside the existing structure, without the need for additional construction, she said.

The hospital's grant was among 58 new Economic Growth Initiative grants announced Tuesday, totaling more than $133 million.

The projects will create more than 45,000 jobs in 24 counties, Corbett said in a press release.

“The Economic Growth Initiatives are energizing local economies around our state,” Corbett said.

“Jobs are being created through these projects. We are transforming oft-neglected parts of our towns into thriving centers of commerce and recreation.”

Randy Griffith covers health care for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at


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