UPMC in Pittsburgh

UPMC – The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ( UPMC ) is a nonprofit health enterprise that operates on a global scale. It has a workforce of 92,000 employees, 40 hospitals with over 8,000 licensed beds, and 800 clinical locations, including outpatient sites and doctors’ offices. Additionally, it has a health insurance division with 3.8 million members and engages in commercial and international ventures. It has a close partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. Over the past 15 years, UPMC has consistently been recognized as a leading healthcare provider in the United States, with its flagship facilities making the “Honor Roll” of the top 15-20 hospitals in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. As of 2016, UPMC Presbyterian, the flagship hospital, was ranked 12th nationally (and first in Pennsylvania) by U.S. News & World Report, and 15 of its 16 specialty areas were included in the rankings, which also took into account UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. It should be noted that the rankings did not include UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, which was ranked in the top 10 pediatric centers in a separate ranking by US News.

History

The origin of UPMC can be traced back to the establishment of Presbyterian Hospital in 1893, which is the main facility of the medical center. In 1886, the Western Pennsylvania Medical College was founded and later became affiliated with the Western University of Pennsylvania in 1892. In 1908, it was fully integrated into the University of Pittsburgh, which was previously known as the Western University of Pennsylvania. In the mid-1920s, the University of Pittsburgh desired to create an academic medical center in the Oakland neighborhood of the city, where they had relocated in 1909. To achieve this, the university provided a tract of land on its campus to Presbyterian Hospital, which was previously located on the North Side. Construction of the new hospital began in 1930 and was completed in 1938. By the late 1930s, the University of Pittsburgh had formed the “University Medical Center” in partnership with several city hospitals, including Falk Clinic, Children’s, Eye and Ear, Libby Steele Magee, Presbyterian General, Women’s Hospital, and Municipal Hospital (planned). In 1949, an affiliation agreement between University of Pittsburgh and Presbyterian Hospital established a three-tiered mission of patient care, research, and education. The hospital’s name was changed to Presbyterian University Hospital in 1951 to reflect its close ties with the university. In 1958, the University of Pittsburgh Health Center was noted to include the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and the Graduate School of Public Health, as well as Presbyterian, Woman’s, Children’s, Eye and Ear, and Magee Hospitals, and Falk Clinic, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Child Guidance Center, Salk Hall, and Central Blood Bank. Over the years, the university and the hospitals formed a strong alliance. In 1965, the University Health Center of Pittsburgh (UHCP) was incorporated by the university, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Presbyterian-University, Magee and Women’s, Eye and Ear, and Children’s Hospitals. In 1969, Montefiore Hospital joined UHCP. In the 1970s, under the leadership of Thomas Detre, a new administration model was implemented at Western Psychiatric, where clinical revenues were invested into research. This led to the psychiatric institute becoming one of the largest recipients of National Institute of Health funding. In the early 1980s, Detre became the leader of all six schools of health sciences at the university, and the same administrative model was implemented in those units. This ultimately transformed the collective schools of health sciences and the medical center into one of the nation’s largest centers for biomedical research.

Consolidation and Growth

In 1986, the University Health Center, including Presbyterian University Hospital, Falk Clinic, the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Eye & Ear Hospital, started to merge. This consolidation formed the Medical and Health Care Division (MHCD), led by Detre. Although Presbyterian University Hospital remained separate, it became closely linked administratively. In 1990, MHCD acquired Montefiore Hospital and merged it with Presbyterian University Hospital, renaming the entity as “University of Pittsburgh Medical Center” (UPMC). This was the first official use of the current name. UPMC then expanded by forming a network of affiliated specialty and community hospitals in 1994 called the Tri-State Health System. They also established a for-profit health insurance division, UPMC Health Plan, which worked with these hospitals. UPMC continued to grow by acquiring South Side, Aliquippa, and Braddock hospitals in 1996. They also merged with several already affiliated Tri-State hospitals, including St. Margaret Memorial, Shadyside, Passavant, and Magee-Womens hospitals. These acquisitions and mergers transformed the Tri-State Health System into a significant part of the UPMC health system. Due to concerns about financial risks, the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC restructured their relationship in 1998, with UPMC becoming an independent nonprofit corporation. The university’s physicians’ practice plans and hospital management functions were transferred to UPMC, with the university receiving financial support in return. This resulted in a mutually beneficial partnership, with UPMC overseeing clinical activities and the University of Pittsburgh overseeing academic priorities, particularly faculty-based research. This partnership was formalized through agreements and mutual oversight, with shared board members. This created a collaborative decision-making model, with UPMC in charge of clinical activities and the University of Pittsburgh in charge of academic priorities.

