The Real Promised Land: Driller Raises $4.4M for PA Health Clinic

Contrary to the view in Promised Land that big drilling companies are evil and will shaft anyone for a buck, we find a truly amazing story about an oil and gas company’s generosity to a small northeastern Pennsylvania community—a community not unlike the one portrayed in the Matt Damon movie Promised Land.

Last year Cabot Oil & Gas kicked off a major fundraising effort to build a physicians clinic, part of a new hospital project in Montrose (Susquehanna County), PA. Friday marked the one-year anniversary of that very successful effort…

The Montrose hospital project will cost $48 million total. Cabot’s initial contribution—to help build the physicians clinic part of the project—was a staggering $1 million. Cabot employees worked hard and successfully got others to contribute. Everyone from local businesses to the VFW, and everything from chili cooking contests to wine tasting events, contributed. Cabot then chipped in an additional $1.2 million! At the end of the campaign, Cabot’s efforts raised a total of $4.4 million (see Cabot Effort Raises $4.4 Million for PA Physicians Clinic).

Last Friday representatives from Cabot, the local non-profit health care agency building the new clinic, and members of the community braved single digit temperatures to tour the now under construction clinic and hospital, and to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Cabot’s fundraising effort.

The announcement from Cabot about Friday’s anniversary tour:

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation joined with leaders of the Endless Mountains Health Systems, government officials, donors and members of the community in marking the one-year anniversary of the landmark new hospital project in Bridgewater Township. A large group of approximately 60 people braved the frigid, single-digit temperatures to visit and tour the site of the new, state-of-the-art 25-bed health care facility which is under active construction. Cabot was joined at the announcement by representatives of organizations that supported The Cabot / EMHS Community Match Fund, a highly successful community-based campaign that raised over $4.4 million toward the construction of the project. Representatives present at the event were from private corporations, the natural gas industry, local business and members of the community.

“Our company is immensely proud to be part of such a generous community. The progress being realized with the construction of this new hospital is a direct testament to the kindness of the people who live and work here,” said George Stark, External Affairs Director for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. “Our community has come together for the common good in such a magnificent way. It is gratifying to see the advancement resulting from the generosity of our partners and neighbors.”

Rex O. Catlin, CEO of the Endless Mountains Health Systems stated that, “This is an example of perfect collaboration of local government, state government, federal government, the private sector, civic groups and community members all working together.”

“This new hospital will finally reflect the professionalism and dedication of our staff and partners to the community”, stated Joseph Speicher, D.O., President of the Medical Staff at Endless Mountains Health Systems, “This project will help us provide so much better care to all of our neighbors in the Northern Tier.”

The Cabot / EMHS Community Match Fund was a highly ambitious campaign to assist the community to begin construction of the new health care facility. The Fund was structured to leverage additional dollars from other corporations, foundations and the community-at-large to build the Physician’s Clinic. The goal was to have the clinic open with the new hospital; which had its groundbreaking on January 25, 2012.

The new hospital will have access to a multi-specialty physician suite, a six-bay emergency department with an airborne infection isolation room, cardiac/trauma room and a helipad. There will be an expanded operating room, additional exam rooms and increased number of beds. The new hospital will be located on land owned by EMHS in Bridgewater Township and will provide top of the line health care while creating jobs for the residents of Susquehanna County.

Endless Mountains Health Systems is a not-for-profit corporation committed to the operation and development of a health system which provides optimum care within the scope of its abilities. EMHS is a licensed 21-bed acute care hospital, short procedure unit, emergency services, and various ancillary services typically associated with a medical facility. EMHS maintain physician offices, including various specialties on-site and have established a vast referral source for additional off-site specialties.

Cabot’s actions stand in contrast to the hackneyed, anti-drilling theme that shale drillers are big, evil, faceless corporations. As is often the case, reality is far different from anti-drilling fantasy. Well done Cabot!

Watch the Cabot video highlighting the journey over the past year: //

*Cabot Oil & Gas (Jan 25, 2013) – Community Celebrates Progress of New Hospital Project (emailed press announcement received by MDN)

Also see this local media coverage of the anniversary event last Friday: