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CBICC expo draws crowd

STATE COLLEGE, PA — Leaders from more than 80 businesses gathered at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel for the Chamber of Business and Industry in Centre County’s (CBICC) annual business expo on Thursday, Nov. 20. The event brought together professionals in industries ranging from

Highway and bridge construction revived by Act 89

On Oct. 24, the state Public-Private Partnership Board (P3) and Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners won the competition for the $889 million P3 Rapid Bridge Replacement program. The partnership will replace 558 structurally deficient bridges in the commonwealth in

Baby boomers grow health and rehabilitation industry

Long before health and fitness was promoted by celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, “the godfather of fitness” hosted the first fitness television program in 1953 by way of the self-named Jack LaLanne Show. Dressed in a black jump suit and black ballet

Keystone Energy Forum comes to Centre County

STATE COLLEGE, PA – About 80 people gathered at the Nittany Lion Inn on Friday, Nov. 14 for the first Keystone Energy Forum (KEF) held in Centre County. The event was sponsored by the Centre County Chamber of Business & Industry (CBICC) and media sponsor

The Centre of Shale … CBICC hosts first Keystone Energy Forum

STATE COLLEGE, PA – More than 80 people crammed into a conference room at the Nittany Lion Inn on Friday for the first Keystone Energy Forum (KEF) held in Centre County. The event was sponsored by the Centre County Chamber of Business & Industry (CBICC).

CBICC expo draws crowd

STATE COLLEGE, PA — Leaders from more than 80 businesses gathered at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel for the Chamber of Business and Industry in Centre County’s (CBICC) annual business expo on Thursday, Nov. 20. The event brought together professionals in industries ranging from food vendors to health care to share their tips and tricks with one another.CBICC photo

Dolce Vita Desserts owner Mary Hilliard returned to cater the expo for her second year, providing attendees with a sweet treat as they walked through the door.

“Any time I can get my product out there and in people’s mouths, I do it,” Hilliard said. “Any little bit is good for my business.

Networking was a focus for the event, and vendors were given the opportunity to make connections through speed networking, which was set up in a speed-dating type format.  The members of the CBICC also placed a major focus on social media with the help of the marketing sponsor Impressions WHQ.

“We heavily promoted the #cbiccexpo hashtag on Twitter and also brought back the ‘fan favorite’ contest on Facebook, which was won by THON,” said CBICC Communications Director Lesley Kistner. “New this year was a “selfie station,” where exhibitors/attendees were encouraged to take selfies and post them on Twitter. It was nice to see people having fun with that.”

Highway and bridge construction revived by Act 89

On Oct. 24, the state Public-Private Partnership Board (P3) and Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners won the competition for the $889 million P3 Rapid Bridge Replacement program. The partnership will replace 558 structurally deficient bridges in the commonwealth in the next 48 months.

According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, more than 5,200 of the commonwealth’s 22,600 bridges – about 23 percent – are rated structurally deficient under federal guidelines, more than any other state.Act-89-opening-pic

Although some dramatic bridge collapses in the U.S. have made the news in recent years, the state’s structurally deficient bridges are not about to fall down. The weight restrictions placed on them, however, can force commercial drivers whose trucks are over the weight limit to go miles out of their way to pick up and deliver goods, adding transportation costs and forcing drivers to detour through narrow streets designed for local traffic.

The P3 board consists of many members of the construction industry, including Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners – a consortium comprised of the Plenary Group, The Walsh Group, Granite Construction Company and HDR Engineering.

The P3 team also includes 11 Pennsylvania-based subcontractors, including five from the region:

• Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. of State College, Centre County

• J.F. Shea Construction Inc. of Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County

• Larson Design Group of Williamsport, Lycoming County

• Swank Construction Company of New Kensington, Westmoreland County

• TRC Engineers, Inc. of Export, Westmoreland County.

The P3 program is one of the first public-private partnerships in the nation to construct hundreds of bridges under a single contract.

The Plenary Walsh team will privately fund the design, build, and maintenance of the bridges in exchange for periodic payments from the state raised through a bond program. Under the 28-year contract, the project will cost an average of $65 million annually.

