Moisture causes problems at hospital

Summit Health

Chambersburg Hospital officials continue to deal with on-going weather-related moisture issues.

Last week, officials, out of an effort of transparency, shared with the community news that areas of moisture had been discovered in the building. Out of an abundance of caution, areas with moisture were closed.

As the week continued, additional areas of moisture were identified, mostly in the King Street portion of the building. The number of rooms that have been closed has resulted in a need for patients to be transferred to neighboring facilities as remediation efforts continue. Officials reiterate the closure is not due to the moisture posing a health risk, but rather, logistic issues due to closing rooms.

“Patient safety is the top priority in handling this situation,” explained President and CEO Pat O’Donnell. “We have multiple crews, working around the clock, to make the necessary repairs and remediation. However, the weather could cause delays in those repairs. If more moisture is discovered, we didn’t want to be out of options. At the end of the day, the safety of our patients and staff is just too important to not make this decision.”

If a person is suffering a medical emergency, they need to call 911. Chambersburg Hospital will continue to accept emergency patients. Patients who do not have an emergent medical need are encouraged to seek care at their primary care office, urgent care or walk-in care facility.

To support the situation, Chambersburg Urgent Care, 1000 Norland Avenue, Chambersburg, has extended its hours and is now open from 9 a.m. to midnight. A resource guide for community members, describing the appropriate level of care can be found at SummitHealth.org/EmergencyCare.

What's happened 

Following one of the wettest recorded summer seasons, Chambersburg Hospital, like many other local homes and businesses, is experiencing weather-related moisture issues.

Following the severe rain events in of the summer, moisture was noticed in a portion of the building near some windows. After consulting with building envelope specialists, it was determined repairs were needed to window flashing in a portion of the building. Hospital officials said they are working proactively to remediate any resulting moisture. Repairs to window flashing are underway to prevent future issues.

Hospital officials said their patients’ and employees’ safety remains the top priority, and have brought in experts to effectively address our moisture issues and ensure that the hospital remains a safe place for community members to receive care.

The hospital has been working with remediation experts from The Baxter Group and Service Master to identify areas where water may have seeped through and to remediate those areas. As experts take corrective measures, that area of the hospital is closed to staff and patients.

According to The Baxter Group, moisture challenges are prevalent among other local buildings and homes following this summer’s record rains in the region.

“If you were to go pull the record weather, this July was the third wettest month since 1888 in our area. It’s created problems across Franklin County, people who have never had moisture in their basements or attics have noticed it for the first time,” explained Jocelyne Melton, CEO and president of The Baxter Group.

Melton also explained that the wet weather has caused moisture issues outside in our natural environment, and that, those levels of moisture are higher than what has been experienced within the walls of Chambersburg Hospital.

“At this time, I would say the moisture issue at Chambersburg Hospital is a slight elevation, it’s a warning. Right now, there is no danger to staff or patients,” Melton explained. “Chambersburg Hospital didn’t want to take a chance, and as soon as they thought there might be an issue, they brought us in. They didn’t waste any time, and that was crucial.”

Updates on the situation will be posted on Summit Health’s newsroom, found at SummitHealth.org/newsroom. Chambersburg Hospital officials are asking the community for patience and understanding as remediation efforts continue.