UPMC Announces Donation of Sunbury Facility to DRIVE

SUNBURY – UPMC, owner of the former hospital campus in Sunbury, announced today the donation of the building and facilities on the campus to DRIVE, an economic development entity serving five counties in the central Susquehanna region.

“When our facilities closed in Sunbury in 2020, UPMC began a thorough investigation into potential future uses for the property with the goal of transitioning the campus as an investment in the community so it could be utilized by others in the future,” said Steven Johnson, president, UPMC in North Central Pa. “Given their history with repurposing commercial facilities in the region, we were encouraged by DRIVE’s interest in the facility and their desire to use it for new job creation and economic development. Donating the facility to DRIVE turns the keys of this historic structure over to the community bringing new opportunity to the city.”

UPMC announced in December 2019 it would be closing UPMC Sunbury due to underutilization.  Following the successful donation and repurposing of the former Sunbury Textile Mill property, Sen. John Gordner (R-27), Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-108) and Jennifer Wakeman, Executive Director of DRIVE, engaged with Steve Johnson and the team at UPMC to determine the best outcome for the hospital and surrounding properties.    

“UPMC Sunbury, formerly the Sunbury Community Hospital, served Sunbury and surrounding communities well for decades. We all knew it could continue to be an asset for the region, but it was going to take a unique approach to find new, innovative uses for this complex.  Given its experience in revitalizing potential economic development sites, DRIVE seemed like the perfect choice for UPMC,” said Sen. Gordner.  

“I, along with Rep. Culver, were pleased to work with Steve and the team at UPMC as well as DRIVE to make this announcement today.  It allows the flexibility that is needed to make sure that the hospital and surrounding properties do not become eyesores, but find a new purpose to benefit the community,” said Sen. Gordner.

“Projects like Sunbury Hospital are a key component of DRIVE’s mission,” said Executive Director Jennifer Wakeman. “Assembling a team of partners, as we did here, to breathe new life into buildings like these is at the core of DRIVE’s identity. This is who we are. It’s what we do.”


“While it was difficult to see the hospital close, we’re grateful that UPMC recognized the value of this property to our community,” said Rep. Culver. “With DRIVE taking ownership, working with partners in Sunbury and Northumberland County, it means that whatever new businesses or services locate here, they are ones that continue to support the needs of the community.” 

DRIVE has already fielded numerous inquiries from companies interested in all or part of the 20 parcels of land, totaling approximately 12 acres, that comprise this complex. “It seems unlikely that a single entity will want the entire hospital or all of its surrounding properties,” said Wakeman. “We’re open to leasing or selling portions of it if that’s what it takes.  Our goal is for this facility to continue to be an asset for the City of Sunbury and Northumberland County.”


Contacts:        Joshua Funk (Sen. Gordner) –  jfunk@pasen.gov

                        Scott Little (Rep. Culver) – slittle@pahousegop.com

                        Tyler Wagner (UPMC) – wagnert4@upmc.edu

About UPMC

A $24 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 92,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 4.1 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.7 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $900 million in federal, state and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside among the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.

About Drive

DRIVE is an economic development council of governments serving Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union Counties. Established in 2015, DRIVE provides professional staff for project development, business retention and expansion, and site selection services. It also serves as a forum for communication and coordination of economic development activity among its member counties.