New UPMC St. Margaret Family Health Center at New Kensington compares in no way to the facility it replaces at City Hall, said the centre’s medical director.
“Everything is brand new. It’s bigger,” Dr. Winfred Frazier said. “It’s a much more welcoming space.”
The center moved from a space in City Hall at 1072 Fifth Ave., near the post office.
State and local officials and members of the New Kensington community joined UPMC on Friday to celebrate the completion of the $5.4 million, 8,000 square foot Family Health Center.
It was built during the covid pandemic, in less than a year after its inauguration at the end of June 2020.
The new facility, six years in the making, opened and began receiving patients early last month.
Health services available at the center include primary care, covid-19 vaccination, obstetrics, pediatrics, opioid use disorder intervention, psychiatry, social work and behavioral health. It has 12 private examination rooms.
Twenty people work there.
“We are thrilled that UPMC chose our downtown for this facility,” Mayor Tom Guzzo said in remarks in the center’s outdoor courtyard. “It serves so many of the purposes and needs of this community. I think it is vitally important that a facility like this, with the excellent staff at UPMC and the services they provide, is accessible to so many people who otherwise would not have maybe not this opportunity.
The project’s biggest supporters were the state through a $1.25 million donation Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant and the Richard King Mellon Foundation and UPMC Sainte-Margueritewho each donated $1 million.
the Sainte-Marguerite Foundation also contributed $800,000, while the Staunton Farm Foundation donated $200,000 and funded Sunshine Space, an area inside the center that will be used for training, health education events and community meetings.
“The Philanthropic Partners of the St. Margaret Foundation — foundations, corporations, elected officials and individual donors – have filled the gaps with hope and promise to bring the dream of a new community health center to life,” said Mary Lee Gannon, president of the foundation. “We are grateful for this collaboration and for giving this beautiful facility to the people of New Kensington.”
“The building has changed but the staff is the same,” said Frazier, who trained at the clinic at its old location from 2014 to 2017 and returned to the area last September to serve as its medical director.
Although the new center is only two blocks from City Hall, Frazier said the move felt farther away and was a lot of work.
“Now that we are here, we are very happy,” he said, adding that the patients were too.
The center brings “world-class” health care to its patients where they live, said Leslie C. Davis, UPMC executive vice president and president of UPMC’s Health Services Division.
“The services we provide here are designed to meet the health needs of this community,” Davis said. “UPMC will continue to reinvest in our region to advance clinical and service excellence.”