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North Hills Monthly

UPMC Outpatient Centers Provide Comprehensive Services Close to Home

Jul 31, 2017 08:32PM ● By Vanessa Orr

UPMC Natrona Heights (Burtner Road)

One of the advantages of living in the North Hills and surrounding communities is the availability of high-quality health care in the area. Not only do residents have access to top-of-the-line hospitals at UPMC Passavant and UPMC St. Margaret, but also to numerous local outpatient centers that provide primary and specialty care services that may be even closer to home. 

UPMC Outpatient Centers in Harmar, Natrona Heights, Wexford and Cranberry offer a wealth of services, ranging from family and internal medicine to advanced wound care. In September, the opening of a new outpatient center in Hampton will bring even more primary care options, including a testing walk-in center, to patients along the Route 8 corridor.

“Our goal is to create a convenient, easily accessible primary care destination,” explains Dina Perry, MBA, executive administrator, UPMC Community Medicine, Inc., of the $18 million facility located at Route 8 and Mt. Royal Boulevard in Hampton. “Patients will no longer need to go multiple places to get what they need; it will all be available in a one-stop shop.”

New UPMC Outpatient Center in Hampton

Based on the medical mall concept, the new UPMC Outpatient Center in Hampton will provide comprehensive primary care, women’s health, and pediatric services. The three-story, 44,000-square-foot center will house six primary care practice groups, in addition to Quest Diagnostics, UPMC Centers for Rehab Services, Children’s Community Pediatrics-HealthQuest, Radiology, and a primary care walk-in center.  

“While there is a lot of excitement about the new building and upgraded facilities, patients will appreciate that they’ll still be seeing their doctors and staff,” says David Jablonowski, MHA, director of operations for the Hampton Center, about the 26 doctors and advanced practice providers representing UPMC Community Medicine, Inc. and Renaissance Family Practice-UPMC. “We want to make it as easy as possible for our patients to maintain those relationships, while making access to care more convenient than ever.”  

In addition to primary care services, patients will have access to radiology services including x-ray and ultrasound technologies, as well as behavioral health care, diabetes education, a licensed clinical social worker and a wellness coach. The facility will feature an Austin’s Playroom for children, created in conjunction with the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Upon completion, the center will be LEED-certified.

The outpatient center will have free parking  and kiosks in the lobby to simplify check-in. “We’re working with volunteer services at UPMC St. Margaret and UPMC Passavant to provide  directions and wayfinding at the entrance to the building to ensure everyone can quickly find what they need in this new facility,” says Perry.

Patients also will receive assistance with arranging on-site tests, as well as scheduling their next appointments or follow-up visits with specialists.

“The walk-in center, which will be open seven days a week, will make it easy for patients to receive care when they need it,” says Jablonowski. Lab and radiology services will also be available on a walk-in basis with doctors’ orders.  

Once the outpatient center opens in early September, it will host community-oriented events, including diabetes education classes, flu clinics, and more.

UPMC Outpatient Center in Natrona (Heights Plaza)

At the UPMC Outpatient Center, located in Heights Plaza in Natrona, patients have access to comprehensive outpatient services including internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, and cardiology/diagnostic testing.

“We are really a one-stop shop,” explains Mary Umbaugh, practice manager, Natrona Heights Medical Associates-UPMC and Petz & Associates-UPMC. “Patients not only have access to primary care, but if they need an echocardiogram or Doppler study, they can walk over to the specialty side and get their testing done before leaving our facility; it’s a win-win situation.”

Numerous specialists, including heart and vascular surgeons, a neurosurgeon, and women’s health specialists are scheduled on a rotating basis at the site. 

“It’s set up like a time share. For example, we have doctors based out of other locations who come to this center, which enables patients to be seen locally, as opposed to having to travel,” explains Dawn Sciulli, senior practice manager, Greater Pittsburgh Neurosurgical Associates. 

“The center also is easily accessible from Route 28 and offers free parking,” she adds.

Cardiology and diagnostic services at the Natrona Heights location include nuclear cardiology stress testing, echo cardiology, vascular ultrasound, and EKG services. “Stress testing is done by appointment in advance, but we offer same-day appointments for the other services,” says Holly Castello, MSN, RN, CCRN, director, cardiology services, UPMC St. Margaret.

UPMC Natrona Heights (Burtner Road)

At this 34,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, patients have access to primary care practices, advanced diagnostic imaging, pulmonary function testing, noninvasive cardiac services, a Quest Diagnostics, and a host of specialty services. The on-site UPMC Hillman Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer care, including diagnostic and therapeutic services, education and support, and lab services.

“In our imaging center, patients have access to the same equipment that they’d find at UPMC St. Margaret, including digital imaging, CT, MRI, PET, and general ultrasound,” says Rich Wallace, director, Imaging Services. 

