Seton Hill, Local Partners to Plan Healthcare-Education Corridor in City of Greensburg
Seton Hill University has received a $200,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to work with community partners in developing a plan for a healthcare-education corridor in the City of Greensburg with a goal of increasing healthcare job opportunities and strengthening economic development.
The grant for the project, “Growing Greensburg’s Economy: Healthcare/Education,” will allow Seton Hill and its partners to develop a 10-year implementation plan for the corridor in partnership with the City of Greensburg, Excela Health/Butler Health System, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), Westmoreland County Economic Growth Connection, Westmoreland County Redevelopment Authority and Land Bank, Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation, and GO Laurel Highlands. More community partners may be added during the planning process.
“Seton Hill is a leader in healthcare education in the Pittsburgh region with undergraduate and graduate programs in Physician Assistant, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Dietetics and Nutrition and a cooperative degree program with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), which has a medical school on our campus,” said Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger. “We are committed to educating healthcare professionals who will stay in the region and serve the community. We are grateful to the Richard King Mellon Foundation for its support of this year-long initiative, and we look forward to working with our community partners to develop plans for a healthcare-education corridor that will serve the residents of Greensburg, Westmoreland County, and surrounding counties.”
The plan, which is expected to be completed by December, will identify existing strengths among the core partners and will develop strategies to build off of those strengths toward increasing job opportunities, expanding educational offerings, increasing economic development, growing commercial and residential development, and improving healthcare opportunities.
The grant funding will be used to hire a consultant to conduct market analysis and develop master building and financial sustainability strategies. An RFP for the consultant has been issued, and proposals are due by April 5. Project goals are to develop a clear strategic vision for local economic development; to strengthen relationships among local stakeholders and institutions; to increase local capacity and attractiveness to residents, students, workers and visitors; to attract additional investments from public, private, and philanthropic sources; and to enhance the quality of life for the city’s residents.
Seton Hill University has a long history of educating healthcare professionals. The University’s Physician Assistant Program, established in 1998, was named one of the best graduate schools for Physician Assistants by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. In Fall 2019, Seton Hill developed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program to help meet the projected high-priority need for registered nurses in the region. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program was launched at Seton Hill in Fall 2021, and in its second year has reached full capacity. The University has also developed Programs in Healthcare Administration and Nutrition and Dietetics at the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition, Seton Hill's School of Visual and Performing Arts offers bachelor's and master's degrees in art therapy and a bachelor's degree and post-baccalaureate certificate in music therapy to educate professionals who work to make an impact on the mental health and well-being of individuals.
Seton Hill’s partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) has been serving a need in Southwestern Pennsylvania for Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine since 2008. LECOM produces more primary care physicians than any other U.S. medical school, according to data released in March 2021 by U.S. News & World Report. According to the report, 69% of LECOM students enter primary care residencies upon graduation; and those students tend to stay in the areas in which they trained. LECOM graduates approximately 100 doctors every year on Seton Hill’s campus.
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