According to PennDOT, the P3 program could save the state more than $220 million, because the average cost per bridge under the P3 contract is $1.6 million versus the state’s average of over $2 million per bridge.

The Transportation Funding Act of 2013 (Act 89)

Glenn O. Hawbaker of State College, one of the P3 team’s subcontractors, had been receiving about half of its annual revenue from highway projects before the Great Recession. When federal and state highway funds dried up, the company was forced to lay off 300 employees.

Hawbaker won the first stimulus highway project in Pennsylvania and hired some of the workers back, but those “shovel ready” projects were short-lived. Of the $700 billion in stimulus funds, only $27 billion were allocated to infrastructure across 50 states.

To compensate for the lack of road work, Hawbaker diversified into new areas including building a railroad terminal for offloading asphalt and salt for Penn DOT, making mulch for State College’s parks, recycling building materials, and constructing roads and well pads for the Shale gas industry. In the past five years, the company rebuilt its workforce to more than 1,400 employees.

Act 89 was signed into law last year by Gov. Tom Corbett to fund road projects, bridge repairs and public transit. The new law has provided $2.4 billion in transportation projects this year so far, and by 2018, transportation projects will get an additional $2.3 billion per year, which makes it the largest increase in state transportation infrastructure funding in decades.

“Now we have some backlog, which gives us the ability to plan our business in advance and know where we’re going,” said Charlie Campbell, director of special projects at Hawbaker. “Act 89 finally put us in position to repair our roads and update our infrastructure for the 21 century.

“What’s unique is that it’s not just a year or two funding like the federal highway bill, but it’s ongoing and doesn’t require periodic renewal,” Campbell said.

Hawbaker picked up 25 highway and bridge projects in the past six months, representing about $150 million worth of business. The company expects to receive between 50 to 60 percent of its revenue from highway and bridge work next year and to hire new workers.

Finding those workers might be challenging, according to Jason Wagner, director of policy and government relations for the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (ABC), Harrisburg.

“During the recession, a lot of highway construction workers were laid off and are working in other industries such as the Shale gas industry or building trades where there was more stable employment,” said Wagner. “Now that we have the funding in place and know that it’s going to increase, we have to engage in some comprehensive workforce development efforts in order attract workers back to the highway construction industry again so we can staff these new projects.

Wagner said most job positions require workers with technical skills, including basic computer knowledge. The company is working with Penn DOT to develop workforce development programs, as well as unions, which have new training centers.

Another contractor in the region benefitting from Act 89 is Jay Fulkroad & Sons, a family-owned business in McAlisterville, Juniata County.

On Oct. 23, Fulkroad won a $2 million contract to construct a small bridge as part of three-phase Potters Mills Gap Project near the Centre/Mifflin County line to west of S.R. 0322 / PA 144 intersection. The goal is to improve safety, reduce congestion, enhance mobility and alleviate access concerns by building a bridge across the mountain gap and a 4-lane roadway that will pass near State College and then run south to Seven Mountains.

“The design engineering for the bridge will be starting in a couple weeks and will take about 45 days to complete,” said Don Peck, Fulkroad’s project manager. “We anticipate starting construction sometime in December or January, depending on the weather.”

The bridge needs to be built before the roadway construction begins on Sept. 1, 2015.

The new bridge will connect the two sides of the mountain to provide a crossing for the Seven Mountains Campgrounds, which is 15 miles east of State College.

Fulkroad’s Act 89 projects range from $900 million to $2.5 million. The company also won the bid on a $4 million dam rehabilitation project. Fulkroad was forced lay off 50 workers during the recession and now has 75 employees.

While Peck is happy about the Act 89 funding, he remains somewhat critical of the plan.

“The state might save millions of dollars with the public-private partnership, but the bulk of the millions being spent on the 558 bridges is going to companies based outside of Pennsylvania,” Peck said. “The rest is going to only 11 large firms based in the state, because it’s hard for smaller companies like ours to compete with larger firms since they have economies of scale.

“If Penn DOT was in charge of the bridge program, they probably would have broken the jobs into more pieces and employed more small firms,” Peck continued. “But at least those structurally deficient bridges are finally getting replaced, and that’s a good thing for Pennsylvanians.”