“Because we only see outpatients at the center, our on-time percentage is better than that found at most hospitals,” he adds.

The center’s expanded care team includes a wellness guide, behavioral health therapist, medical social worker, and diabetic educator. A walk-in clinic makes it easier for patients to receive fast medical care. 

“There is no appointment needed, and patients are served on a first-come, first-serve basis,” said Jason Polhamus, practice manager for the walk-in clinic and Valley Family Medicine-UPMC.

“Because our walk-in clinic is staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work closely with our doctors, patients are treated by one cohesive team,” adds Etan Pasternak, MBA, practice administrator, UPMC Community Medicine, Inc. “We take a collaborative approach to treating acute issues.” 

Parking is free at the Burtner Road site, where patients appreciate the personalized touch that they receive. “The center is convenient and easy to navigate,” says Polhamus. “And most of the staff has been there for years, so they’ve developed a real rapport with the patients.”

UPMC St. Margaret Harmar Outpatient Center  

For the last 10 years, the UPMC St. Margaret Harmar Outpatient Center has provided a full range of surgical procedures for patients needing ophthalmologic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, general surgery, gynecologic procedures, oral maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery, urologic surgery and more. An on-site radiology technician provides x-rays and fluoroscopy.

The center receives great patient satisfaction scores—some of the highest in the UPMC system. “People like our accessibility. Elderly patients who are here for cataract surgery can navigate our ample free parking close to the facility,” says Mary Barkhymer, chief nursing officer, UPMC St. Margaret, adding that the center is conveniently located off Route 28 as well as the Harmarville exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. 

 “We have a very experienced, compassionate group of nurses, technologists, and anesthesia providers who are dedicated to providing safe, quality care,” she continues, adding that nurses make a point of contacting families before surgery to let them know what to expect, and also follow up with patients as needed.

UPMC Outpatient Center in Wexford

According to Bradley Baker, director, imaging services and director, operations at UPMC Passavant, the Wexford location is slightly different from UPMC’s other outpatient centers. “We focus on specialty care,” he explains. 

The site contains the UPMC Passavant Spine Center, UPMC Centers for Rehab Services, UPMC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UPMC Pain Medicine, Three Rivers Orthopaedic Associates-UPMC, and UPMC Imaging Services.

“What’s nice about our imaging services is that we have a wide-bore MRI with a caring suite, which is designed to reduce anxiety,” he explains. “Patients can choose the lighting and music, and can even bring their own to create a serene, calming environment.”

Because the center only serves outpatients, wait times are minimal. The center also accepts walk-in patients for x-rays and can make same day, add-on appointments for ultrasound tests. 

UPMC Wound Healing Services at UPMC Passavant

Since opening four years ago, UPMC Wound Healing Services at UPMC Passavant, an outpatient center located in Cranberry Township, has helped patients recover from a wide range of injuries including diabetic foot wounds, post-radiation therapy wounds, venous stasis, pressure ulcers, and traumatic wounds. The center’s highly experienced doctors and nurses and state-of-the-art equipment have benefitted a multitude of patients.

“We have some very impressive patient outcomes,” says Elizabeth Shumaker, senior director of operations, UPMC Wound Healing Services, adding that the center often receives letters from grateful patients. “For example, we had a chef come in with a major cut on his finger — doctors thought they would need to amputate, but we were able to treat him with hyperbaric oxygen therapy and his wound healed.”

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is just one treatment offered at the center, which also offers bioengineered skin substitutes, wound debridement, surgery, vacuum-assisted closure, and limb preservation surgery. The center’s state-of-the-art equipment includes an ultrasonic debridement system to clean and stimulate wounds, and a vascular technologist is on-site to perform vascular testing. Ensuring that wounds have an adequate blood supply to heal is an essential factor in wound healing.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides concentrated oxygen, which helps to creates new blood vessels, allowing healing to take place,” explains Susan Rolniak St. John, MSN, nurse practitioner. 

She adds, “UPMC Wound Healing Services at UPMC Passavant also utilizes a specialized offloading device called a total contact cast for helping diabetic foot wounds heal faster. This type of cast is only used in a small percentage of wound clinics in the United States.”

According to Jodi Boory, RN, education plays a large role in patient care. “We believe that patients heal from the inside out and outside in, so our comprehensive approach includes not only wound care, but evaluations of a patient’s vascular status and nutrition. We also focus on prevention, so that the wounds don’t reoccur.”

UPMC St. Margaret Family Health Centers

In addition to the care provided at each of these UPMC outpatient centers, patients can find primary medical care, preventive health services, educational programs, and more at UPMC St. Margaret Family Health Centers in Bloomfield-Garfield, Lawrenceville, and New Kensington.

For more information ON UPMC OUTPATIENT CENTERS, visit

For more information ON UPMC WOUND HEALING SERVICES AT UPMC PASSAVANT, call 724-720-5959.