Five Years After Local Hospital Closes, Pennsylvania Town Opens Urgent Care Center

Emergency room services

In 2010, many people in the small community of Braddock, Pennsylvania were outraged when the local hospital, UPMC Braddock, was demolished. Home to roughly 2,100 people, Braddock has suffered from a well-documented decline over the years and has struggled to revitalize itself. However, residents argued that these problems were no reason to close needed health services, especially with a growing number of aging patients in the area who needed local assistance. Now, five years after the demolition, the community has opened its first urgent care center to give the area access to needed medical care.

Urgent care clinics are a growing presence in the American healthcare industry. These medical walk in clinics are designed to provide care for a variety non-life-threatening conditions at convenient times and affordable prices. As a result, the addition of urgent care clinics is considered an important addition to Braddock, where residents have been forced to drive to nearby areas, like Monroesville, to get medical treatment.

Managed by the Allegheny Health Network, the Braddock Urgent Care Center has 12 exam rooms and offers X-rays, blood work and other diagnostic services. Currently, four doctors are employed at the clinic, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Town officials reported that the urgent care facility was built as part of a $20.3 million redevelopment project that also includes a housing complex, community park, retail locations and office space. It was constructed with both private and public funds.

UPMC Braddock closed in 2010 after hospital officials reported that it was underused. Several local groups protested and even sued the health system to keep the facility open, but were ultimately unsuccessful. But after five years without local medical care, the urgent care center shouldn’t expect low numbers: an estimated 10,000 patients are expected to visit the clinic this year.
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