The Huntingdon Area has a rich array of community services available to residents. These include health care and public safety services as well as both private and public social services. Services are also provided through many churches and community groups. Questions concerning social services should be addressed to Center for Community Action at (814) 643-4202.
Medical Facilities and Services
The county’s largest health care facility is J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital (www.jcblair.org) , a gift to the community from the widow of a local industrialist. Ever since the first patient was admitted in 1911, the hospital has continually expanded its physical plant, improved its equipment, and modified its services to provide personal, professional care to local residents.The 100 bed hospital’s most recent renovation project added a more welcoming lobby with centralized administrative services, a modern high-tech surgical wing, and a new obstetrics/gynecology unit. J.C. Blair has kept pace with technological advances, offering laser surgery and laparoscopy; body scans with ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and an accredited mammography department. The emergency room is staffed by physicians and nurses around the clock. The hospital’s maternity unit provides private, homelike rooms where patients can stay for all stages of their visit: labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum.The active medical staff at the hospital includes approximately 40 local physicians, whose specialties include family practice, orthopedics, internal medicine, radiology, urology, emergency medicine, pediatrics, oral-maxillofacial surgery, general surgery, podiatry, anesthesiology, psychiatry, obstetrics/gynecology, cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, cardiology, and pathology. More than 30 other doctors are on the hospital’s consulting and courtesy staffs.The hospital directs the on-going recruitment of top physicians to Huntingdon County and publishes a Medical Staff Directory, their specialties, and their educational backgrounds. Ninety percent of the hospital’s medical staff are board certified in their respective specialties. J.C. Blair is a non-profit community hospital that has continually upgraded facilities, technology and procedures with a constant commitment to improving the quality of patient care.
- Juniata Valley Medical Center, Alexandria
- Mount Union Area Medical Center, Mount Union
- Southern Huntingdon County Medical Center, Orbisonia
- Broad Top Medical Center, Broad Top City
- Trough Creek Medical Center, Cassville
Sick or injured people unable to reach a medical facility can rely on swift, professional care and transport from any of the county’s seven volunteer ambulance services, based in Huntingdon, Orbisonia, Alexandria, Marklesburg, Mount Union, Three Springs, and Robertsdale. Paramedics, working under the guidance of a hospital physician, supplement the ambulance crews at Alexandria, Huntingdon, and Robertsdale.
There are 305 nursing home beds in Huntingdon County: 157 at two private facilities in Huntingdon Borough and 148 at a private, non-profit facility in Orbisonia. Each of the nursing homes participates in governmental financial assistance programs, each provides all levels of nursing care, and each has 24-hour staffing by registered nurses. There are also two personal care homes in the county, which serve residents needing a lesser degree of care than those in nursing homes.
Two local agencies provide nursing services in the homes of sick and infirm clients, and hospice services are available for those who are terminally ill but want to stay at home.
Among the hardest-working groups of volunteers in the county are the 18 community fire departments. The fire fighters are continually training and holding fund-raisers on their own time so that their equipment and actions are equal to those of paid professionals. All the departments and ambulance services use a central dispatching center that can be reached through 911.
Huntingdon Borough has a full-time police force offering 24-hour patrols, while the majority of the county’s townships and boroughs rely on the Huntingdon barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police to provide law enforcement. Mount Union also has a full-time police department, while Petersburg and Alexandria Boroughs and Porter Township are served on a part-time basis by the Juniata Valley Regional Police.As should be expected in a rural area, Huntingdon County has had a crime rate much lower than the state average for almost all classifications of criminal activity. The County’s crime rate for the manufacture, sale, and possession of narcotics is less than one-fifth the state’s rate, due in part to the vigilance of the Huntingdon County Drug Task Force, a joint organization of all county law enforcement agencies and the state Attorney General’s Office.Officers from the state police, borough police, and sheriff’s departments regularly serve as guest speakers before school and other groups to talk about personal safety and crime prevention.
