Ellwood City, Pa – The Ellwood City Medical Center has recently gone through financial struggles, but the doctors and staff are doing their best to bring in new programs and revitalize the way they serve the community.
The medical center has overgone a new ownership in the past year and half, and since they have been struggling with finances and backing from the community.
The medical center recently held an event at Ellwood’s locally owned coffee shop, The National Grind. During which, doctors and staff answered any questions the community may have. They were promoting transparency of their operation for customers.
The medical center’s marketing manager, Victoria Gatto, was able to answer some questions regarding the financial situation of the medical center. She was able to clear up some rumors that have been going around about payment at the medical center.
“We are getting paid our full pay. As a rule, from the department of labor they have to pay minimum wage if they can’t pay full wage that week. Employees are getting paid minimum wage one week, and the rest of the pay the next week. Employees are getting paid weekly, so everybody as of today has had their full pay, and they are getting paid,” said Gatto.
Dr. Sandeep Sharma, whose specialty is interventional nephrology (the study of normal kidney function and kidney disease) joined the Medical center in December of 2018. He also commented on the financial situation of the center.
“I was approached by ownership of the hospital to help out. The hospital here after it was sold in 2017 has gone through some really tight financial stress and part of reinventing the hospital is bringing in new talent and new streams of services for the community and the surrounding areas. One of my goals is to help attract other talent and other physicians,” said Sharma.
They explained how the medical center is important to the community, “You need Ellwood if you are having an emergency, you need them to stabilize you and get you on to the next thing. No, we are not a trauma center, but we can get you to that trauma center. So, we’re going to stabilize you so that you can live and get to the next phase of your life,” said Gatto.
The medical center has plans to expand their services, “We’ve been able to recruit two plastic surgeons and restart up loom a care services as well as offering cosmetics and other skin care type surgeries. The hospital itself has been receiving a lot of money from outside investors to help keep things running with in it. The last thing that anybody wants to see is this hospital leave the community. Its really important to have a hospital service for a community of this size especially. Otherwise people are going to have to drive 30 to 60 miles away for routine health care services. So, the services we provide are really important,” said Sharma.
They shared how the community connects to the medical center, “I’m just looking for, and we all are, for the community to back us. We are still a hospital; we are still there for you. I myself have lived in Ellwood City for 30 years, have two daughters that have grown up here, we need the hospital,” said Gatto.
Rumors about the hospital being shut down were also addressed, ““The hospital is not going anywhere. It’s remained open throughout its entirety since its been sold. There is a lot of negativity and rumors that go on about the hospital closing or equipment being taken out of the hospital. It’s all untrue, you know some services have had to be stopped because there is no provider for certain services, but our goal is to bring a full line of certain services back to the hospital and get everything turning around. But it doesn’t happen with the flip of a switch these things take time, and so far with the new lab services that we’re offering, my practice, and the wound care we are on the right trajectory and I feel in another year a lot of the bad press that people like to print is just going to fade away because there will be no more need for it,” said Sharma.