EMHS unveils hospital cornerstone

EMHS Board President Ray Wilmarth and CEO Rex Catlin were jubilant at the Thursday unveiling of the etched cornerstone of the new hospital and physician’s clinic. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

EMHS Board President Ray Wilmarth and CEO Rex Catlin were jubilant at the Thursday unveiling of the etched cornerstone of the new hospital and physician’s clinic. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

BY STACI WILSON

Endless Mountains Health Systems officials unveiled the cornerstone Thursday of its new hospital facility, currently under construction in Bridgewater Twp.

Etched in a block of bluestone is “2013.”

“It will tell forever that the building was put up in 2013 to serve the western Susquehanna County community,” EMHS Board President Ray Wilmarth said.

EMHS CEO Rex Catlin said, “It marks the beginning of a new era.”

The new hospital and physicians’ clinic is expected to be completed in late October and open to serve patients in mid-November of this year. The modern, critical access care hospital and clinic will replace the outdated 1950s-era facility located in the borough of Montrose.

EMHS broke ground on the hospital – Phase 1 – of the project in early 2012. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., of Houston, Texas, jump started fundraising efforts for the project’s second phase – the physicians’ clinic – shortly after the groundbreaking, donating $1 million and issuing an additional $1 million community-match challenge. The effort hit its mark bringing over $3 million to the project. EMHS also received a $1 million grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation for the project’s second phase.

Catlin said areas of the new facility are in various stages of construction. Much of the second floor hospital section is nearly completed with some detail work and painting currently in progress. Other areas, such as the imaging, emergency room and operating rooms, require more specialized work to be ready to house the necessary equipment.

“To see the progress made in a few short months is outstanding,” Cabot spokesman George Stark said. “Cabot is proud to be a part of this community event. We look forward to the opening and seeing it serve the needs of the community.”

Wilmarth said he was pleased Cabot representatives were present at the unveiling to help EMHS mark the construction milestone. He also noted the EMHS physicians that have contributed to the project. “They are here and enthusiastic to celebrate the construction.”

“The public has been very supportive of this effort and have helped to make this happen as a community effort,” Wilmarth said. “I hope, trust and pray that this facility will be here not only for the folks in the community, but also for their descendants for years to come.