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Primary Health Network Rises at Trinity Point at Monroe
CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – As a new 33,000 square foot Primary Health Network (PHN) rises in construction at Trinity Point at Monroe immediately off Interstate 80 at Exit 62, Clarion County gains additional health care options and savings, including acceptance of Medicaid.
PHN expects to open its new community health complex at the corner of Pinnacle Drive and North Point drive in Clarion in the fall of 2012. A definite opening date is expected at the end of the month. The facility will include offices for physicians and dentists, a pharmacy, diagnostic services and a behavioral health center. In addition the State Health Center and ARC (Addiction Recovery Center) are relocating their offices to this new facility.
Primary Health Network is the largest community health center in Western Pennsylvania.
Not only is Primary Health Network constructing a state-of-the-art facility to improve the health care access for residents of the Clarion, it also expects to help the economy of the area.
Jack Laeng, CEO of Primary Health Network, indicated that 35 new jobs will be created and anticipates 300 to 350 people using the facility on a daily basis.
“The primary function of the PHN is to provide services to the underserved and underinsured and Medicaid patients who normally have to travel outside of the area to get those services,” said Tim Reddinger, Clarion Trinity Development Co. General Partner. “One immediate benefit is for clients of Clarion County Children and Youth Services (CYS). PHN’s focus is on women and children there are not a lot of providers in this area who accept medical assistance patients. Medicaid is their primary focus, although they can service anyone and accept insurance.”
In keeping with the ever changing healthcare, PHN participates in most managed care plans, accepts most major insurances and offers sliding fee billing to anyone who qualifies, regardless of insurance status. For additional information on Primary Health Network’s services, visit www.primary-health.net.
Reddinger states that while PHN cannot be directly part of Clarion Hospital, he expects a partnership to develop where PHN would attempt of help Clarion Hospital Emergency Room patients who only have primary health issues and not acute care problems. Treatment of primary health problems via an emergency room is often more costly.
The main cost savings for Clarion County may come from transportation costs that are now required to service Medicaid patients.
“The new center does not compete with the Hospital,” said Reddinger, a former Clarion County Commissioner. “It provides a services for primary medical, behavioral health, and dental. Right now in Clarion County we don’t have anyone doing dental for Medicaid patients. CYS has to export those children to other counties for services. Some of our bordering counties do the same thing, which will also help them by having these services available in Clarion County. They will be able to save transportation costs and the County will also save funds in mental health services by getting some of their services in behavioral health provided locally through that system.”
Beginning as Shenango Valley Primary Health Care Center in Farrell, PA, PHN has grown to be the largest community health center in Pennsylvania, with 14 sites in Mercer County and 19 additional locations throughout northwestern PA and northeastern Ohio.
What is next for trinity point?
“It’s a mixed-use park and that’s what I want to keep pushing,” explained Reddinger. “For a long time everyone seemed to be saying it’s a technology and business park only. That was never the case. It is a mixed use, because that’s what works economically. You’ve got places to live, places to work and the amenities that go with it.
“All of our infrastructure is basically new; we have high speed broadband through a remote terminal put in by Verizon, so we also have data centers available. We basically have no limits for broadband capabilities. Comcast and Level 3 are also here and we’re on their main loop. We have Pennsylvania American Water Company, Natural Fuel Gas, Monroe Township waste treatment facility, and West Penn power. We actually have the capability for dual feed transmission lives through the park.”
The PHN Clarion building joins the Barnes Center for Biotechnology Business Development at Clarion University on the Trinity Point Campus, but Reddinger has additional development in mind. A total of 86.15 acres remain available.
Professional buildings in the works
“We’ve been working on a facility called Monroe Commons for several years and we’re working on getting the funding and financing set,” said Reddinger. “It would be a professional building for businesses to take advantage of the Keystone Opportunity Zone we have here. One of the big areas we’ve been working on is to supply energy companies and service companies with office space or field office space. And we’ve talked with some technology companies that we’re trying to get located here in conjunction with the Barnes Center.
“Hopefully, we’re also looking at doing a build out for the Clarion Research Group for manufacturing of their products. The Barnes Center current occupies 24,000 square feet, but it’s designed to build out to 80,000 square feet.”
No local or state taxes on condominiums or apartments
With the advantage of ten years of no taxes in a KOZ Zone, Trinity Point is also planning a mixture of condominiums and apartments to facilitate growth.
“One of the advantages of the Keystone Opportunity Zone is that it applies to businesses or individuals and also has the same incentives whether you live in the KOZ or if you are a business in the KOZ,” said Reddinger. “You still have the 10 years from date of occupancy, so you have no local taxes and no state taxes. That’s why we’re going to move ahead with condominiums to give some people an extra incentive.
“The whole idea of the KOZ was to incentivize growth and build the tax based over that period of KOZ. So over the 10-year period you’re giving people a very strong incentive to locate here and then it helps grow the tax base for the community in the future.”
Plans also call for a church for Trinity Point. The Liberty Street Church of God in Clarion has also broken ground on Lot 2 of the west side of the development on a seven and half acre site. Completion of the new church is expected within the next two years.
Trinity development started in 2000
The development process for the 120-acre Trinity Point has been a long one, with the original purchase of the land dating back to 2000. It took seven years to put the infrastructure in place to make the sites more attractive.
However, Reddinger pointed to the year 2007 when legislation was proposed to toll I80 and potential renters disappeared. “That drove business away very quickly,” said Reddinger.
“We had four businesses that we were negotiations with in 2007 and they walked away because of just the potential of tolling I80. One entity chose to locate its business in Georgia interested in a medical equipment manufacturer.
“The toll creates commercial uncertainty and people working on these types of sites do lot like uncertainty. That’s why the entire infrastructure was put in first to reduce the risk for developers. Every year additional regulations create greater risks for developers and fewer and fewer people want to take it on.”
But for Clarion County, the risk appears to be paying dividends with growth of Trinity Point.