CONNELLSVILLE/DUBOIS – The Boards of Directors of both Highlands Hospital and Penn Highlands Healthcare have signed a definitive agreement between the two entities that would integrate Highlands Hospital into the Penn Highlands Healthcare system.
The Highlands Hospital Board of Directors determined that Penn Highlands Healthcare would be a perfect, long-term partner due to its experience of sustaining and growing hospitals in rural and smaller communities like Connellsville in Fayette County.
Penn Highlands Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing health systems in the state now operating seven hospitals and more than 150 clinics and office locations throughout northwestern/central and southwestern Pennsylvania.
“This is an exciting time for Highlands Hospital and the community,” said Michael A. Jordan Jr., board president of Highlands Hospital Board of Directors.
“Highlands Hospital has been serving the community for 130 years and, with the support of Penn Highlands, we will continue to provide quality services and care to patients for many years to come.”
The affiliation with Penn Highlands Healthcare, anticipated to take effect in early 2022, is designed to strengthen the healthcare services provided by the Connellsville health care provider.
The board’s key objectives that guided the search for a new partner included:
· Continue the spirit of the mission, vision and values of Highlands Hospital
· Maintain and expand key programs and services
· Attract and retain high-quality physicians, advanced practice providers and hospital staff
· Preserve jobs in Connellsville and provide competitive wages and benefits
· Provide the necessary capital investment to support growth of the services provided
· Maintain a meaningful role in local governance of the hospital
“Penn Highlands continues to grow our footprint into the southern part of the state,” said Robert A. Ordiway, chairman of Penn Highlands Healthcare Board of Directors.
“The affiliation with Highlands Hospital allows us to extend our mission to further provide exceptional care to communities across the Commonwealth.”
“Both organizations share similar missions and values,” added John Andursky, Highlands Hospital president and chief executive officer.
“We look forward with this opportunity to grow Highlands Hospital’s services and continue to provide quality care to our community and patients.”
“Penn Highlands Healthcare continues its growth by adding new hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and physician practices,” said Steve Fontaine, CEO of Penn Highlands Healthcare. “This affiliation with Highlands Hospital is another step to achieve our vision to be the integrated health system of choice.”
The signing of the definitive agreement means that Highlands Hospital and Penn Highlands Healthcare have agreed to the terms and conditions of a prospective affiliation.
Throughout the next several months, both parties will engage in additional due diligence, research and discussions to facilitate a smooth integration of Highlands Hospital into Penn Highlands Healthcare once regulatory approval of the affiliation is secured.