New UPMC pediatrics center set to open in Bedford

BEDFORD — A pediatric center will open its doors to the community Wednesday, offering services for children and families in the more northern part of Bedford County.

The new UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics, at

1 Corporate Drive, Bedford, will be the second center in the area. The first one is the pediatrics center on Hospital Drive in Everett.

“Our hope is to keep pediatric care close to home for our patients,” said Amy Mullen, lead physician for Bedford Children’s Community Pediatrics, noting how the location makes it more convenient for some patients to bring their sick children to see a pediatrician.

“We want to be accessible to our patients,” she said at Thursday’s grand opening, “to have that care close to home without having to go to the emergency room or to urgent care.”

Numerous community members and officials applauded the new center at an opening ceremony.

U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District, described opening the new center as “nothing short of phenomenal,” while Mark Bollman, Bedford County Development Association chairman, said the center creates jobs and adds to the overall quality of life in the community.

Theresa Horne, a parent who spoke at the grand opening, said she received help from UPMC CCP when her son was born eight weeks premature in August 2017. She acknowledged and expressed gratitude to the hospital staff who helped her as a new mother with a premature newborn.

She commented on how lucky the community is to have pediatric care so close to home.

Bedford County Commis­sioner Josh Lang stressed the need for pediatric care in the community, adding the county can’t do enough to support children and families.

He added the demand for pediatric care is high and said he is sure UPMC will have to continue opening more centers.

With the new facility, there will now be double the space for services, an issue that presented itself with just the one center in Everett, according to Mullen.

The new facility has 10 exam rooms, most of them decorated with a theme — such as Disney, Dr. Seuss or Harry Potter — and 18 staff members who will split their work time between the Everett and Bedford centers.

The Everett pediatrics center has 10 exam rooms and four providers and is smaller than the Bedford center, Mullen noted.

“The primary issue was the exam rooms,” Mullen said. “We’ve had to be a little innovative with space. So we actually worked 10-hour days so we only ever have three providers in office at one time. This will give us the ability to make that work a bit more easily.”

She added the Everett office is about 1,000 square feet smaller than the Bedford center, sometimes leading to a crowded waiting room and back-ups at the check-in desk.

Mullen said the future hope for UPMC is to expand some of its specialty services such as adolescent medicine and behavioral health to centers located in more rural areas, including the Bedford pediatrics center.

Talks about building another pediatrics center started in fall 2017, according to Mullen. UPMC obtained the open warehouse space at the Hess Business Center to build the pediatrics center.

Mirror Staff Writer Shen Wu Tan is at 946-7457.