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Excela Health Receives Continuing Support from McKenna Foundation Directed to Surgical Expansion at Latrobe Hospital

Excela Health Receives Continuing Support from McKenna Foundation Directed to Surgical Expansion at Latrobe Hospital

LATROBE, PA, April 1, 2022 … Continuing its longstanding support for community healthcare, the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation has contributed $1.5 million toward the expansion of the Surgical Institute at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. The gift was channeled through the Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation and represents the McKenna Foundation’s single largest grant to the health system thus far.

The creation of the Surgical Institute at Latrobe Hospital is part of Excela Health’s alignment and enhancement of surgical services, with a focus on increasing the variety and scope of surgeries, particularly as it relates to cancer care. For more than 20 years, Latrobe Hospital has offered cancer services in concert with UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, with the hub for outpatient radiation and medical oncology treatment at the Arnold Palmer Pavilion at Mountain View Medical Park. The buildout of the Surgical Institute strengthens the collaboration while providing a focal point for cancer surgical care within the community.

In making the donation, Linda McKenna Boxx, chairman and CEO of the McKenna Foundation, said: “Having a full complement of medical services in the community to diagnose and treat cancer means patients can be close to home to have their needs met. More and more people are surviving cancer; the Surgical Institute is a key component in the ongoing effort to find and treat cancer sooner.”

“We are grateful for the unflagging support of the McKenna Foundation as we seek to provide the best possible care to our community,” said John Sphon, Excela Health Chief Executive Officer. “This is a true community-healthcare partnership where vital resources become available and needs can be met.”

Since Sept. 9, 2021, the Surgical Institute has performed 112 surgeries, expanded intensivist coverage and added a second surgical robot. Some of the procedures performed include complex robotic assisted lung and esophageal cancer surgeries.

“The postoperative care from our nursing team has been excellent. Many of the patients have been discharged to home within 23 hours of their procedures,” said Michael Szwerc, MD, FACS, Excela Medical Director of Robotic and Thoracic Surgery. “These postoperative outcomes could be compared against any healthcare institution in the country.”

Presently, construction is underway for the addition of Excela Health Medical Group physician offices with a Summer 2022 completion date.

The Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, headquartered in Latrobe, funds projects related to health, community development, social and human service, among others. The foundation was established in 1969 and over its 52-year history has demonstrated its support of health initiatives in Westmoreland County because of past foundation chairman Alex G. McKenna’s long-standing interest in Latrobe Hospital. Most recently it contributed $200,000 to assist in Excela’s pandemic response. Previously, the McKenna Foundation provided $500,000 toward the construction of Excela Square at Latrobe and $250,000 toward the campaign to remodel and enhance the Emergency Department at Excela Latrobe Hospital.

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