Highlands Hospital Signs Definitive Agreement for Affiliation With Penn Highlands Healthcare


(December 13, 2021 - Connellsville / DuBois, Pa.)

The Boards of Directors of both Highlands Hospital and Penn Highlands Healthcare have signed a Definitive Agreement between the two entities that would integrate Highlands Hospital into the Penn Highlands Healthcare system.

The Highlands Hospital Board of Directors determined that Penn Highlands Healthcare would be a perfect long-term partner due to their experience of sustaining and growing hospitals in rural and smaller communities like Connellsville in Fayette County.

Penn Highlands Healthcare is one of the fastest growing health systems in the state now operating seven hospitals and more than 150 clinics and office locations throughout Northwestern/Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania.

"This is an exciting time for Highlands Hospital and the community," said Michael A. Jordan Jr., Board President of Highlands Hospital Board of Directors. "Highlands Hospital has been serving the community for 130 years and, with the support of Penn Highlands, we will continue to provide quality services and care to patients for many years to come."

The affiliation with Penn Highlands Healthcare, anticipated to take effect in early 2022, is designed to strengthen the healthcare services provided by the Connellsville health care provider. The board's key objectives that guided the search for a new partner included:

  • Continue the spirit of the mission, vision and values of Highlands Hospital
  • Maintain and expand key programs and services
  • Attract and retain high-quality physicians, advanced practice providers and hospital staff
  • Preserve jobs in Connellsville and provide competitive wages and benefits
  • Provide the necessary capital investment to support growth of the services provided
  • Maintain a meaningful role in local governance of the hospital

"Penn Highlands continues to grow our footprint into the southern part of the state," said Robert A. Ordiway, Chairman of Penn Highlands Healthcare Board of Directors. "The affiliation with Highlands Hospital allows us to extend our mission to further provide exceptional care to communities across the Commonwealth."

"Both organizations share similar missions and values," added John Andursky, Highlands Hospital President and CEO. "We look forward with this opportunity to grow Highlands Hospital's services and continue to provide quality care to our community and patients."

"Penn Highlands Healthcare continues its growth by adding new hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and physician practices," said Steve Fontaine, CEO of Penn Highlands Healthcare. "This affiliation with Highlands Hospital is another step to achieve our vision to be the integrated health system of choice."

The signing of the definitive agreement means that Highlands Hospital and Penn Highlands Healthcare have agreed to the terms and conditions of a prospective affiliation. Throughout the next several months, both parties will engage in additional due diligence, research and discussions to facilitate a smooth integration of Highlands Hospital into Penn Highlands Healthcare once regulatory approval of the affiliation is secured.

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About Highlands Hospital
Highlands Hospital began as Cottage State Hospital. 130 years later Highlands Hospital provides patient centered quality care as a non-profit general acute care hospital located in the picturesque Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania offering emergent, inpatient, behavioral and ambulatory care to the region and beyond. Residents are given tools for life-long health at the John P. Murtha Wellness Center. Highlands Hospital in affiliation with Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism helps to provide families with state-of-the art educational and behavioral treatment. Highlands Hospital has proudly served the Behavioral Health needs of the community for over 35 years and has adopted a holistic approach to healing for the mind, body and soul of all patients.
Highlands Hospital photo

About Penn Highlands Healthcare
Penn Highlands Healthcare was officially formed on September 30, 2011, and is comprised of seven hospitals – Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands DuBois, Penn Highlands Elk, Penn Highlands Huntingdon, Penn Highlands Mon Valley and Penn Highlands Tyrone that have served area communities for the past 100+ years. Its business continuum also includes two care agencies, Penn Highlands Community Nurses and Helpmates, Inc.; two long-term care facilities, Pinecrest Manor and Penn Highlands Jefferson Manor; and a senior residential living facility, Elco Glen.

Through this partnership, Penn Highlands Healthcare has evolved into an organization with approximately 5,600+ workers in 150+ locations throughout 39 counties in Northwestern/Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania that include community medical buildings, outpatient facilities, surgery centers and physician practices. Providing exceptional quality care to the region, it has 740 physicians and 374 advanced practice providers on staff. The facilities have a total of 1,200 inpatient, skilled nursing and personal care beds. The system offers a wide range of care and treatments with specialty units that care for cancer, cardiovascular/thoracic, neurosurgery, pulmonology, neonatal and high-risk pregnancy patients. Being focused on what is important - patients and families - makes Penn Highlands Healthcare the best choice in the region.

Michael A. Jordan Jr. photo
Michael A. Jordan Jr.
Board President of Highlands Hospital Board of Directors
Robert A. Ordiway photo
Robert A. Ordiway
Chairman of Penn Highlands Healthcare Board of Directors
John Andursky photo
John Andursky
Highlands Hospital President and CEO
Steve Fontaine photo
Steve Fontaine
CEO of Penn Highlands Healthcare


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