UPMC Chautauqua WCA Introduces New Ambassador Program, Discusses Addition

A schematic drawing done by Clark Patterson Lee of the new state-of-the-art maternity care unit and psychiatric care for children and adults addition being built above the emergency department at UPMC Chautauqua WCA’s Foote Avenue facility. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

In an effort to involve more community leaders with local health care, UPMC Chautauqua WCA and the WCA Foundation has introduced a new corporate ambassador program.

On Thursday, the program was first introduced to corporate and community leaders during an introductory breakfast meeting at the hospital. Steve Kilburn, UPMC Chautauqua WCA board of directors chairman, said it is important that local leaders know what is happening at the hospital. He said in order to have a strong local hospital they need the community’s stakeholders to know news and advances at the health care facility.

“We want you to have confidence in your local hospital,” he said.

Betsy T. Wright, UPMC Chautauqua WCA president and chief executive officer, said the role of an ambassador will be to support hospital officials and be informed and active about their goals and objectives. She said the ambassadors will meet three to four times a year.

“In order to have a strong, vibrant community, we need a strong, vibrant health care system,” she said.

During the meeting, guests also had an opportunity to look over blueprints and schematic drawings of the new additiona that will include a state-of-the-art maternity services unit and psychiatric care for children and adults dealing with mental illness being built above the emergency department.

Wright said the hospital received a $26.4 million grant from the state last year, of which $20 million is being used for the new addition. She said the maternity ward will have 12 postpartum rooms, a C-section suite and two triage rooms. She added that it will be a welcome change for expectant mothers to go from a building built in the 1920s to the new state-of-the-art facility.

The inpatient adult and adolescent mental health care units are being moved from Jones Memorial Hospital to the hospital’s Foote Avenue location, Wright said. The new units are expected to open in 2019.

Clark Patterson Lee is handling the project design and LeChase Construction is conducting the construction of the addition. Hospital officials anticipate construction to begin this week.