Herald Standard: AHN announces plans to build new Canonsburg Hospital

Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health announced plans Wednesday to build a new $232 million hospital in Washington County to replace Canonsburg Hospital.

The approximately 300,000-square-foot, all-private-room hospital will be built on AHN Canonsburg ‘s existing campus in North Strabane Township.

Construction of AHN’s state-of-the-art, 50- to 100-bed Canonsburg facility is expected to begin in 2024 and will open in 2027.

Additional facilities, including a medical office building and a potential future cancer center, are planned for the campus.

AHN Canonsburg was established in 1904 and has operated at the current Medical Boulevard location since 1983.

“We’re just really excited. It’s been a long time coming,” said Dr. Chong S. Park, president of Canonsburg Hospital. “I think this is going to be fantastic. The current Canonsburg Hospital is an aging building; there’s not a lot of space, and it’s unable to accommodate the new technologies like CTs and MRIs, which are getting bigger, not smaller. The network decided in order to provide what we need to provide to the community, we need a new building.”

The new hospital will provide an array of advanced clinical services, including primary, emergency, and critical care; state-of-the-art surgical capabilities; advanced cardiac, orthopedic, and neurosurgical care; and various multi-disciplinary programs, including women’s health.

“This hospital will have all the bells and whistles, but more important is there will be a medical office building, which I think is fundamental to people in the area. It’s sort of a one-stop shop, and it will have all of the basic things a community would need.”

AHN President Jim Benedict said the health system is excited to provide a “beautiful, modern campus that will enable us to better meet the diverse health-care needs of the community and advance our living health model.

“Our goal is to provide enhanced access to a much broader array of integrated, high-quality, comprehensive clinical programs that will enable more patients to stay close to home for the services they need,” Benedict said.

Washington County’s population, now approximately 210,000, has experienced minimal to moderate growth over the past decade. But the communities around Canonsburg – including Cecil Township (12%), Chartiers Township (10%), North Strabane Township (8%) and Peters Township (4%) – have experienced considerably more growth, with continued population gains expected in the coming decade, according to projections from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.

“Building the hospital now is quite timely. We’ll be able to take care of our people now, and be able to accommodate the future, which is key,” said Park.

Canonsburg Hospital’s service area also is home to approximately 115,000 Highmark members.

The new AHN Canonsburg Hospital is expected to create hundreds of additional permanent health care jobs when it’s complete, along with hundreds of construction jobs. Currently, there are approximately 400 employees at AHN Canonsburg, all of whom will be tracked to the same roles at the new facility.

“Designing an exceptional clinical environment for our physicians, nurses and other caregivers is essential to providing the best possible experience for our patients,” said Dr. Donald Whiting, Chief Medical Officer at AHN. “As with all of our new facilities in recent years, we look forward to our caregivers playing a key role in helping us determine the look, feel and functionality of this new hospital to help us fulfill that promise.”

Over the past five years, AHN and Highmark Health have significantly increased the reach of its services throughout the Western Pennsylvania region, including five new hospitals, six new cancer centers, five Health and Wellness Pavilions and other outpatient facilities, major emergency department expansions at three hospitals, significant expansion of women’s health services and facilities, and other technological and infrastructure upgrades.

The current hospital will operate during construction of the new facility. Once the new hospital is constructed, the current building will be torn down.

View the full article at heraldstandard.com