Saint Margaret Memorial Hospital:
Expanding Health Care Services in New Kensington
St. Margaret Family Health Center not only provides the highest quality medical care to patients and their families, but also trains compassionate, highly skilled family physicians, which, as one of the oldest family medicine residency programs in the country, it has been doing for nearly four decades. The New Kensington Family Health Center opened in 2001 to mitigate the closing of Citizen’s General Hospital. Last year, the Center reported 16,336 patient visits from more than 5,000 unique individuals. Along with medical and integrated behavioral health services, the Center offers medication assistive treatment for opioid addiction, senior wellness and home visits, and full pediatric care. Patients consistently rate the quality of the Center’s services 10 out of 10. Nonetheless, overcrowding has led to inefficiencies and less comfortable visits than in the past.
The Center’s medical team believes that more than half the conditions its physicians treat result from social determinants of health, including high rates of poverty, drug use, and obesity; limited public transportation and access to healthy, fresh food; and low use of technology. The Center currently operates in one-third of the municipal city hall, which originally was an elementary school and has not been reconfigured in 17 years despite growth and dramatic changes in the way medical services are delivered.
A $1 million grant from the Foundation will support construction of a new Center facility on a vacant lot in the new “innovation corridor,” near other investments the Foundation has made in affordable housing and economic development initiatives. The new space will more than double the size of the Center, enabling it to see more patients and decreasing their use of the emergency room for routine treatment. The larger Center also will be able to provide additional services, including trauma care and dental care.