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UPMC donates former Sunbury Hospital

UPMC announced it will donate its former hospital in Sunbury to a community action agency.

SUNBURY, Pa. — The former UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury Hospital was a staple in the city for many years. In early 2020, the hospital closed after more than 100 years.

The building has been vacant ever since. But that won't be the case for long, according to officials from the health system. UPMC announced it is donating the building to an economic development group called DRIVE. DRIVE works to develop new businesses in a five-county area of central Pennsylvania.

"We are looking at what are the opportunities here? What is the highest and best use now? We know it's not going to be a hospital, just a hospital. That doesn't mean we couldn't have some kind of health care activity going on," said Jennifer Wakeman, DRIVE's executive director.

Wakeman says there has been a lot of interest in the property. That is good news for Sunbury.

"They're interested in keeping things here locally to provide jobs, to provide services, wherever it may be. They want to stay here locally," said Sunbury Mayor Josh Brosious.

Some people who live in this area came to hear the announcement. Susan Sargent was born at this hospital and used to work there.

"I was so afraid it was just going to sit empty, and nothing would be done with it. I am so happy that DRIVE is coming in, and maybe something good will come out of this," Sargent said.

"It's always good to have positive things come to the community and keep everything local, and that's a really good thing for the community here," said Sunbury resident Julianne Jones.

Wakeman said that DRIVE is open to leasing or selling portions of the building if a business does not want to take over the entire property.

Click here to read the release.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.

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