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VIDEO: UPMC Memorial Hospital construction York Dispatch

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Thumbs-up: More jobs, more choice and more competition.

Those are three things that every citizen of York County should welcome, especially when it comes to their health care.

Fortunately for all of us, that scenario looks like it should develop over the coming months.  

WellSpan, which has dominated the region as York County's primary hospital and health care system, will face fresh competition when the new University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Memorial Hospital opens its doors Aug. 18.

That's very good news, at least according to one expert.

"Having a second strong competition in the region will cause both (hospitals) to raise the bar," said Diane Hess, executive director of the Lancaster-based Central Penn Business Group on Health.

The old Memorial Hospital facility in Spring Garden Township was outdated and offered few options for modernization. The new facility, which began construction in 2016, should offer a higher level of care and a more viable competitor for WellSpan.

Local residents will have a real choice when it comes to their health care.

Across 127 acres in West Manchester Township, the new hospital will house 102 private rooms, 24 long-term acute care beds and three heart catheterization labs, among other things.

The new facility will also offer some employment opportunities.

UPMC Memorial hosted a job fair at the Wyndham Garden York on Wednesday, June 5. The new hospital is looking for all sorts of folks in all kinds of position.

The Aug. 18 opening of the new Memorial can't come soon enough.

Thumbs-up: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that becoming a rocket scientist is a challenging endeavor.

Some youngsters from Spring Grove, however, just might be up to the task.

The students from the Spring Grove Area Middle School rocketry team recently competed at the Team America Rocket Challenge — dubbed the world's largest rocket contest.

The four kids from Papertown didn't just compete, however. They excelled, despite being one of the youngest teams in the competition.

The team placed ninth out of 102 teams in the national competition in Virginia on May 18 — also winning the title of top team in the northeast.

Their goal was to be in the top 25, which would give any rocketry team in their district a chance to compete in NASA's student launch initiative next year — in which students design and build a high-powered rocket to take a scientific payload up a mile, said Brian Hastings, the team's coach.

The local kids far exceeded their goal.

"Being in the top 10 was kind of beyond expectations at that point," Hastings said.

The student team members also earned $6,000 in winnings, but they've already earmarked $1,000 of that money to go toward supplies for next year's rockets, which several students have already started designing.

It's clear this group of potential rocket scientists won't be resting on their laurels.

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Crews responded to a fire in the first block of North Seward Street Friday, May 31. Christopher Dornblaser video. Christopher Dornblaser, 717-505-5436/@YDDornblaser

Thumbs-up: There's little doubt that firefighters are among the most respected professionals in the world.

There's good reason for that.

They are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our property, and much more importantly, our safety.

That fact was reinforced last Friday, May 31, when firefighters saved two children from a fire in West York.

York City Fire Chief Chad Deardorff said West York firefighters arrived at a multi-family home in the first block of North Seward Street and found two young children calling for help from the second floor.

The firefighters quickly responded, using a ladder truck to remove the two children, according to Deardorff, who said the two were taken by ambulance to York Hospital as a precaution.

A potentially tragic situation had a happy ending because our local firefighters were ready, willing and able to perform their high-stress jobs during an emergency.

For that, they deserve our ever-lasting thanks.

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