Information regarding COVID-19 vaccine at St. Clair can be found HERE.

Newly branded St. Clair Health prepares for opening of new outpatient center

For those planning to visit St. Clair Hospital for a COVID-19 vaccine or some other purpose, but haven’t been there for a few years, some changes will be evident.

Chief among those changes will be the presence of a new six-story outpatient center scheduled to open May 10.

“Even though this is a big building, it’s been designed in a way that’s very efficient for our patients, as well as for our physicians,” said Michael Flanagan, St. Clair Health senior vice president and chief operating officer.

“The patients can park underneath, get on the elevator on the third or fourth floor, take it right up to whatever floor where they are receiving services,” he said. “And it’s really ‘one-stop shopping’ from that point forward.”

Considering that the original hospital dates back to 1954, later undergoing expansion as property limitations would allow, today’s visitors often have to navigate somewhat complex paths to various destinations.

By contrast, the design of the Dunlap Family Outpatient Center, which straddles the Mt. Lebanon-Scott Township municipal line, emphasizes convenience for patients in a variety of facets.

James Collins, president and chief executive officer of St. Clair Health – the hospital’s parent organization – described what patients having surgery can expect at the outset.

“When you arrive, there’s a reception desk much like a hotel check-in,” he said. “While there’s a little lobby area, you’re not going to be there very long because you’re going to be assigned a room, and that is your room before surgery. You’ll come back to that room. You’ll come back to that room after surgery, and your family can wait there.”

Dr. John Sullivan, senior vice president and chief medical officer, explained the configuration of the center’s surgical area.

“The operating rooms are all around a core, where your instrumentation, both disposable and those that need to be reprocessed, are in the middle,” he said. “The flow of that is much easier to manage, and because of that, it’s easier to maintain all the principles of sterility and reprocessing instruments.”

Much of the center’s design focuses on implementing principles developed by the Mayo Clinic, with which St. Clair Health has a partnership, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary care.

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Mt. Lebanon hospital rebrands as St. Clair Health

After nearly seven decades, St. Clair Hospital is now St. Clair Health.

The South Hills hospital isn’t just a Mt. Lebanon hospital, which opened in 1954 and has grown to a 329-bed hospital with 600 physicians and 2,500 employees. It has grown to also include three outpatient centers in the South Hills, including the new Dunlap Family Outpatient Center that will soon open connected to the hospital itself.

Why rebrand? Because, health system executives say, the name “St. Clair Hospital” doesn’t encompass everything the organization has become in the past 67 years.

“It’s about the evolution of who we have become,” said Lindsay Meucci, VP of marketing, communications and advocacy at St. Clair Health.

“Thinking back 67 years ago, the founders started a 100-bed hospital, and they never could have imagined where St. Clair would be in 2021,” said James M. Collins, president and CEO of St. Clair Health.

St. Clair is known for its award-winning levels of patient care and safety, annually winning top grades from Leapfrog and other national rankings including the top ranking, five stars, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It is one of Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals in the U.S. and is the only local affiliate of the Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

The rebranding also comes with a new tagline: “Expert care from people who care.”

“We wanted to stay true to our connection to the community and the patient-first experience we provide and showcase our expert physicians, our commitment to technology and our partnership with the Mayo Clinic,” Meucci said.

Dr. John Sullivan, chief medical officer, said the high level of commitment to the community, the quality of the team and the execution was what drew him to St. Clair when he joined as CMO three years ago. He said the focus on people, evidence-based practices and efficient processes have continued and those key elements of in-patient and emergency care are delivered in patient-centric outpatient care.

“This organization has come a long way, and it’s exciting to think about where St. Clair will be in the future,” said Collins.

Part of that future is the Dunlap Family Outpatient Center, a $152 million, 280,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that will serve as the main campus’ place for outpatient surgeries and procedures. It’s the largest expansion at the hospital in four decades, and it will house the growth in outpatient volumes that has seen a 130% increase since 2006. Named after Anna and Ed Dunlap, the founder of CentiMark, and started with a gift from the Dunlaps, the project was also helped by strong support from the community. The capital fundraising campaign, which was targeted for $28 million, raised over $42 million. That was a testament to the dedication and appreciation of St. Clair by the community.

