Meadville Tribune

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October 26, 2013

Hospital ready to break ground on Vernon Place project

MEADVILLE — The formal groundbreaking ceremony set for Thursday at noon for Meadville Medical Center’s Vernon Place was announced on Friday.

The open invitation to the public from the MMC, Orthopedic Associates of Meadville and the Meadville Area Family YMCA signifies the new addition of the first building of a medical retail development at the former Meadville Mall and present Kmart properties on Route 322 across from the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute in Vernon Township.

The building is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2015, with a plan to include Meadville Medical Center sports medicine, physical, occupational and speech therapy, occupational medicine, women’s diagnostic services and comprehensive state-of-the-art radiology technology including x-ray, ultrasound and MRI. In addition, this facility will house the new and expanded offices of Orthopedic Associates of Meadville and the Meadville Area Family YMCA (Vernon Branch).

As for the anticipated cost of Vernon Place’s construction, “We’re not certain yet,” Barry Bittman, M.D., MMC chief innovations officer, told the Tribune on Friday. “We’re still getting estimates.”

“Designed with the future in mind, Vernon Place will enable our hospital and its partners to provide the most comprehensive array of high quality services in one convenient location,” said Philip Pandolph, MMC chief executive officer. “As health care evolves, the need to ensure the best outpatient services for our community is truly a priority. Vernon Place reflects the current national trend away from inpatient hospitalizations to outpatient services that truly meet the needs of those we serve.”

“This extraordinary project that has been in the planning stages for years is finally taking shape in a manner that exemplifies our dedicated commitment to this community,” said Anne White, MMC vice president of rehabilitation and outpatient services and leader of the Vernon Place building project. “From MMC’s latest diagnostic technologies to exercise, wellness, therapeutic and rehabilitation services, Vernon Place focuses on building a remarkable patient experience that truly embraces our community.”

“Our patients are truly at the heart of this matter,” said Mark Stevens, MMC board chairman. “With the addition of Orthopedic Associates of Meadville, the opportunity to receive award-winning orthopedic care along with the highest quality diagnostic and rehabilitation services ensures an unparalleled patient experience in one convenient spot.”

“Working together with Meadville Medical Center in this new facility will enable us to grow our practices and expand our services in an unprecedented manner,” said Harry Cartwright, Orthopedic Associates of Meadville practice administrator. “Vernon Place isn’t just about convenience — it better integrates our ability to serve our patients’ needs with comprehensive diagnostic, rehabilitation and sports medicine services.”

“And you certainly don’t have to be a patient to enjoy Vernon Place,” said Jake Lasley, chief executive officer of the Meadville Area Family YMCA. “We are so pleased to be partnering with Meadville Medical Center on this exciting journey. In fact, beginning next month, the YMCA will be operating the fitness facility at the Wellness Extension (WE) in Griffin Plaza. The Vernon branch of the YMCA will transition to Vernon Place when it opens in 2015. This allows YMCA members to use our multiple sites (downtown, Vernon, Cochranton and Crawford Business Park) with just one membership.”

“Vernon Place began as a quest to optimize the health and wellness of our community,” Bittman said. “However this was just the beginning. The integrative medical/retail village concept is what this project is really about. Imagine combining the best outpatient health care and state-of-the-art fitness with a destination that will serve as a refreshingly needed boost to our economy through new retail and service development along the most traveled corridor of our county.”

“Meadville Medical Center is committed to a growth plan that has far reaching impact for the county on many levels,” said Tripp Umbach, economic impact consultants. “The extensive expansion of jobs and services that will be realized as a result of this innovation will positively impact the Pennsylvania economy.”

You can go

The public is invited to the formal groundbreaking ceremony for the Meadville Medical Center’s Vernon Place on Thursday at noon at the former Meadville Mall and present Kmart properties on Route 322 across from the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute in Vernon Township. The building is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2015. Parking and refreshments will be available for the public.

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