New Castle News

December 4, 2012

Shell donation boosts Jameson project

Dan Irwin
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Shell Appalachia’s search for natural gas will help fuel completion of Jameson Heath System’s emergency/surgical wing.

Jameson is scheduled to take possession of its $20.3 million expansion Feb. 14. After that, health system officials anticipate another month of furnishing the 55,000-square-foot facility before opening it for business.

Yesterday, Sewickley-based Shell Appalachia — which is focusing on Marcellus shale development in Tioga County while exploring other leased acreage in Lawrence and Butler counties — presented Jameson with $250,000 to help push the project toward the finish line.

“Shell really looked carefully at our special investment options and we try to support projects that we know are going to benefit the community and are related to our operation,” said Asha Luthra, who was joined by other Shell Appalachia representives Frank Jensen and Joe Minnitte.

“We try to look very hard at what our potential impacts are in the community and address those in a strategic way. We couldn’t come up with a project that was more fitting for that goal.”

Douglas Danko, president and chief executive officer of the health system, expressed gratitude not only for Shell’s gift, but for others he hopes it may spawn.

“Many of the people that we’ve approached, other people in the energy industry, have said ‘let us know what other people are doing because as they set the bar, we’ll follow suit,’ ” Danko told the Shell officials.

“You’re setting the bar very high, and that is so much appreciated. This is going to kick this project off like you would not believe for this community.”

Jameson’s new wing will provide state-of-the-art health care that has taxed the hospital’s exisiting facilities.

The current 6,500-square-foot emergency department — designed in the 1970s for 28,000 patients per year — treats more than 40,000. The new department will swell to 22,500 square feet, with 19 semi-private to 30 private patient rooms and special care rooms for trauma, orthopedic, bariatric, obstetrics/gynecology, infection isolation and assault and behavioral health patient needs.

Meanwhile, six new operating room suites and two endoscopy labs will highlight the second-floor surgery area. The expanded workspace also will allow for efficient use of technology that did not exist 40 years ago when Jameson’s current surgical area was built.

The whole thing will be connected to the exisiting North Campus building by a two-story, glass enclosed walkway.

(Email: d_irwin@ncnewsonline.com)