In 2001, UPMC’s expansion continued with the merging of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC. This growth has since continued with the addition of Mercy Hospital in 2008, new facilities for Children’s Hospital in 2009, and the integration of Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania in 2011, Altoona Regional Health System in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 2013, and Jameson Health System in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 2016. UPMC has also expanded its operations overseas and entered into for-profit business ventures. In October 2016, Susquehanna Health became the first domestic hospital outside of Western Pennsylvania to join the UPMC system, followed by the merger of two more community hospitals the following year. In December 2016, WCA Hospital in Jamestown, New York became the first domestic hospital outside of Pennsylvania to join UPMC. Pinnacle Health, a seven-hospital system in South Central Pennsylvania, merged with UPMC in September 2017, followed by the concurrent merger with Hanover Hospital. In March 2018, Cole Memorial hospital partnered with UPMC Susquehanna and joined the UPMC system. Somerset Hospital in Somerset, Pennsylvania merged with UPMC on February 1, 2019, and Western Maryland Health System became the first Maryland hospital to join UPMC on February 3, 2020. Currently, UPMC operates over 35 hospitals in Pennsylvania and New York, with over 600 outpatient sites, more than 50 facilities for various therapies, and 14 retirement and long-term care sites, as well as international and for-profit ventures.

Prominent doctors and scientists

Throughout its history, many notable individuals have collaborated with the medical center at the University of Pittsburgh. Among them are Jonas Salk, who while at the university developed the polio vaccine, renowned pediatric psychoanalyst Benjamin Spock, and Peter Safar, who pioneered CPR and established the world’s first intensive care training program at the medical center. Additionally, surgeon Thomas Starzl perfected organ transplantation at this institution. Other notable doctors include pathologist Maud Menten, known for her contributions to enzyme kinetics, leading orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert Freddie Fu, and pioneering immunologist Niels Kaj Jerne. Noted forensic pathologist and Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht, Charles Glen King who discovered Vitamin C, pediatrician Jack Paradise, head and neck cancer surgeon and otolaryngologist Eugene Nicholas Myers, laparoscopic liver resection pioneer David Geller, breast cancer treatment pioneer Bernard Fisher, and virologists Patrick Moore and Yuan Chang are also associated with the medical center. Together, they co-discovered Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.

Well-known individuals under medical care

UPMC has provided medical treatment to various notable individuals, such as former Pennsylvania governor and 1992 Presidential candidate, Robert P. Casey, for cancer, guitarist and founder of 10,000 Maniacs, Robert Buck, for liver disease, and sportscaster Bob Prince. Publisher William Block, MCI CEO William G. McGowan, transplant recipient Stormie Jones, and former Pittsburgh mayors Bob O’Connor and Richard Caliguiri were also among those who received care at UPMC. Additionally, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was taken to UPMC Mercy after his 2006 motorcycle accident and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was treated for concussions in 2012. Furthermore, Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner received treatment at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. The late golfer Arnold Palmer, a native of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, passed away at UPMC Shadyside in 2016. In 2017, Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovi underwent surgery to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament at a UPMC facility.