Baby boomers grow health and rehabilitation industry

Long before health and fitness was promoted by celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, “the godfather of fitness” hosted the first fitness television program in 1953 by way of the self-named Jack LaLanne Show. Dressed in a black jump suit and black ballet slippers, his show was aimed toward “the ladies,” whom he encouraged to join his new health clubs.

LaLanne paved the way for the development of the fitness center industry, which burgeoned in the 1970s and 1980s when running and aerobics became popular. Membership in health clubs continued to grow throughout the 1990s, with a tremendous growth spurt in the early 2000s when franchise fitness clubs such as Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym and Anytime Fitness began popping up around the country.

The revenue of U.S. health clubs reached a new high of $22.4 billion in 2013, nearly a 100 percent increase in revenue since 2000. This increase is reflected in the total number of memberships at fitness centers in the U.S., which rose from 32.8 million to 52.9 million during that timeframe.

About half of all health club members belong to commercial health clubs, with the remainder divided between non-profit clubs such as the YMCA and for-profit clubs such as corporate clubs, country clubs or spas.

In the 1970s, the Kindler family opened its first full service health club in Camp Hill near Harrisburg. Membership included access to fitness equipment, exercises classes and custom tailored programs by fitness instructors.

“Over the years, we’ve run every type of model of fitness center you think of, but the no frills, affordable and inclusive Planet Fitness model is by far the greatest and most successful we’ve found,” said Steve Kindler, Jr., owner at Kindler & Crimmins Associates.

The Kindler family owns nine Planet Fitness franchises in central Pennsylvania and plans on opening a tenth club next to Sears at the Nittany Mall in State College on December 17.

Typically, during the club’s busy season, 1,400 to 1,700 people a day visit the clubs. Planet Fitness relies on volume business since basic membership only costs $10 per month. Members can upgrade to a Black Card monthly membership for $19.99, which allows them to work out at any Planet Fitness in the country.

The new club will have two entrances, one inside the mall and an exterior entrance. Even though the mall closes at 10 p.m., Planet Fitness will be open 24/7.

“The best thing about Planet Fitness is our ‘Judgment Free Zone,’” said Kindler.

“We provide a completely different atmosphere than other health clubs, because we don’t cater to the heavy weight lifters and body builders, but instead we’re structured around general fitness and first time gym users, and we provide a fun, comfortable environment to work out.”

A Planet Fitness member could be a 20-something preparing for a marathon or an elderly person who just wants to walk on the treadmill to maintain fitness. The clubs have gym equipment and fitness instructors but no exercise classes, which helps keep costs low.

Megan Lynch, public relations manager at Planet Fitness headquarters in Newington, New Hampshire, explained the company’s philosophy.

“Our motto is, ‘We’re not a gym, We’re Planet Fitness,’ because our clubs are where all the awesome Janes and Joes of the world – everyday people – can feel comfortable working out at their own pace without judgment from other members,” said Lynch.

“Our members can work out for 2 hours or 2 minutes and not feel judged on their physical appearance or level of activity.”

Planet Fitness has more than 850 locations in 47 states. By the end of next year, that number is expected to rise to over 1,000 franchises nationwide.

Rehabilitation centers

The flip side to wellness is getting back in shape while recovering from an injury or illness. Outpatient rehabilitation centers aid this process by offering physical, occupational or speech therapies often using the same fitness equipment found in health clubs.

The U.S. outpatient rehabilitation market is estimated to be a $19 billion industry with a projected annual growth rate of five percent or higher. Given the aging and active U.S. population, the demographics favor a sustained growth in patients requiring rehabilitation services.

HealthSouth, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers, specializing in rehabilitation hospitals and outpatient centers. The company operates as HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital in Pleasant Gap and as HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona. The Nittany Valley hospital has an outpatient rehab center onsite and two in Burnham and Mifflintown in Mifflin County.

HealthSouth Nittany Valley’s outpatient rehab centers treat the entire spectrum of clients – a young person with a sports injury, a 30-year-old with a stroke, a 60-year-old with Guillain–Barré syndrome, or an 80-year-old recovering from a hip replacement, for example.

