One Year Later: Ground Breaks for New PA Hospital

By Kelly McCarthy

January 25, 2013 Updated Jan 26, 2013 at 12:39 AM EDT

Bridgewater Twp, PA (WBNG Binghamton) It's been one year since ground was broken on a new hospital in the Northern Tier.

It's a project that's come together thanks to community and business donations.

For the first time, members of Endless Mountain Health Systems were able to stand in the building that will soon become a walk-in clinic and 25-bed hospital.

But the amount of progress in the past year is is surprising to many of the donors.

The current hospital was built about 60 years ago, and physicians say they're out of room.

"Where two or four people may share a hospital room with one bathroom, where privacy was a big issue and where moral could sometimes suffer because of the environment," said Joseph Speicher, physician at Endless Mountain Health Systems.

There is now a full structure with beams separating rooms of the hospital and clinic.

A total of $4.4 million was raised so the clinic could be built at the same time as the hospital.

Cabot Oil and Gas donated half of that amount, after matching the community's total of $2.2 million.

"But when you saw the community's response, when you say you're going to raise a million dollars it sort of makes the hair on your back stand, to think 'oh my goodness can I?' and we did it in four months. I didn't expect that," said George Stark, Director of External Affairs at Cabot Oil and Gas.

The new hospital expects to begin taking patients in September.

Donors at the event signed their names on a piece of drywall that will be hung in the new lobby.

"Every two weeks we get pictures promulgated through the whole system of the progress of the building. It's so much fun to watch the staff pouring over the pictures and talking about them, and sharing them with the patients who come in," Speicher said.

The entire project breaks down into three phases.

The first phase included a federal loan. The clinic was built during the second phase, and the administrative offices and rehabilitation center will round out the third phase.

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