We’re Proud to Be Your Partner in Health. Our Hospital is Safe, and Vital to Our Community. An Open Letter from the Leaders at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center

August 23, 2019

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center is proud to be a part of Cambria County and the surrounding areas. We believe that great communities – like this one – deserve great healthcare. As a leader in our community, we strive to provide the highest quality care possible – both inside and outside our hospital walls – and are committed to our region’s overall well-being. That’s why our mission is Making Communities Healthier.

Each day at our hospital and outpatient centers, we touch the lives of thousands of patients. We provide excellent patient care and achieve great outcomes without fanfare or recognition. It’s our job, and our privilege. Occasionally, we don’t achieve the ideal patient and employee experience we strive for. We hope in these cases that we can make things right.  When we are made aware of an issue, our team engages quickly, investigating root causes to find solutions. 

We value the important role traditional and new media play in keeping our community informed of important issues, but also find that in the rush of a 24-hour news cycle and the business need for outlets to encourage “clicks”, headlines can be misrepresented and inaccurate. For our hospital, we are challenged to explain complicated, nuanced healthcare topics instantly. The context of how our 500+ bed facility fits into norms for hospitals of similar size and scope gets lost.

If you are unsure of the care you’ll receive at Conemaugh Memorial because of something you read on social media or heard on the news, please consider these facts:

  • Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center has achieved an A+ in Patient Safety by the LeapFrog Group for four consecutive periods;

  • We regularly undergo rigorous and thorough audits and reviews by third parties such as the PA Department of Health and The Joint Commission, and strive to not only maintain, but exceed hospital safety and quality standards;

  • We voluntarily submit our outcome data to national and state registries and we invite third-parties, such as the American Heart Association and The Joint Commission, to audit our programs in an effort to continually advance and improve our patient care;

  • We serve the region with a Level 1 Trauma Center, and Level 3 Regional Intensive Care Nursery, and nationally-recognized cardiovascular, stroke, perinatal, breast imaging, and joint replacement programs;

  • Conemaugh Memorial employs more than 2,500 community members. These are your friends and neighbors. They are parents, grandparents, sons, and daughters.  Our team approaches patient care with the best intention, and as a partner in your health.

By supporting and partnering with us, we are able to make a significantly positive impact on our community in a number of beneficial ways. The most critical of those is our ability to provide high quality care close to home. Quality and service are the foundation of our approach to care. Inviting the best possible providers into our community and investing in our facilities are key to ensuring that we are meeting our community’s healthcare needs effectively. In 2018, we added 28 new providers in a number of specialties, including oncology, breast surgery, cardiology, OB/GYN, internal medicine and emergency medicine; and we made $43.8 million in capital investments, including completion of our East Hills Outpatient Center, a new radiation oncology department and a number of campus improvements.

Additionally, we believe that everyone deserves quality care, regardless of their ability to pay. Last year, we provided more than $13.9 million in health services to those in need.

An important component of quality care is creating places where physicians want to practice and employees want to work – places where their talent is recognized, their satisfaction is valued and where they can use their skills most effectively to treat those who come through our doors for care. In the face of a nationwide shortage of healthcare professionals, we remain committed to workforce development, and are proud to have Conemaugh School of Nursing, a Graduate Medical Education program and our Schools of Allied Health. We work to continuously improve and adapt our approach to staffing to meet the needs of patients and employees. Last year, we distributed more than $229 million in salaries, wages and benefits for our 2,557 employees, and provided them with more than $558,000 in professional development and tuition assistance so that they can continue to learn and grow in their fields and enhance the level of care available to you.

Supporting local organizations and being a fiscally responsible member of the community are both critical extensions of our mission beyond our hospital walls. Last year, it was our pleasure to support a number of local activities and organizations, including 1889 Foundation, Cambria County Drug Coalition, Community Action for the Alleghenies, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Johnstown Tomahawks Kids Club, Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, and the United Way of the Laurel Highlands (to name just a few) and we paid over $8.3 million in taxes.

We are incredibly thankful that you trust Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center and Conemaugh Health System with the healthcare needs of you and your family. By choosing quality care close to home, you are helping us to ensure our community’s access to the best care possible, sustain local employment, enhance economic development and foster the overall well-being of the place we call home.

We welcome your feedback, and wish you good health!

Sincerely,

William Caldwell, Market President, Conemaugh Health System and CEO, Conemaugh Memorial     

Dr. Susan Williams, Chief Medical Officer, Conemaugh Health System

Jelden Arcilla, Chief Nursing Officer, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center

David Paulosky, Chief Financial Officer, Conemaugh Health System

Linda Fanale, Chief Financial Officer, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center

Nicolene Kushner, President, Conemaugh Physician Group