While about 15 percent of the patients are from the rehab hospital, most come as outpatients referred by their doctors.

“One of the biggest changes we’ve seen is the cap on what Medicare will pay for rehab therapy,” said Tracy Everhart, OTR/L, manager of outpatient therapy services and an occupational therapist at the center.

“There are different tiers, but the initial cap is $1,920 for the calendar year, and unfortunately, physical therapy and speech therapy have to share that money.

“Occupational therapy has another pool of money patients can use, but we must stay within those government allowances, so we’ve had to be creative on how we can maximize the patient’s time in therapy.

Everhart or another therapist will do an initial assessment, and if someone who has had a mild stroke is doing well, he may be scheduled for therapy three times a week to him the maximum amount possible for a shorter period of time.

If a patient had a brain injury or a very severe stroke and is not expected to be rehabilitated in a couple months, the therapist might decrease the therapy to twice a week or once a week to extend the amount of time he is able to be seen.

Another major change in the rehabilitation industry is that physical therapists are now required to hold a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. This was due to the American Physical Therapy Association’s constant push for raising standards in the profession, but it is not required by state law. Formerly, a master’s degree was acceptable.

Most physical therapy is performed by a physical therapist assistant, which is a two-year degree, but assistants must work under the supervision of a PT with a doctorate.

“How this change impacts rehabilitation centers depends on where you are,” said Everhart. “In Pittsburgh, there are a lot of PT schools so it’s pretty easy to find a Ph.D. to fill a position, whereas to fill a position in Mifflintown it could take much longer, and you might have one or two applicants instead of five or six to choose from.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, physical therapists with a doctorate earn just under $80,000 annually.

The other program HealthSouth recently implemented is called the Big and Loud Program, which was specifically designed for Parkinson’s patients.

“There’s now a lot more education for the patient, with the goal of getting the patient to sustain what we’ve been working on in therapy at home,” said Everhart.

The Big and Loud Program teaches Parkinson’s patients how to walk without shuffling, or other ambulation issues.

“As the aging population continues to grow, we expect to see more and more patients with age-related problems,” said Everhart. “We’re gearing up for this by furthering our knowledge of rehabilitation for the elderly population.”

Keystone Energy Forum comes to Centre County

STATE COLLEGE, PA – About 80 people gathered at the Nittany Lion Inn on Friday, Nov. 14 for the first Keystone Energy Forum (KEF) held in Centre County. The event was sponsored by the Centre County Chamber of Business & Industry (CBICC) and media sponsor Marcellus Business Central.

KEF was formed several years ago to educate citizens about natural gas development within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.

The forum and luncheon featured discussions about Act 13 Impact Fees, the state of shale in Centre County itself, and how the Shale industry has brought local businesses and entrepreneurs success in the industry.

“KEF was formed to give the general public facts about the shale gas industry, and let them decide on their own,” said KEF Director Bill Stewart.

Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director at Associated Petroleum  Industries of Pennsylvania (API), discussed Act 13 and related impact fees awarded to Centre County. She also pointed out that the natural gas industry has contributed about $34.7 billion into the state’s economy.

“We have a glut of natural gas,” she said. “But we have a shortage of infrastructure to get that gas to market.”

Catarino Wissman identified one of the problems facing the infrastructure shortage is a lack of laborers and skilled workers. API has launched a campaign to recruit the next generation of oil and gas workers via it’s new Web site: www.oilandgasworkforce.com. The site was launched in June.

David Yoxtheimer, a hydrogeologist and extension associate with Penn State University’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR), provided natural gas statistics related to Centre County.

“Things are slowing down in Centre County as far as new wells drilled,” Yoxtheimer said. He said there are 65 wells drilled in the county, with 48 listed on the latest production report and 24 are active producing. There have been no new wells drilled since 2011.

“We won’t see gangbuster numbers (in Centre County) like in Susquehanna,” Yoxtheimer said. But he did point out that Pennsylvania is leading the nation in the storage of natural gas. He said the natural gas lines that have been used to send gas to storage are now being considered to transport it to the global market.