Operations

UPMC is located in the Central Business District of Pittsburgh, occupying 29 floors of the U.S. Steel Tower. While it is legally separate from the University of Pittsburgh, it is recognized as a supported organization in its articles of incorporation. UPMC maintains a close affiliation with the university and its Schools of the Health Sciences, including shared board memberships and funding for academic programs. Under a collaborative decision-making model, UPMC oversees all clinical activity, while the University of Pittsburgh remains responsible for academic priorities and faculty-based research. The 24-member Board of Directors is equally divided between the University of Pittsburgh, the community, and individuals with a history of involvement in governance. UPMC is made up of three main components: Provider Services, Insurance Services, and International and Commercial Services, which includes a for-profit health insurance company and a division focused on bringing healthcare, management, and technology to global markets. As the largest employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC plays a significant role in the state’s economy.

Division of Health Services

UPMC’s Provider Services offers a range of clinical capabilities, such as hospitals, specialty service lines (transplantation, behavioral health, cancer care, children’s health, women’s health, and rehabilitation services), contract services (emergency medicine, pharmacy, and laboratory), and supporting foundations. It also includes around 3,600 employed physicians with associated practices. Hospital activity is divided into four categories: academic hospitals that serve as the primary academic and teaching centers, community hospitals that provide core clinical services to suburban populations, regional hospitals that offer clinical core services to the wider Western Pennsylvania region, and pre- and post-acute care capabilities that encompass a network of home health services (UPMC HomeCare) and 15 senior living facilities (UPMC Senior Communities).

Division of Insurance Services

In 1998, UPMC Insurance Services was established as a part of the UPMC Health Plan brand and includes both for-profit and non-profit initiatives for healthcare financing.  The division offers a range of integrated products, such as UPMC Health Plan (HMO), UPMC Health Network (PPO), Workpartners (workers’ compensation and disability for employers), UPMC for Life (Medicare products), UPMC for You (HMO for Medical Assistance beneficiaries), UPMC for Kids, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization (a non-profit behavioral health PPO for Medical Assistance beneficiaries), and Community HealthChoices. These products provide a comprehensive range of HMOs, PPOs, and EPOs for group health insurance, Medicare, CHIP, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers’ compensation. UPMC also offers consumer-directed health plans, such as health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements.With over 138 hospitals and 16,500 physicians throughout Pennsylvania, UPMC has approximately three million members, making it the largest insurer in Western Pennsylvania.  It has also been recognized as one of the top commercial health plans in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The Health Services Division also includes LifeSolutions, an employee assistance program; EBenefits Solutions, a web-based human resources consulting and benefits administration service; and Askesis Development Group, a software development group focused on behavioral health care.

Divisions for International and Enterprise

The International and Commercial Services Division (ICSD) of UPMC is responsible for overseeing the for-profit entities of UPMC that aim to utilize their expertise in healthcare, advanced technology, and management to expand into international markets. The division’s primary objective is to further UPMC’s mission of improving the delivery of healthcare in the United States and worldwide, while also boosting the economy of western Pennsylvania.

At a global level, UPMC International offers healthcare consulting and management solutions across various domains such as clinical program advancement, facility and construction planning, clinical research, training for clinical and administrative personnel, health information technology, as well as quality, safety, and innovation initiatives.

The UPMC Enterprises serves as the commercialization and innovation division of UPMC and has invested a total of $700 million into approximately 80 ventures within the last twenty years.  Its main focus is on developing and launching new products and businesses through collaborations with entrepreneurs, utilizing translational science and technology solutions.  In the past, it has also established partnerships with companies like dbMotion) and has engaged in strategic and commercial product development partnerships with IBM and Alcatel-Lucent. The UPMC Enterprises’ portfolio includes notable companies such as ALung and Prodiogo Solutions.