Social Services and Day Care
Detailed information concerning social services should be addressed to Huntingdon County Information and Referral at (814) 643-4202. Social services are provided by both private and public agencies. Public social services include: The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Job Service; Huntingdon County Children’s Services; Huntingdon County Housing Authority; Juniata Valley MH/MR; and Bedford, Fulton Huntingdon Area Agency on Aging. The Huntingdon County United Way and other private community agencies support a large number of social services These include: Alcoholics Anonymous, Boy Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Child and Adult Development, Girl Scouts, Huntingdon House, Huntingdon Employment and Training, Literacy Council, Pride, Inc., Salvation Army and Red Cross.The majority of day care services in the county are provided by individual day care providers attending children at their own or their clients’ homes. Huntingdon County Child and Adult Development Inc. (HCCAD) operates a non-profit day care center in Huntingdon that accepts subsidized and private-pay children from 18 months through kindergarten. HCCAD also operates a summer day care program for elementary school-aged children. The organization runs Head Start programs for low-income families at sites in Huntingdon, Mount Union, Orbisonia, Alexandria, and Broad Top City. HCCAD administers a program that provides financial assistance for day care services in either group centers or private homes. For current information about HCCAD’s sites and programs, call (814) 643-5199. Juniata College (643-4310) manages a half-day pre-school program on campus as part of its academic program. A private, for-profit organization operates the Broad Top Area Day Care in Saxton (635-2000). The Abbey Reformed Church in Huntingdon sponsors the Jack and Jill Nursery School (643-1340), which provides a half-day pre-school program for children aged 3 through 6. The program runs September through May, and it also has an 8-week summer session.
>Huntingdon Area churches offer a variety of opportunities for worship and study as well as support for community services such as the Huntingdon Food Bank. The Huntingdon Area is home to more than 34 churches, including: Assembly of God, Bahai., Baptist, Church of the Brethern, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Church of Christ, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopal, Free Methodist, Independent Fundamental, Jehovah’s Witness, Lutheran, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Quaker, Salvation Army, United Church of Christ, United Methodist, and Roman Catholic. Other opportunities for worship exist in nearby communities.
A large segment of the county’s population participates in community organizations—civic, fraternal, veterans, professional, social, cultural, and recreational. Huntingdon County has chapters of the American Legion, Elks, Boy and Girl Scouts, Grange, Jaycees, 4-H, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Lions, Masons, Moose, Eastern Star, Optimists, Rotary, Soroptimists, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as senior citizens’ groups, sororities, hiking clubs, riding clubs, sportsmen’s clubs, and many others.
Two newspapers are based in the county: The Daily News (Monday-Saturday) and The Valley Log (weekly). The former’s circulation is approximately 10,000, and the latter, 3,550. Regional, state, and national newspapers are available at numerous outlets throughout the county.Five radio stations—four FM and one AM—broadcast from the county. One station has a country format, and the others feature pop music. Several cable companies provide television service to most of the communities in the county. Network-affiliated television stations in Altoona (WTAJ) and Johnstown (WJAC) provide regional news coverage.
Important Phone Numbers
- County Emergency Management: (814) 643-6613
- Huntingdon County Chapter of Red Cross: (814) 643- 2610
- Salvation Army: (814) 643-1430
- Huntingdon House (abuse shelter): (814) 643-1190
All Emergency Calls: 911
- Police: (814) 643-3960
- Huntingdon Fire Co. #1: and Huntingdon Hook & Ladder: (814) 643-1290
- Huntingdon Ambulance: (814) 643-6551
- County Sheriff: (814) 643-0880
- PA State Highway Patrol: (814) 627-3161
Township Fire Companies
- Smithfield: (814) 643-4440
- Oneida: (814) 643-1583
- Walker/McConnellstown: (814) 627-4479
- Porter/Alexandria: (814) 669-9107
- Henderson/Mill Creek: (814) 643-5555