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WellSpan announces $255 million expansion at York Hospital

John Porter, executive Vice President and COO of WellSpan Health, speaks during a press conference Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, announcing the $225 million expansion project at the York Hospital. The project includes construction of an eight-story surgical and critical care tower. Bill Kalina photo

A quarter-billion-dollar expansion at WellSpan will push the largest hospital in York County to more than 600 beds, hospital officials announced Thursday.

The $255 million project at York Hospital is also expected to create 500 additional jobs at the facility, which already has more than 5,000 employees, said Roxanna Gapstur, president and CEO of WellSpan Health. 

The five-year project involves building a 250,000-square-foot, eight-story structure, which would raise the hospital's total to more than 600 licensed beds. It would add an additional 36 intensive care beds.

Once the work is completed, York Hospital would be among the 10 largest hospitals in the state.

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WellSpan will also be expanding and renovating 32,000 square feet of its Century tower and add 150 parking spaces.

A rendition of planned construction is on display during a press conference Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, announcing the $225 million expansion project at the York Hospital. The project includes construction of an eight-story surgical and critical care tower, right. Bill Kalina photo

“It’s something that’s been in the works for some time,” said spokesman Ryan Coyle. 

He said the hospital is starting to draw in patients from a larger region, often with more complex needs than those in the past. 

One of WellSpan's biggest local competitors, UPMC, recently expanded its reach with a new hospital in West Manchester Township that opened in August.

More:UPMC Memorial Hospital opens in West Manchester Township

But the expansion at WellSpan is not a response to that, said WellSpan Vice President John Porter.

“We obviously will recognize the competition, but we’re focused on our own strategies," Porter said.

The new eight-story structure will offer more space for families waiting for patients in critical care and a new surgical area with large pre- and post-procedural areas to improve efficiency.

“These are not just new beds and brand-new carpeting” said Dr. Nikhilesh Korgaonkar, vice chairman of York Hospital's surgical department.

Dr. Nikhilesh Korgaonkar, vice chair of the WellSpan York Hospital department of surgery, speaks during a press conference Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, announcing the $225 million expansion project at the York Hospital. The project includes construction of an eight-story surgical and critical care tower. Bill Kalina photo

State-of-the-art anesthesia techniques to minimize opioid use after surgery and advanced medical technology and robotics are also part of the plan, he said.

The project will include demolishing two older outpatient buildings, Ketterman and South halls.

WellSpan was recently looking for land for a possible ambulatory or inpatient expansion in the future, but, “right now, we’ve put that aside,” he said.

In the meantime, two projects in the works on the Apple Hill campus are expanding oncology and cardiovascular services. One project is expected to be done by end of this year, and the other is set to wrap up by mid-2021.

The next step for the $255 million project is to find a new location for services offered in the demolished buildings, which WellSpan is in the process of doing now, Porter said. He projects at least a year and a half before key elements of the project begin.

Roxanna Gapstur, president and CEO of WellSpan Health, speaks during a press conference Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, announcing the $225 million expansion project at the York Hospital. The project includes construction of an eight-story surgical and critical care tower. Bill Kalina photo