Ground will soon be broken on a new medical facility in Philipsburg, filling a void that was left when the town’s hospital closed its doors in April 2006.
The Moshannon Valley Community Medical Building is expected to open in about a year on seven acres near the intersection of North Front and Railroad streets in Rush Towhship, according to Amy Duke, marketing director for Penn Highlands Healthcare, which is building the $6 million, 23,000-square-foot facility.
Primary care, surgical and orthopedic services, outpatient diagnostic testing, ophthalmology, digital mammography and bone-density testing are some of the services that will be available at the facility, which also will have a walk-in clinic.
Penn Highlands Clearfield, a subsidiary of Penn Highlands Healthcare, leases space in Peebles Plaza in Decatur Township, Clearfield County, but the company wanted to expand its services in the area, Duke said.
“We wanted to have more space to grow our services as well as have a facility that would be more patient friendly,” she said.
Penn Highlands Healthcare was awarded a $1.75 million grant from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and $1 million from the Highmark Community Investment Grant, a Penn Highlands Clearfield share of a larger grant awarded to Penn Highlands Healthcare. Penn Highlands Healthcare will pay the remaining cost of the project, about $3.25 million.
Community leaders said the development would have a positive impact on local people.
“People have had to travel further to get emergency services since the Philipsburg State Hospital closed in 2006,” Stan LaFuria, the executive director for the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, said. “The closer you can bring health care to people the better, so it’s outstanding for folks who won’t have to drive to Altoona or State College.”
State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, said the project would create job opportunities even before it opens.
“What’s nice about the facility is that it will create jobs from the time construction starts, and then when it’s completed it will give a lot of good, hard-working people good-paying jobs in the facility,” he said. “I think it’s great. It’s something that will benefit everyone in the community.”
LaFuria said it would have an economic impact on Philipsburg.
“Certainly, the jobs created at a health care facility are generally better paying jobs with benefits,” LaFuria said, adding that it’s exciting to see so much new construction in Philipsburg.
“PMG Phillipsburg is putting on their whole new addition to their building, there’s new construction on Front Street in our downtown area and now there will be this medical facility,” LaFuria said. “We’re really happy when we’re looking at the bigger picture, because it’s really good to see new projects happening in the immediate area.”
The facility will serve Philipsburg and surrounding municipalities in the Moshannon Valley, Duke said in a news release.