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Analysis

JC Blair Health System Joins Penn Highlands Healthcare

By John Commins  
   June 06, 2019

The flagship J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital becomes the fifth hospital in the Penn Highlands system and has been renamed as Penn Highlands Huntingdon.

Nine months after entering acquisition talks, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania-based J.C. Blair Health System has cleared regulatory review and this week has joined Penn Highlands Healthcare, the health system announced.

The flagship J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, a 71-bed, non-profit community hospital located about 120 miles east of Pittsburgh, becomes the fifth hospital in the DuBois, Pennsylvania-based Penn Highlands system and has been renamed as Penn Highlands Huntingdon.

"This affiliation represents an exciting new chapter in our growth," Penn Highlands Healthcare CEO Steven M. Fontaine said in a media release.

"Just like our other hospitals, J.C. Blair is deeply rooted in its community and is known for providing high-quality care to patients close to home," Fontaine said. "Now, through our partnership, we will not only continue to provide the services residents of Huntingdon County and surrounding communities have come to depend on, but we also will bring access to the advanced care and treatments available through Penn Highlands Healthcare."

The boards of directors of both Penn Highlands Healthcare and J.C. Blair signed a letter of intent in October.

"This affiliation will provide a great opportunity for J.C. Blair to build upon its strength as a leader in healthcare services while also maintaining our role as a major employer in the county," J.C. Blair President and CEO Joe Myers said. "An affiliation with Penn Highlands will create a sustainable model for our local hospital as well as bring additional resources and expertise to Huntingdon County."

Penn Highlands Board Chairman Dick Pfingstler said the acquisition of J.C. Blair will expand Penn Highlands's footprint strengthen its ability to recruit providers and grow its specialty services.

"Creating even more healthcare access and delivery throughout our region aligns perfectly with our longstanding mission to serve our communities," Pfingstler said.

J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital has 40 physicians on staff, and more than 400 employees, serving 45,000 residents of Huntingdon County. medical staff of nearly 40 physicians, over 400 employees, and more than 40 active volunteers, J.C. Blair is the only hospital in rural Huntingdon County, serving over 45,000 permanent county residents.  

Penn Highlands Healthcare was formed in 2011. Its four other hospitals are Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands DuBois and Penn Highlands Elk. The health system has 474 inpatient beds, and employs nearly 3,600 workers in more than 100 venues throughout 12 counties in North Central/Western Pennsylvania.

“An affiliation with Penn Highlands will create a sustainable model for our local hospital as well as bring additional resources and expertise to Huntingdon County.”

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.

Photo credit: cunaplus / Shutterstock


KEY TAKEAWAYS

The new affiliation is the end result of acquisition talks that began last October.

Penn Highlands leaders say the affiliation with a fifth hospital will expand their footprint in the region and expand services.

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