“To achieve essentially 150% of the original target is tremendous, and we had donations both large and small,” Collins said.

The Dunlap Family Outpatient Center, which will have a ribbon cutting in May, was completed on time even despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic, while it initially impacted revenues at St. Clair Health, hasn’t had a lasting financial impact. Collins said the system was essentially where it was financially before the pandemic.

“We’re very satisfied with the position we’re in,” Collins said. “St. Clair was a very strong institution financially going into this project, and as we complete the project, I fully expect St. Clair is going to continue to be a very strong institution.”


By – Paul J. Gough – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times


A Peek Into The Future Of Health

Logically organized. Warm. Bright. Welcoming.

Those are just some of the descriptions that come to mind on Mt. Lebanon Magazine’s exclusive tour of the nearly finished Dunlap Family Outpatient Center at St. Clair Health, adjacent to St. Clair Hospital on Bower Hill Road.

The 280,000-square-feet, six-story building is the highlight of a $155 million upgrade to the hospital campus and is the largest construction project in the hospital’s 67-year history. The center includes two stories of indoor parking on the bottom floors and three stories of medical services, including operating rooms, endoscopy facilities, such diagnostics as MRI, CT scan and phlebotomy, as well as physician office suites.

The project also included a reconfiguration of the intersection of Bower Hill Road, North Wren and Firwood drives to make the intersection safer, and the addition of a 420-space employee parking garage behind the hospital building.

The ribbon cutting is Thursday, May 6, and the first patient will walk through the doors on Monday, May 10.

The Dunlap Family Outpatient Center includes a beautiful kinetic chandelier, seen here from below.
During our tour, as workers put the final finishes on the project, St. Clair’s top execs explained the design is patient-centric. The goal was to “create an environment with comprehensive services that are easily accessible,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michael J. Flanagan.

“We want the patient’s experience to be ideal,” said John T. Sullivan, St. Clair Health’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. Among the qualities that lead to a good experience are privacy, natural light, comfortable areas for patients and families to wait and good organization that prevents people from having to move through many areas of the building  just to complete a procedure.

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First Look: St. Clair Health’s Dunlap Family Center

The newly rebranded St. Clair Health is about to open a new outpatient center, its third, adjacent to St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon.

The $152 million project has been underway for two years and in the planning for longer than that. It was completed recently, with work continuing even during the Covid-19 pandemic, and is set to have a grand opening in early May.

The 280,000-square-foot facility and seven floors will accommodate the 130% growth in outpatient services that St. Clair has seen since 2006. There are 10 operating rooms for outpatient surgery, two procedure rooms, an endoscopy suite with six exam rooms and 51 pre- and post-surgical rooms.

CEO Jim Collins said the growth in outpatient services led to the Dunlap center, which was started by a gift from Anna and Ed Dunlap, founder and CEO of CentiMark Corp., and then funded also with a campaign that brought in donations from around the St. Clair Health community in the South Hills.

Building the center allows the hospital to expand the health care needs even further.

“Certainly we think we can accommodate another 130% growth over the next 10 years,” Collins said. Chief Medical Officer John Sullivan said the facility will have the same great patient care and service that is a hallmark of the hospital and its system, which regularly wins top honors from IBM Watson, Leapfrog and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

One of the features of the center that St. Clair is most excited about is on the seventh floor, where there’s a series of specialty clinics that are connected in front and also in back so that patients and different specialists can together meet with patients and decide upon or update the course of treatment. The layout and process were inspired by the Mayo Clinic’s Gonda Building for outpatient services in its Rochester, Minnesota, clinic.

“That’s something that will be unique in this market,” Collins said.

Most patients in endoscopy and surgical will also be welcomed in a hoteling-type setup, where they begin and leave all from pre- and post-acute rooms instead of the traditional curtains. It’s where their families can also stay while the procedures are being done. Another feature that they brought back was the idea of a specialty pharmacy inside the outpatient center, something St. Clair is doing in collaboration with Walgreens.