And Russell Bedell, manager of communications and community relations at Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, said gas companies like his are thinking outside the box to get natural gas to more customers.

A Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc., pilot program was approved about a month ago by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), and will provide a new way to bring natural gas service to those who request it.

The new program means many potential Columbia Gas customers will have an option to pay for all or a portion of their natural gas line extension payment over a period of 20 years rather than with just the lump sum payment that Columbia Gas has historically been required to charge.

The company’s current procedure for any extension of gas mains to serve new customers is to perform an economic analysis and determine if the cost of the pipeline extension can be justified by projected revenues, or if an upfront payment needs to be made.

Under the new program, qualifying customers may instead be able to pay all or a portion of the upfront payment through a monthly charge of “up to” $35 for new gas service. As Columbia Gas pilots this new option over the next four years, up to $1 million in customer deposits may be spread over 20 years, thereby enabling millions of dollars to be invested in line extensions to increase affordable access to safe, efficient, and clean-burning natural gas where the company does not currently have facilities available.

Dr. Jeremy Frank, president of KCF Technologies Inc. in State College, spoke about how the gas industry has directly or indirectly assisted small business owners and entrepreneurs like himself become more profitable.

Frank co-founded his company after earning a Doctorate in mechanical engineering. He has worked for fifteen years on the development and commercialization of electromechanical devices, with the recent focus on wireless sensors for continuous  monitoring of machinery.

He saw a huge opportunity within the oil and natural gas industry to market a breakthrough new capability to improve the safety and reliability of upstream operations in the northeast region of the state. Wireless sensor systems monitor when the equipment is being damaged, identifies the component and severity of the damage, and enables the operators to take action – before the equipment breaks or becomes severely damaged.

“Ten percent of our economy is wasted due to breakdowns,” Frank said. “KCF is a technology development company trying to make things work smarter. We want to predict and prevent a problem before it happens.”

CBICC Communications Director Lesley Kistner said this is the first time a Keystone Energy Forum was held in Centre County.

“We were pleased with the turnout from a broad cross section of our membership,” Kistner said. “There was great interest in learning how our county is benefitting from shale gas drilling. We received a lot of positive feedback from attendees, particularly for the opportunity to hear directly from a local company that has developed innovative technology beginning to be used by the industry.”

The Centre of Shale … CBICC hosts first Keystone Energy Forum

STATE COLLEGE, PA – More than 80 people crammed into a conference room at the Nittany Lion Inn on Friday for the first Keystone Energy Forum (KEF) held in Centre County. The event was sponsored by the Centre County Chamber of Business & Industry (CBICC).

Keystone Energy-Jeremy

Jeremy Frank of KCF Technologies, Inc. speaks of his company’s involvement in the Oil & Gas industry at the KEF on Nov. 14.

KEF was formed several years ago to educate citizens about natural gas development within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.

Friday’s forum and luncheon featured discussions about Act 13 Impact Fees, the state of shale in Centre County itself, and how the Shale industry has brought local businesses and entrepreneurs success in the industry.

“KEF was formed to give the general public facts about the shale gas industry, and let them decide on their own,” said KEF Director Bill Stewart.

Featured speakers included Stephanie Catarino Wissman, Executive Director of Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania; Dave Yoxheimer of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR); Dr. Jeremy Frank, President of KCF Technologies, Inc. of State College; and Russ Bedell, Community Relations & Communications Manager at Columbia Gas.

“We were pleased with the turnout from a broad cross section of our membership,” said CBICC Communications Director Lesley Kistner.  “There was great interest in learning how our county is benefitting from shale gas drilling. We received a lot of positive feedback from attendees, particularly for the opportunity to hear directly from a local company that has developed innovative technology beginning to be used by the industry.”

New royalty calculator and decline curve Web app launched

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – The Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) and the Penn State Extension Marcellus Education Team are pleased to announce the beta launch of a new shale royalty calculator and decline curve Web app.Royalty Calculator-MCOR App.jpg

The new app is based on actual state shale production results, provides daily cumulative production and decline estimates, and offers an upgrade option for county specific data.

