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UAHS shares progress update

Posted on: 03/25/2021

Upper Allegheny Health System (UAHS) announced today that it is making excellent progress to best serve its nearly 143,000-resident, two-state region. As the dual-hospital system implements its new strategic initiative, several milestones have been achieved along its path to creating Centers of Excellence within both the Bradford and Olean communities and ensuring long-term healthcare quality, access and sustainability.

UAHS, which includes Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) and Olean General Hospital (OGH), has been working diligently to ensure the smoothest transition possible for all patients, physicians, support staff, partners and other key stakeholders. As a result, UAHS has uncovered new opportunities and operational items, which have led to the creation a month-long transition plan beginning in late March and continuing through May 1, designed to ensure a more seamless changeover.

Since the initial announcement in January, UAHS’ transition team has been able to leverage employment issues to the extent that approximately 70% of impacted employees have now instead obtained positions elsewhere within the system. Retirements and employees who have chosen employment elsewhere have lowered this impact even further. UAHS expects the total job losses could be even lower as the system moves through its transition over the next few weeks, as those who are offered additional positions decide whether to take them or opt for severance packages.

“We’re greatly minimizing the impact of this transition on our employees,” said UAHS President and CEO Jeff Zewe, RN. “This has been a top priority for us from the beginning and with careful planning, attrition and reimagining of work models, our Human Resources team is finding solutions to this and other challenges which are inherent in any large-scale organizational change.”

Some of that reimagining involves the issue of transportation for residents needing to travel from one community to the other — a topic identified early in the transition’s planning as one vital for its success. The team is pleased to share that a creative solution has been developed, the details of which will be provided after the remaining specifics are finalized. The plan will provide unique access for people from BRMC to OGH and vice versa.

UAHS also continues to listen and have conversations with members of the Bradford and Olean regions. In doing so, they have recently created Community Advisory Councils in each community, comprised of a variety of twin-tier residents who are already contributing some excellent insights.

“Our Community Advisory Councils will allow us to gather valuable thoughts and experiences from our neighbors, most of whom have been patients at one point or another,” added Zewe. “They’re sharing a variety of fresh perspectives, many of which help us to fine-tune our plan for the better and we move through the transition.”

As shared in the initial Jan. 6, 2021 transition announcement, UAHS will consolidate its acute care and surgical services to OGH, with the exception of 10 medical beds, which will remain in service at BRMC.

The Critical Care Unit (CCU) at Bradford Regional Medical Center will close as of Monday, March 29, close to the originally forecasted April 1 date. The unit had received no critically ill patients recently, making it a sound, strategic time to implement this phase of the transition.

The plan calls for the Bradford campus to continue to offer emergency care, outpatient services, behavioral health and long-term care/rehab (Pavilion services). BRMC and OGH will also continue to grow their expansive network of primary care and specialty providers. Essentially all services with the exception of surgery and the CCU will continue at the BRMC campus.

The Olean campus will continue to provide its interventional cardiac catheterization laboratory — which operates jointly with Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute — as well as its neurology program and stroke center, ICU intensivist program, radiation oncology, vascular services, orthopedic surgery, dialysis services and wound care, including hyperbaric therapy.

If you have any questions regarding the location of your doctors or the services you seek, please reach out to them directly and well in advance of your need / appointment to confirm the details of your visit.

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