The Dunlap Family Outpatient Center’s opening also is part of the hospital’s initiative to rezone its campus, which is located in a neighborhood in Mt. Lebanon and is a pretty tight fit, especially in the front. The hospital, which has been around for nearly 70 years, remains in place but locating the outpatient center on campus required extensive construction and the moving slightly of a road. Collins said the Dunlap Family Outpatient Center was designed with patient convenience in mind. Patients will be able to drive directly underneath the center to the parking garage there instead of the existing hospital garage. Where there used to be parking issues at the hospital there won’t be anymore, because hospital visitors will be able to park in the one lot and then outpatients and their families in the new lot underneath the center.

“You need never try to navigate the rest of the campus at all,” Collins said. “That’ll be a tremendous benefit to outpatients and also allows us the time and the breathing space to go back and rethink the inpatient portion of our campus.”

While nothing has been decided yet, it’s likely that the spaces where outpatient care was delivered inside St. Clair Health’s hospital will be converted to operating rooms, medical imaging and other areas for inpatient care, said COO Michael Flanagan.

Before deciding on a design for the center, executives toured other similar facilities in California, Chicago and Miami, as well as expansions into Arizona and Florida by its partner, the Mayo Clinic. He said that the final design took bits from each as well as what St. Clair executives and physicians knew was needed locally.

“This facility was two and a half years in construction, but it was many, many years in development,” Collins said.


By – Paul J. Gough – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times


St. Clair Health ‘AA’- Bond Ratings Affirmed by S&P Global and Fitch Ratings

Despite headwinds caused by the pandemic, St. Clair Health’s ‘AA’- bond ratings were recently affirmed by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. The bonds carry a stable outlook, according to both rating agencies.

In its April 9 news release, S&P said St. Clair’s ‘AA’- rating “reflects our view of St. Clair’s stable market share with a niche position as one of the largest independent providers in the greater Pittsburgh region with excellent quality metrics, successful physician recruitment and a focused strategy of continuing to build market share with outpatient growth and remain the low cost and high quality provider for its service area.”

In its April 19 news release, Fitch Ratings said: “The affirmation of the ‘AA’- revenue bond rating are driven by St. Clair’s very strong financial profile assessment, solid market position in the competitive greater Pittsburgh area healthcare market and robust operating performance … Further revenue growth is expected, supported by continued service line expansion and the new (Dunlap Family) outpatient center that is opening in May.”

St. Clair’s total operating revenue for the most recent year ended June 30, 2020 was $357 million.  St. Clair’s total long-term debt at December 31, 2021 equals $115 million, is largely fixed rate, and includes Mount Lebanon Hospital Authority, Pa.’s series 2012 and series 2018 revenue bonds, issued for St. Clair.

“We are pleased with the rating action, especially with S&P’s negative outlook for the healthcare industry, and with the rating changes for downgrades outpacing upgrades by more than five to one for CY2020-2021YTD,” said St. Clair Health Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard C. Chesnos.

St. Clair Hospital gets new vaccine shipment

PITTSBURGH — Officials with St. Clair Hospital were able to start rescheduling patients as soon as they found they were getting another shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.

“I’m 86 so I thought I would be right up in the front there but nobody had it,” said Leo Tross.

The hospital went three weeks without receiving the vaccines needed for first-dose appointments. Now that the shipment has come in, they’re able to set up clinics in the South Hills for senior citizens.

“We are very relieved that we are finally able to get it,” said chief medical officer Alan Yeasted.



St. Clair Hospital receives first dose vaccines, after three weeks without

PITTSBURGH —Doctors and nurses at St. Clair Hospital has resumed administering first dose COVID-19 vaccines, after not receiving the vaccines for three weeks.

“We’re now back since we got vaccine through the help of many of the legislators in the area and we’re very grateful for the help that they gave us,” said St. Clair Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alan Yeasted.

Dr. Yeasted administered the doses at Twin Towers, about 2 miles from the hospital. He said the residents had their first dose appointments canceled when those doses stopped arriving at St. Clair Hospital. Dr. Yeasted said many of the residents of Twin Towers are not able to get to the hospital, for the clinic.

