NEW CASTLE – Entry level wages at UPMC Jameson and UPMC Horizon are going to get a boost.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Piccione, UPMC Jameson and UPMC Horizon’s president, gave details at Jameson’s annual meeting held Tuesday.

Earlier this month UPMC said it will increase minimum starting wages for entry-level jobs to $18 an hour by Jan. 25 at its “Pittsburgh hospitals, Harrisburg and Williamsport-area hospitals, outpatient clinics, ambulatory centers and other facilities and sites,” the non-profit healthcare provider said in a news release.

Other locations, which includes Jameson and UPMC Horizon’s hospital systems in Farrell and Greenville, will hit that mark by January 2026, Piccione said.

“We want to be the place where people want to work,’’ she said.

And she added UPMC is continually monitoring wages.

“We ask: Are we market-competitive?’’ Piccione said.

Piccione said the new starting wages will depend on the job and didn’t immediately have specific numbers on the number of employees. But the wage hike will boost the combined payrolls at Jameson and Horizon by $1.5 million.

Jameson is Lawrence County’s largest employer and Horizon is Mercer County’s sixth largest employer as of second quarter 2022, the state Department of Labor & Industry’s website said.

Other companies are taking a similar view on wages. On Tuesday Walmart said it will raise its minimum wage from $12 to $14 an hour as it tries to retain workers in a tight labor pool.

In talking about Jameson’s year Piccione said a major upgrade was adding robotic surgery to its lineup — particularly for women. Jameson has seen a 70 percent hike in outpatient gynecological surgeries.

Robots give surgeons pinpoint accuracy that creates much less damaged tissue compared to traditional surgery. As a result, patients heal faster.

“You can go home the same day,’’ she said of hysterectomy surgery.

This is part of a three-pronged action plan by Jameson to:

• Increase care access.

• Create more procedures where patients can go home the same day.

• Boost telehealth services.

“We’re looking to integrate telehealth to help people access care when needed,’’ Piccione said.

By getting patients quicker access on a medical condition it reduces fearful trips to emergency rooms, she added.

UPMC Jameson School of Nursing has kicked into gear, Piccione said, with 66 students expected to graduate this year with another 95 the following year. Jameson also is working with Westminster College in getting nurses an RN degree.

Jameson also has added primary care physicians to its lineup, she said, along with specialists, such as cardiologist.

“We’re not done,’’ Piccione said. “We want to feed our pipeline, especially for specialty services.’’

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