MONONGAHELA – In recognition of the essential role that rural hospitals play in meeting the healthcare needs of many Pennsylvanians, the Senate Majority Policy Committee will host a workshop discussion on the challenges facing these facilities both now and in the future. The hearing is being held at the request of Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Beaver/Greene/Washington).
“Rural areas like ours rely heavily on small local hospitals to meet the healthcare needs of the community,” Bartolotta said. “The long-term health of rural Pennsylvania depends on these facilities being available to serve patients now and in the future.”
According to 2019 data from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Pennsylvania has 69 rural health clinics. Approximately 11 percent of Pennsylvanians live in rural areas which equates to more than 1.4 million people. According to a report from WHYY, nearly half of rural hospitals in Pennsylvania operated in negative margins in 2019. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has warned that there is a real danger of many of these facilities closing.
“Rural hospitals had their difficulties before COVID-19 hit,” said Majority Policy Committee Chair Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks). “I want to thank Senator Bartolotta for her leadership on this issue. Our goal for this workshop is to discuss what issues persist for our rural hospitals and the potential solutions we can craft to solve them.”
The Majority Policy Committee will hold the workshop discussion on Monday, August 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center located at the Monongahela Valley Hospital at 1163 Country Club Rd., Monongahela, PA 15063.
In order to ensure public access and transparency, the workshop will be open to the public – but CDC recommendations on the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 will be in place. Attendees are expected to maintain social distancing and will be required to have a face covering. The workshop discussion will also be streamed live on the Senate Majority Policy Committee’s website.
More information can be found on the committee’s website at http://policy.pasenategop.com.
Contact: Joshua J. Paul – Executive Director, PA Senate Majority Policy Committee