Hamilton Health Center, which a year ago opened the doors of its new, consolidated facility
in the Allison Hill neighborhood of Harrisburg, has announced significant donations from the major
foundations, corporations and individual donors and kicked off the public fund drive to complete Phase Two of its $23.5 million expansion project.
Surrounded by seven trees representing the $7 million goal and the campaign’s theme, “Growing a Healthy
Community,” Hamilton CEO Jeannine Peterson announced that $6 million of that goal has already been raised.
“Capital BlueCross quietly helped us launch the campaign in March as the first major corporate donor, pledging
$1 million in cash, leading by example a way toward meeting the $7 million goal. In addition to their Campaign
support, Capital BlueCross has been actively engaged with Hamilton on several special projects and will provide
$500,000 of in-kind services over the next few months,” said Peterson. “Recently, The Donald B. & Dorothy L.
Stabler Foundation, which has pledged $3 million and Highmark, which has pledged $1.5 million, made
commitments that helped to tip the campaign closer to making this dream a reality.”
The additional funding will enable Hamilton to complete the planned Phase Two building renovations, adding a much-needed pediatric wing, behavioral/mental health services and consolidation of administrative services.
“Many members of our community recognize the vital importance of what we do and what we need to be able to
do for the future. As a result, we have received assistance from generous foundation, corporate and individual
donors, who have shown unprecedented levels of support for a project of this kind,” said Michael Harris,
Chairman of Hamilton’s Board. “Now, we are turning to the larger community to help us complete the vision.
In this phase our message to the community is every person matters and whether it is $1 or $1 million, every
Hamilton Health is the capital region’s premiere primary healthcare facility serving low-income residents, the
uninsured or those working families who are under-insured. The ambitious expansion project was begun in 2008
in response to a dramatic escalation in community need. During 2012, Hamilton Health served more than 20,000
residents of Dauphin and surrounding counties. By the end of 2015, that number is expected to more than double.
Patient visits during 2012 totaled more than 72,000, with more than 129,000 visits projected for 2015.
“Hamilton Health Center is a national-level model, not only in its approach to public health, but for how a project like this can be boldly envisioned and boldly supported by all segments of a community,” said Capital Campaign Council Chairman William Lehr, Jr. “We have positioned Hamilton to be an economic engine, an environmental model and a shining example of how the right things can happen when you get the right people in the community to the table.”
Phase One of the project, which opened in September 2012, redesigned a vacant warehouse into a “medical mall” concept: a one-stop service center that provides access to all primary medical and dental services,including
women’s services, adult medicine, an imaging department, pharmacy and full-service laboratory.
Pediatric services are currently housed in the women’s services space until the completion of Phase Two; at which time the pediatrics department will be completed. Phase Two of the project will represent a 34,000 sq. ft. increase of space which will incorporate the pediatrics department and a social services department while
integrating mental health services and providing direct access to the community room for health and wellness
seminars and community gatherings. Phase Two construction will also create a second floor which will house
Hamilton’s administrative offices, board room and training rooms.
“There’s a tremendous need for these particular services to complete the picture of health care for thousands of
residents,” said Peterson. “We have faced a severe shortage of pediatricians in Dauphin County accepting
newborns insured by Medicaid. It’s not acceptable that the health system is not prepared to care for all newborns,
regardless of their insurance status. We can do better than this and Hamilton can fill this critical gap, but we need
more space to serve the community better.”
Hamilton Health Center has long recognized the importance of mental health services as a component of overall family health, but has had to refer patients to these services in piecemeal fashion to facilities with limited
capacity, which means patients often have to wait up to six months for psychiatric care.
“Our families and our community cannot afford the consequences of delayed or inadequate mental health
services,” said Punitha William, MD, a family physician and Hamilton Health Center’s chief medical officer.
“Integration and co-location of medical and mental health services under one roof will help our patients access
them more easily – and help erase the stigma associated with these services.”
“We appreciate the critical role that Hamilton Health Center plays in the healthcare service delivery picture in
central Pennsylvania, both as a key access point for quality care, and as a partner in wellness promotion and
disease prevention,” said Capital BlueCross President and CEO Gary D. St. Hilaire. “Their commitments to both
access and quality are exactly why we chose to make a major financial commitment to the campaign. While I
understand we were the first local corporation to do so, we embrace this as a community effort and we are thrilled to have our industry peers and many others also getting involved.”
“When Hamilton Health Center succeeds, thousands more people in our region live healthier and better, and we
all benefit from that in a multitude of ways,” said Evan Frazier, senior vice president of community affairs,
Highmark Blue Shield. “Highmark Blue Shield is pleased to provide significant support to an organization that
epitomizes the holistic, preventive approaches we strive to promote through all phases of life, from healthy starts
for kids to better chronic disease management.”
The project is already serving as a catalyst for broader economic development in the local economy. During the
planning, construction and fitting out of the new buildings, the purchasing and hiring impacts of the center have
increased. Once the capital project is completed, the economic development impact of the health center as
employer and purchaser will continue at a new higher level.
By 2016, Hamilton Health Center will inject an estimated $23 million of operating expenditures directly into the local economy. Overall economic impact is estimated at $35.5 million, with 230 direct, full-time jobs plus and an additional 77 indirect and generated jobs.