Change was inevitable after Uniontown Hospital and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center parted ways effective July 1.
Gone is the Fayette Physician Network, the physician service joint venture between Uniontown Hospital and UPMC. Uniontown Hospital’s now independent physician network has been rebranded as Uniontown Primary Care and Uniontown Specialty Care.
Primary care offices in Redstone Township, Masontown and Smithfield have closed, with two remaining open.
The primary care office remaining at 201 Mary Higginson Lane in South Union Township is comprised of the following physicians and advanced practice providers: Rachel Talaman, M.D., Linda Burstynowicz, M.D., Richard Pish, M.D., Staci Sheba, D.O., Sean Conley, M.D., J. Eric Chadwick, M.D., Greg Lacek, PA-C, Emma Kraynak, PA-C, Jennifer Chaikcic, CRNP, Tanya Null, CRNP and Brandi Kalich, CRNP.
The primary care office at 224 Memorial Boulevard (Route 119) in Connellsville is comprised of Sarah Lumley, D.O., Cherie Dolan, CRNP and Ashley Ludwig, CRNP.
Josh Krysak, director of community relations at Uniontown Hospital, said that Dr. Albert Enany of the Connellsville primary care office retired Wednesday and that any need for additional physicians at that office would be assessed as patient flow there is reviewed.
Three UPMC women’s obstetrics/gynecology locations in the Uniontown area closed as part of the changeover, but one is slated to carry on thanks to a new partnership.
Dr. John Sunyecz and Dr. Christine Wilson will be continuing to offer women’s health care at 1142 National Pike in Hopwood in partnership with Mon Health System.
Sunyecz said staff would start Aug. 1 and practitioners will start no later than Sept. 1.
“The Mon Health administration has been very accommodating in working with us to keep our office in Hopwood, and we look forward to continue seeing our patients and providing care for the community,” Sunyecz said.
Mon Health System is an integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient centers and hospitals in north central West Virginia, including Mon Health Medical Center in Morgantown, West Virginia.
The health system had noted the potential gap in care, and Mon Health System President and CEO David Goldberg said that “(o)ne of the most reassuring facts is knowing the highest quality health care available is right here, close to home.”
“As a community hospital system, we understand that local care is the best care,” Goldberg said.
No longer providing local care is Dr. Daniel Nahhas, whose women’s health care office at 404 West Main Street in Uniontown closed as a result of Fayette Physician Network ending.
“It’s a shame,” said Nahhas, who delivered more than 5,000 babies at Uniontown Hospital.
Nahhas expressed concern, given the closure of Uniontown Hospital’s birthing center effective July 1 due to the end of the hospital’s relationship with UPMC, with the lengthier travel now required for birthing services and care at West Virginia University Health System-related facilities, Jefferson Hospital and Magee-Womens Hospital.
“It’s so hard for people to travel to Morgantown or go to Jefferson,” Nahhas said. “ … Traveling is not easy (when you’re) pregnant.”
The Family Beginnings Birthing Center had recently delivered around 800 babies a year prior to closing.
Soon to depart after 33 years serving the area is longtime surgeon Dr. Mike Reilly, formerly of Laurel Ridge Surgical Associates at 196 West Main Street in Uniontown, which also closed as a result of Uniontown Hospital’s post-Fayette Physician Network consolidations and is now for sale.
“I’m very grateful to the community,” Reilly said. “I worked as hard as I could for 33 years.”
The other four surgeons from Laurel Ridge Surgical Associates have moved to a new specialty care clinic on the third floor of the Annex building on the hospital’s campus. That new specialty care clinic also includes cardiology care following the closure of UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at 650 Cherry Tree Lane in South Union Township, also due to the departure of UPMC.
But Reilly saw Uniontown Hospital’s changeover to Uniontown Primary Care and Uniontown Specialty Care as an opportunity for a new adventure.
Reilly’s local service is slated to be over when his patient follow-ups are done come the end of September, and he plans to focus on breast surgery in eastern Pennsylvania afterward.
Reilly recalled coming to Uniontown from Ohio and has worked to provide state-of-the-art surgical care to the community since then.
“It’s been quite a journey for me,” Reilly said.