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Get Marty: Judge's Ruling Allows UPMC To Acquire Jameson Hospital, Keeping It In New Castle

NEW CASTLE (KDKA) -- Uncertainty over the future nearly cost hundreds of people their jobs.

They were about to become the latest casualties of the long delay in approving a merger between Jameson Hospital in New Castle and UPMC.

The famous chocolate milkshake is one of the things that brings people back to Jameson Hospital.

But if you're Steve Warner, it's also because you're Jameson Hospital's board chair. On Thursday, he was doing a little celebrating.

"Obviously, we are thrilled about that," he said.

He's thrilled about an arbitration ruling that just went down. A judge decided the best offer to preserve and enhance the hospital was allowing UPMC to acquire Jameson and its 1,300 employees.

"We are very cautious in how we move forward until we complete this process," said Warner.

Officials at the hospital are wary about the details until the final deal is signed off on by the Attorney General's Office and UPMC. It's called a consent decree, a binding agreement UPMC must live by.

Here's what the deal with do:

  • No less than 10 years of planned service improvements
  • UPMC will pay off Jameson's debt and pension obligations
  • UPMC will spend $70 million for the development of facilities

LouAnne Goodrich knows about the value of Jameson Hospital to the New Castle area.

It's people like her who started sending "Get Marty" emails last August asking us to intervene, to pressure the Governor's Office to reach out to the attorney general.

"We have to have a hospital in this area so desperately," said Goodrich. "I signed the petitions on Facebook and everything to try to keep it; so it's good news if it's going to stay. It's wonderful; it's great for the community."

The governor agrees. He released this statement on the deal:

"Gov. Wolf is pleased Jameson Hospital will continue to serve seniors, children and families in western Pennsylvania…. which is why he voiced his support for a resolution to this issue. You helped amplify the importance."

The Attorney General's Office is also pleased, saying:

"Our staff has worked throughout the process as a watchdog for consumers. Our primary goal all along was to ensure that consumers in this market continue to have access to affordable healthcare. We intend to work with the parties to provide closure to this situation in the near future."

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The people who work at the hospital tell KDKA that employees were hugging and crying in the hallways when they got the news Jameson is here to stay.

The real concern in the Attorney General's Office is what some describe as a UPMC healthcare monopoly in the region. Insiders tell KDKA's Marty Griffin that there is also underlying tension involving spillover from UPMC and Highmark battles.

Meanwhile, UPMC has done similar deals with a consent decree at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, in Erie at Hamot, and the most recently in Altoona.

If you'd like Marty to help you solve your problem, email him at

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