Facilities

At present, UPMC manages a total of 40 hospitals, including academic, community, and specialty ones. These hospitals have over 8,000 licensed beds and are spread out across 600 clinical locations, which include outpatient sites, doctors’ offices, and outpatient sites. Additionally, UPMC has more than 50 cancer center locations, over 70 facilities dedicated to physical, occupational, speech, and specialty therapies, and 20 sites for retirement and long-term care.

UPMC Presbyterian

The main medical establishment of UPMC is UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, which serves as the core of UPMC’s academic, teaching, trauma, specialty, and research-related facilities. It is considered the primary academic hub of the system and the largest inpatient acute care hospital in Pennsylvania. It is also known as UPMC’s flagship medical facility.

In Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside consists of UPMC Presbyterian hospital, along with UPMC Eye & Ear and UPMC Montefiore hospitals that are physically connected. Additionally, the UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, also known as the University of Pittsburgh’s Thomas Detre Hall, is located on the western side of the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus. These hospitals are also connected to Scaife Hall of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Victoria Hall of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Falk Clinic, three biomedical science towers, and the university’s Lothrop Hall dormitory. These facilities are surrounded by various other academic buildings.

The UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside covers the UPMC Shadyside hospital campus, which includes the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. These facilities are situated near the Centre Plaza Apartments student housing, and are part of the Shadyside neighborhood. They are about 1.5 miles away from the hospitals in Oakland and are linked by a shuttle service.

The UPMC Rooney Sports Complex is also a part of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, situated within a short distance of 2 miles from the facilities located in Oakland on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

Collectively, the hospitals have a total of 1,600 beds, ranking it as the fourth largest medical center in America.

UPMC Presbyterian Campus

UPMC Presbyterian, which is physically connected to the main building of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Scaife Hall, is the historical and academic hub of UPMC. Situated in Oakland, the hospital has 792 beds and is equipped with a Level I Trauma Center. UPMC Presbyterian has been recognized as one of the top 50 hospitals in America by Becker’s Hospital Review. Its specialties include organ transplantation, cardiology, trauma, gastroenterology, and neurosurgery. The School of Medicine utilizes UPMC Presbyterian for its research and graduate programs.

UPMC Montefiore

The foundation of UPMC Montefiore, which is a part of UPMC Presbyterian, dates back to 1908 when it was established as Montefiore Hospital by the Ladies Hospital Aid Society. The hospital’s purpose was to cater to the needs of Jewish physicians and patients. In 1957, Montefiore Hospital became affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and later joined UPMC in 1990. It is also known for being the site of pioneering clinical transplantation facilities led by Thomas Starzl, and is connected to UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Eye and Ear through a series of pedestrian bridges.

UPMC Eye & Ear Institute

The UPMC Eye & Ear Institute is situated in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood and shares a building with UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Montefiore, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and medical research towers. It is among a small number of facilities in the country that focus solely on addressing issues in otolaryngology and ophthalmology.

In 2013, UPMC opened its Clinical Laboratory Building (CLB), a nine-story structure that was built at a cost of $39 million. The CLB, located in the Oakland neighborhood, is positioned between Magee-Womens Hospital and UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. The majority of UPMC’s laboratory testing takes place in the CLB, which is equipped with an extensive pneumatic tube system connecting it to UPMC hospitals in the Oakland neighborhood (Presbyterian, Magee-Womens, Montefiore). This system allows for the efficient transport of specimens from the hospitals to the laboratories.

