• West Penn Hospital emergency room reopens today


    None - PITTSBURGH --  A Pittsburgh emergency room that was closed more than a year ago is back in business Tuesday morning.

    Health insurer Highmark Inc. and the West Penn Allegheny Health System announced Monday that the emergency room at West Penn Hospital would reopen on Valentine's Day.

    They said the new emergency room is opening as the hospital is also expanding its inpatient services, including renovated medical, surgical and intensive care units with all private rooms and upgraded labor and baby delivery services.

    The renovated ER holds 23 patient beds and is equipped with numerous technological updates including a new, state-of-the art, 128-slice CT scanner.

    "It's like getting a high-definition television versus the old black and white TVs. The images are absolutely amazing and will help us diagnose and treat our patients," said Dr. Thomas Campbell, chairman of emergency medicine of WPAHS.

    Recent job fairs have attracted 2,000 applicants, though it's not clear how many will be hired.

    The health network laid off about 1,500 when the hospital was downsized in 2010 due to ongoing financial struggles. Highmark and West Penn announced plans to reverse those moves as part of Highmark's $475 million takeover of the health system. State regulators must still sign off on that deal.

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