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Highmark Health, AHN Celebrate Opening of New Saint Vincent Hospital Emergency Department, Operating Room Suite

Friday, October 18, 2019

Officials of Highmark Health, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Saint Vincent Hospital joined elected officials and other community leaders today to officially cut the ribbon to the hospital’s new emergency department and operating room suite.

Contained in a structure on Saint Vincent’s campus that extends between the Hardner Building and the main hospital, the new 104,000 square-foot, $51.5 million facility greatly expands Saint Vincent’s emergency department capacity to more effectively accommodate the 65,000 patients who seek emergency care at the hospital every year.  It also houses state-of-the-art operating rooms designed to accommodate Saint Vincent’s increasingly sophisticated surgical programs.

Features of the new ED that will improve the emergency care experience for patients include:

  • 39 private, state-of-the-art treatment rooms designed to accommodate all ages, illnesses, and acute disease management. The rooms are arranged around a central nursing station, providing clinicians with enhanced ability to monitor patients and attend to their needs.
  • A new registration process that will greatly reduce wait times to see clinicians.
  • A doubling of the department’s patient triage space, with increased patient privacy and efficiency
  • Dedicated blood draw and EKG rooms
  • A comfortable waiting area for patients who have already been seen by the doctor, where they can await test results, freeing up treatment spaces for other patients
  • An integrated imaging suite, with x-ray and CT technology , eliminating the need to transport patients to other areas of the hospital
  • Bariatric rooms with lifts and specially sized beds to accommodate larger patients
  • Designated behavioral health assessment and treatment rooms
  • A quick care area for non-urgent care needs
  • Specialized rooms for trauma/resuscitation.

Saint Vincent’s new operating rooms are built around a center-core model established by leading surgical programs around the country. Each of the four rooms is 700 square feet and houses  advanced technology for surgical teams, including innovative lighting and intraoperative imaging capabilities.  The ORs are designed to accommodate Saint Vincent’s leading-edge robotic surgical systems, including the region’s only Mako® Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology for knee and hip replacement and the da Vinci robotic surgery technology.

“This new facility is far more than just a beautiful building. It is a tremendous investment that will improve the delivery of patient-centered emergency and surgical care in the Erie region for generations to come,” said Christopher Clark, DO, MHA, AHN Saint Vincent President. “No one understands the needs of patients better than patients themselves and their caregivers, and we are extremely proud to have partnered with those stakeholders, as well as our valued EMS colleagues, in developing a facility that ensures the all-around patient experience is second to none.”

Saint Vincent’s new ED and OR Suite is part of an ongoing $140 million commitment by Highmark Health and AHN to improve access to high quality health care in the Erie region.   Already this year, the hospital has opened a new Health + Wellness Pavilion on the city’s East Side, a new Women and Infant’s Center and a new center for men and women’s urologic care.  In two weeks, it will also open the doors to a new comprehensive cancer center adjacent to the hospital. 

“We could not be more excited about all of the critical investments that we have made over the past two years in our Erie-based facilities and in the exceptional caregivers at Saint Vincent who work so hard every day to assure that our patients receive the extraordinary care, comfort and compassion they deserve,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN President and CEO.  “Today is a special milestone for all of us at AHN and Highmark Health as we deliver yet again on our promise to transform health care in this community.

Saint Vincent has also received $2 million from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to create a Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) which will be located in the hospital’s old emergency department space-- immediately adjacent to the new facility. The CDU is designed for patients whose hospital stays are less than 48 hours. Construction for that new unit will begin in early 2020.

The new ED is set to open for business in the coming weeks.