“It’s very nice that we are able to come back and help these people out,” said Dr. Yeasted.

Dr. Yeasted said the hospital finally received 1,000 first-dose vaccines on Monday. He said he expects they will continue to receive that allotment and he said they will call all of the patients who had their dose canceled first, to get each one rescheduled.



St. Clair Hospital given zero COVID-19 vaccine first doses for weeks, leaders frustrated

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — For the third week in a row, St. Clair Hospital says it hasn’t been allocated any supply of the Pfizer vaccine for first dose appointments.

Because of that, thousands of people were put on hold — forced to wait even longer to get the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

“It’s profoundly disappointing to those who thought they were right on the cusp of being vaccinated,” said Dr. John Sullivan, senior vice president and chief medical officer at St. Clair. “We canceled several hundred last week, and we canceled all of the first dose appointments this week — and we canceled several senior living facilities.”

That includes the Twin Towers Apartments in Mt. Lebanon and the Dormont Place Apartments — for senior citizens.

Sullivan told Channel 11 5,000 South Hills residents are still in the que, waiting to even schedule a vaccine appointment. And for those who need a second dose, it will depend on shipments over the next few weeks.

St. Clair Hospital is trying to keep residents in the loop as much as possible. They sent out an alert on Twitter and Facebook, telling people to keep checking the hospital’s social media and website for updates.

Sullivan said he would like to see a change to avoid this problem from happening again, along with chief medical officers from many other hospitals in the area.

“The ideal state is going to be when we receive communication three weeks in advance how much we can supply and can book patients with confidence,” he said. “That is the Pa. Department of Health’s plan going forward, just not quite there yet. I think we are on the cusp.”


St. Clair Hospital not allocated supply of Pfizer vaccine for 3rd week in a row

St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh announced Monday that for a third week in a row, it was not allocated any supply of the Pfizer vaccine for first dose appointments.

“We regret the impact on thousands of South Hills residents who remain in our queue to be scheduled, including some of the most vulnerable residents of senior living facilities in the area. We will reschedule these appointments as soon as we are resupplied,” a post on the hospital’s website said.

St. Clair Hospital said patients who have second dose appointments scheduled for this week are unaffected.


St. Clair Hospital hasn’t been getting first-dose allocations for three weeks

St. Clair Hospital hasn’t gotten any first doses of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine for the past three weeks, which has led to the hospital not being able to provide thousands of vaccines it and the community had been expecting.

The hospital had to reschedule an undisclosed number of first-dose appointments and said thousands still need to be scheduled for their first doses. This doesn’t impact the second doses for people who have already received the first doses. Those supplies are continuing.

The hospital declined an interview request but said in a statement Wednesday that it had talked to state officials about the situation.

“Foremost among those concerns is that, without St. Clair’s participation in the distribution process, the most vulnerable populations in the South Hills will be disadvantaged in securing access to the vaccine,” St. Clair said in a statement. “These populations include the very elderly, those living in senior housing and certain other high-risk individuals.”

State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, said St. Clair’s efforts around the vaccine distribution have been critical to the South Hills. He said the hospital has been not only providing vaccines via clinics, but also reaching out to vulnerable members of the community, including senior housing, who aren’t able to go to a mass-vaccination site.

“You cannot dispute they have been working hard at getting this vaccine out,” Miller said.

Miller said he reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Wolf administration about the reasons. He said he was told it wasn’t because St. Clair wasn’t doing enough vaccinations, that the hospital system is doing everything it’s supposed to be doing. Miller said he urged the state to resume providing first doses to St. Clair. He had been told there were at least 5,000 people who were waiting in St. Clair’s vaccination system.

“We’re looking forward to seeing hopefully a different result on the allocation decision next week,” Miller said.

The hospital said it was sorry about the impact on the community in a Facebook post, and promised to reschedule appointments as soon as it got vaccine.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

St. Clair Hospital is the seventh-largest health system in the Pittsburgh region, according to the 2021 Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists.


By – Paul J. Gough – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business times