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City of DuBois Receives $500,000 from Appalachian Regional Commission for Penn Highlands Healthcare Behavioral Health Hospital

October 30, 2020


Behavioral Health Project Will Diversify and Strengthen Region’s Economy

This month, the City of DuBois was awarded $500,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for updates to the Behavioral Health hospital at Penn Highlands DuBois. The project will construct a standalone behavioral health hospital as part of the Penn Highlands Healthcare Master Facilities Plan, which encompasses eight building construction/renovation projects initiated by Penn Highlands Healthcare in 2018.


Upon completion in 2022, this project will serve patients suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and behavioral health issues, and/or who use medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The facility will include the addition of a psychiatric urgent care center and acute psychiatric care for children and adolescents, an eight-bed high-acuity unit for patients requiring specialized care before being transitioned to the regular adult unit,  along with an extended sub-acute unit for at-risk children and adolescents. The project will help expand the adult inpatient unit by 14 beds.


The new behavioral health facility is expected to serve 3,200 patients a year and create 163 jobs. Additional funding for the project is provided by Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. “We are extremely grateful for this generous assistance from the Appalachian Regional Commission, as well as to the City of DuBois for partnering with us on this initiative,” says Karin Pfingstler, system director of Fund Development for Penn Highlands Healthcare. “We are deeply committed to doing our part to respond to the challenges with substance abuse that many individuals and families in our region face. With the project already underway and progressing nicely, this funding is sure to benefit many lives for years to come.”


Funding for this award was made via the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. To date, ARC has invested over $238 million in 293 projects, touching 353 counties across Appalachia since 2015. “I congratulate Penn Highlands DuBois and the City of DuBois for their POWER award, and commend them on the leadership they have shown in their community,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they recover from COVID-19 by building and expanding critical infrastructure and creating new economic opportunities through innovative and transformative approaches. Projects like this are getting Appalachia back to work.” More information about ARC’s POWER Initiative is available at www.arc.gov/power.