Tyrone Hospital creates network

TYRONE – Tyrone Hospital CEO Steve Gildea said it’s fitting that the hospital ring in its 60th year with a new campaign and construction expansion.

He said it’s hard to believe that it’s the same hospital that was in dire straits just a few years ago.

“It’s just remarkable that this hospital that was struggling five years ago is where we are today,” Gildea said.

Hospital officials announced Tuesday that they were launching the new Tyrone Regional Health Network, which will allow the hospital to collaborate with other health care providers in the region to better serve patients. As part of the expansion, the hospital will also be building a 32,000-square foot addition to its main building, to the tune of $20 million, which will revamp its emergency department and add new radiology capabilities.

The network includes all of the organizations currently represented on the Tyrone Hospital campus: the main hospital, The Breast Cancer and Women’s Health Institute of Central Pennsylvania, Nittany Eye Associates, University Orthopedics, Blair Orthopedics, DaVita, Heimer Eye Care Associates, Nittany Eye Associates and the Tyrone Hospital Rural Health Clinic.

Regional partners include organizations that have partnered with Tyrone Hospital before and also brings a number of new providers into the fold, Gildea said.

“A lot of health care organizations want to work in a collaborative way,” he said.

Some regional partners, like the Tyrone Fitness and Wellness Center, are already prominently housed on Tyrone Hospital’s campus. Others, though, will spread the hospital’s reach, Gildea said.

Listed partners in the network include the Lung Disease Center of Central Pennsylvania, ProCare Physical Therapy, the Northern Blair County Rec Center, Lytle EAP Partners, ENT Associates of Central Pennsylvania, Allegheny Health Network, Epworth Manor in Tyrone, Bellmeade Family Medicine, Tipton Medical and Diagnostic Center, Colonial Courtyard of Tyrone, Clearbrook Family Medicine and Blair Plastic Surgery.

The network’s reach will also extend beyond Blair County. Mount Nittany Medical Center, Toftrees Family Medicine and Phillipsburg-based doctor Jeanne Beyer will represent the network in Centre County. The Rural Health Center in Houtzdale and the Glendale Area Medical Center will stretch the network to Clearfield County.

Lisa Davis, the director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, said the Tyrone Regional Health Network provide something special to the region.

“It’s unique in that it’s bringing services in,” Davis said.

Gildea said the logo of the new network was designed to incorporate a circle, because there will be constant energy and activity from the partnerships.

Gregory Kimble, a hospitalist with Tyrone Hospital, said that the changes do not mean that vision of the hospital will be any different.

“We have a new logo, a new identity and a blueprint for a new home,” Kimble said, “but the mission remains the same.”

As for the expansion, Gildea said that hospital officials will spend the next six to nine months fully designing the new addition. He said that groundbreaking should hopefully occur by the end of the year, with construction to take about 18 months.

The Tyrone Hospital Foundation launched a capital gains campaign Tuesday to help raise 10 percent of the needed funds, or about $2 million. Gildea said the rest of the money will come from several other sources, including bank loans, bonds and possible grant funding.

The expansion will be attached near the visitor’s entrance end of the building, Gildea said. The current emergency department will likely be used for offices when construction is complete. Updating the emergency room allows the hospital to offer patients individual rooms for their emergency visits, instead of beds separated by curtains.

Adding the expansion ended up being close in price to simply renovating the existing building, Gildea said, because the hospital would not have to shut down its emergency room during construction.

David Arbutina, the medical director for the breast cancer institute, said he has been pleased with the hospital’s efforts to continue providing personal care. He said that patients are “very impressed” with what can be offered to them, and that the hospital has “bent over backwards” to make it that way.