Excela Health prepares for growth

Kris B. Mamula, Pittsburgh Business Times, August 1, 2011

Citing anticipated growth in cardiology and bariatric services, Greensburg-based Excela Health announced on Monday that it would add 16 doctors in 2012 plus create 24 immediate openings for full-time nurses.

At the same time, the hospital network announced a 2 percent across the board salary increase effective in October and restructured its per diem nurse staffing pool, which is expected to convert 50 temporary staff nurses to permanent positions, said Jennifer Miele, vice president of marketing and communications. Hourly wages for temporary staffing nurses will be reduced to $31.50 from $36, but the wage is still over the average pay for nurses and the temporary nurses will be offered health benefits for the first time.

The current average nurses’ pay was not available, Miele said.

Excela has a pool of 149 per diem nurses and hospitals and other health care institutions often rely on temporary staffing to plug holes in the work schedule. But managing temporary staffing expenses can be a challenge because the costs are much higher than full-time employees.

Excela was formed in 2004 and consists of Westmoreland, Latrobe and Frick hospitals. The system employs 1,250 nurses.

Kris Mamula covers health care and employee benefits for the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Contact him at kmamula@bizjournals.com or (412) 208-3825.