To provide the best available information, the new app is based on an evaluation of nearly 5,000 horizontal shale wells reporting production over the last four years.

The royalty calculator and decline curve app is currently offered in a free and lite subscription configuration, with a professional version anticipated early next year. The free version offers users insight into state production averages, average estimated ultimate recovery, potential royalties from a well, and gross income. The lite subscription upgrade allows users the ability to select a specific county, estimate tax implications and potential transportation deductions, enter six different gas pricing scenarios, see more than 15 years of annual royalty estimates, and the average estimated EUR for a specific county.

For more information about the beta version, point your web browser to www.shaleroyalty.org.

Halliburton pounces on Baker Hughes

NEW YORK (AP) — In a deal that shows just how quickly falling prices can upend the energy industry, Halliburton is buying rival oilfield services company Baker Hughes for cash and stock worth $34.6 billion.

Global oil prices have tumbled 31 percent over the past five months to levels not seen in four years. That has forced the industry cut costs by delaying or scaling back drilling — which means less work for Halliburton and Baker Hughes, companies that manage oil and gas fields for energy companies.

Even when prices were high, oil and gas companies had begun to slow capital spending and new drilling as rising costs cut into profit margins. Energy companies now have even less to spend.

Halliburton Chairman and CEO Dave Lesar said Monday that the combined company will be able to reduce costs by $2 billion a year.

The oil plunge also lowered the price tag on Baker Hughes. Baker Hughes shares slumped 32 percent — from $75 to $51 — between late June and Thursday, when the companies said a deal was being discussed. The drop reduced Baker Hughes’ market capitalization by $10.4 billion.

Halliburton will pay $78.62 per Baker Hughes Inc. share. Baker Hughes shareholders will receive 1.12 Halliburton shares plus $19 in cash for each share they own.

Baker Hughes shares were up 11 percent Monday morning to $66.27. Shares of Halliburton fell more 9 percent to $50.18.

When the transaction is complete, Baker Hughes stockholders will own approximately 36 percent of the combined company.

BB&T pushes into Mid-Atlantic with Susquehanna buy

Susquehanna Bank

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The commercial bank BB&T is buying Susquehanna Bancshares in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $2.5 billion.

That will give the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, bank a broader reach into the Mid-Atlantic region through Susquehanna’s 245 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

The bank will create three new banking regions that oversee markets in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, while the Baltimore region will be brought into the areas Susquehanna operates.

Susquehanna executives will run those regions and the bank’s chairman and CEO, William Reuter, will take a seat on BB&T’s board.

Rosebud Mining buying Amfire Mining’s operations

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Western Pennsylvania’s Rosebud Mining Co. is buying out the operations of another coal mining company in the area.

Johnstown’s Tribune-Democrat reported that Rosebud will buy Amfire Mining Co.’s operations for $86 million.

Amfire, based in Latrobe, is owned by Alpha Natural Resources of Bristol, Virginia. Amfire operates 14 surface and underground mines and coal plants in Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Elk, Greene, Indiana and Somerset counties.

Rosebud, based in Kittanning, Armstrong County, has more than 30 mines in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

An Alpha spokesman, Steve Hawkins, says the deal made sense because it expands Rosebud’s western Pennsylvania operations and because Amfire had to ship its coal a long way when it was tied to the Virginia company.

Rosebud officials aren’t commenting on the sale and it’s now known how many Amfire employees will be retained.

 

Allegheny Health forming home unit with Celtic

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Allegheny Health Network is teaming up with Celtic Healthcare to form a for-profit home health care company to compete with the rival University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Under the deal, Allegheny Health will merge its hospice and home health care operations with Celtic, which also runs hospice and home care operations in Illinois, Maryland and Missouri, as well as central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Only Celtic’s western Pennsylvania operations will merge with Allegheny Health to create the new company.

Allegheny Health, the nonprofit hospital network run by health insurer Highmark Inc., will own 60 percent of the new company, which will operate under the network’s brand. Celtic will own 40 percent, but will manage the still-to-be-named company.

The combined company will serve about 300 hospice and 1,500 in-home patients using 375 combined employees.