Northside expansion begins

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A multimillion dollar expansion project at North Side Medical Center in Youngstown began Tuesday.

A ground breaking ceremony was held at the Gypsy Lane hospital to mark the beginning of the $20 million construction project.

“This is exciting. We are going to have a whole new main entrance,” said Kirk Ray, CEO of ValleyCare Northside Medical Center. “A 30,000 square foot new, three-story tower that’s going to house new endoscopy suites, a new main entrance, new emergency rooms that are all going to be private for our patients when they enter our campus.”

The expansion is part of an $80 million, five-year capital improvements investment by ValleyCare Health System. Ray said with the Northside expansion they are more than half way towards the financial commitment made to the hospital system in 2010.

“To date it’s a little over $50 million,” said Ray. “A lot of that is infrastructure upgrades, new investments in technologies, recruitment of a lot of new medical specialties to the market and region, and most recently the $20 million investment in new emergency services and the main entrance.”

Tom Humphries, president and CEO of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, said the investment is a testament to how far the organization has come over the last few years. Four years ago, the future of Forum Health was uncertain as it declared bankruptcy in 2009. In 2010, Tennessee based CHS purchased the health care system to combine Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Northside Medical Center and Hillside Rehabilitation to from ValleyCare of Ohio.

“During the course of three short years, we’ve gone from worrying about that every single day to a culture of change and making peace with the past and talking about the future,” said Sandy Kessler, Northside Medical Center board chairman.

The project is the largest infrastructure investment made at the hospital in 15 years.

Construction is expected to be complete in November of 2014.


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