Shadyside Campus at UPMC

UPMC Shadyside

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Shadyside is a non-profit, tertiary, teaching hospital located in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With a national ranking and 520 beds, it is part of the UPMC network and is closely associated with the flagship UPMC Presbyterian. UPMC Shadyside is located near the main UPMC campus, which also includes Presbyterian and Montefiore hospitals. It has an emergency room and a rooftop helipad for critical patient transportation. Additionally, UPMC Shadyside is home to the flagship campus of the nationally ranked UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. As a teaching hospital, it is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The medical facility UPMC Shadyside is situated in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, which is a part of UPMC’s main medical entity. It has a bed capacity of 520 and a team of almost 1,000 primary care physicians. Originally known as the Pittsburgh Homeopathic Hospital, it was renamed after its location on May 12, 1938. UPMC acquired Shadyside on June 5, 1996. One of the notable features of UPMC Shadyside is the Hillman Cancer Center, which is also the home of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, previously known as the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is a renowned cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute. It is the main center of the UPMC Cancer Centers network. The center was established in 1985 at the University of Pittsburgh and is situated in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh. It is linked to UPMC Shadyside through a pedestrian bridge.

Sports Medicine Complexes at UPMC

Two prominent facilities are operated by UPMC, specifically for sports medicine, within UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside.

The Rooney Sports Complex at UPMC

The primary focus of this article is the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

The UPMC Rooney Sports Complex is situated on the banks of the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh and serves as a multi-purpose and multi-sport facility for training, sports science, and sports medicine. Its unique feature is that it houses the training facilities for both the University of Pittsburgh football team and the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team, along with an academically focused program for sports science and medicine. The complex comprises of four centers, including the Center for Sports Medicine, Sports Training Center, Indoor Training Center, and the Fitness and Conditioning Center.

UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex

The UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, established in 2015 within Cranberry Township, covers an area of 185,000 square feet and serves as both a comprehensive outpatient center for UPMC Sports Medicine and the main training hub for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. The outpatient facility provides a range of services including orthopedic, primary care, physical therapy, concussion treatment, imaging, and sports performance. The training area features two full-sized ice rinks, as well as training and locker rooms, a video review center, and executive offices.

UPMC in Pittsburgh

Prominent Specialty Hospitals

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh or “Children’s” for short, is a renowned medical center that is a part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It is the sole hospital in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region that focuses on providing quality care for infants, children, teenagers, and young adults up to the age of 26. However, Children’s also extends its services to older adults who require specialized pediatric care. This hospital has a team of over 700 certified pediatricians and specialists who provide both primary and specialty care at more than 30 locations in the Pittsburgh area. In addition, Children’s offers clinical services at various healthcare facilities in western Pennsylvania. In 2010-11, Children’s was one of the only eight pediatric hospitals in the US to be included in the U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll and was ranked in all ten specialties evaluated by US News. It is also one of the eight children’s hospitals in the country to receive the Leapfrog Top Hospital recognition and was listed as the sixth best hospital in the nation by Parents magazine.

Located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is a specialized pediatric hospital that is part of the larger UPMC healthcare system. Originally situated near UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland, it now serves as the primary pediatrics facility for UPMC. Out of the four children’s hospitals in the state, Children’s is one of the few Level I Pediatric Trauma Centers, and it sees over half a million children and adolescents each year. According to the U.S. News & World Report annual Honor Roll, Children’s excels in nine out of ten pediatric subspecialties, making it one of America’s top children’s hospitals for 2018-2019.

With a total area of 1,500,000 square feet and a 415-bed capacity, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh includes a 41-bed emergency department as well as a 36-bed intensive care unit for children. This hospital also features a ten-story research center, with seven floors solely dedicated to pediatric medical research.

UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, a specialized facility for women’s health, is a part of the UPMC network. It was established on January 19, 1911, and began offering select services for men in the 1960s. The hospital is situated in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, adjacent to UPMC Presbyterian, where it has been located since its fourth year in 1915. In 1999, the hospital merged with UPMC. It currently has 360 beds and four floors equipped with an emergency room and ambulatory facilities, providing a comprehensive range of services such as family medicine, gastroenterology, dermatology, rheumatology, pulmonology, orthopedics, urology, and neurology. The hospital employs a staff of 2,500, including 1,500 licensed medical professionals. It also operates a satellite hospital in the northern suburbs of the city, known as the UPMC Passavant facility, and nine imaging clinics in the metro area. In 2011, the main facility underwent expansion, which was completed in June 2012. This expansion added six floors, increased the number of beds from 318 to 360 (including 14 additional intensive care rooms), and expanded the surgical and ambulatory facilities. Every year, 10,000 births take place at Magee, accounting for 45 percent of all births in Allegheny County. The hospital is situated on the former property of renowned Pittsburgh political figure, Christopher Magee, and was named after his mother, Elizabeth Steel Magee.

With a history spanning over 60 years, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital has established itself as one of the foremost university-affiliated psychiatric hospitals in the country. It is also the main psychiatric facility for UPMC, offering a diverse range of cutting-edge services for individuals of all ages, including children, adolescents, adults, and seniors, with a focus on evidence-based care.

Western Psychiatric is situated in Thomas Detre Hall on O’Hara Street, in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh, next to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. It is connected to the hospital through a tunnel and is home to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. This facility is a primary training hospital for psychiatry, psychology, and social work students, with over 400 psychiatric beds and 50+ outpatient programs. It is also one of the leading behavioral health care providers associated with an academic medical center nationwide.

On March 8, 2012, a tragic shooting took place at Thomas Detre Hall, located at Western Psychiatric. The perpetrator was John Shick, a 30-year-old former student of Carleton College and Duquesne University, who entered the building at 1:42 p.m. armed with two semiautomatic handguns and opened fire in the first-floor lobby, injuring six people. Unfortunately, Michael Schaab, a therapist at Western Psychiatric, lost his life in the incident. Police from the University of Pittsburgh arrived at the scene shortly after 2 p.m. and engaged in a gunfight with Shick, ultimately resulting in his death. Seven individuals, including officers from Pitt, were wounded and two, including the shooter, lost their lives during the altercation. According to reports, Shick had a history of mental illness and had been displaying erratic behavior in the weeks leading up to the shooting. Investigators discovered handwritten notes in his apartment expressing his dissatisfaction with his medical treatment and condemning “corporate America.” They also found floor plans and blueprints of Thomas Detre Hall, as well as materials for creating Molotov cocktails.

Upcoming specialized hospitals

UPMC made an announcement in 2018 regarding the construction of three new specialty hospitals in Pittsburgh. These hospitals include a vision hospital near UPMC Mercy, a cancer hospital near UPMC Shadyside with a capacity of 180 beds, and a 620-bed heart and transplant specialty hospital near UPMC Presbyterian. The UPMC Vision Institute was launched on April 2023 in the 9-story UPMC Mercy Pavilion. Furthermore, a 17-story specialty medicine tower next to UPMC Presbyterian began construction in June 2022 and is expected to open in 2026.

Tertiary medical centers

UPMC Mercy

Located in the Bluff neighborhood, UPMC Mercy is a Level 1 trauma and teaching hospital with 495 beds. It is situated adjacent to downtown Pittsburgh and is less than 2 miles from UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland. The hospital, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, was the first chartered hospital in the city of Pittsburgh and worldwide. Despite its merger with UPMC in January 2008, Mercy maintains its affiliation with the Catholic Church.

UPMC Mercy South Side

The 209,000-square-foot (19,400 m2) urgent care and outpatient facility, formerly known as UPMC South Side Hospital, is now referred to as the UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center. It is located in the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh and serves as a medical facility for the community. This center is one of many UPMC outpatient facilities that cater to different areas in the region.

UPMC Altoona.

UPMC Altoona is a non-profit, private community hospital system with a capacity of 361 beds. It is located in Altoona, Pennsylvania and serves as the regional referral center and tertiary hub for UPMC in west central Pennsylvania. The hospital also has over 20 associated healthcare companies within its network.

UPMC Hamot

UPMC Hamot is a tertiary care teaching medical center located in Erie, Pennsylvania that has 423 beds and a Level II trauma center. It offers a wide range of medical specialties and primary medical care. The hospital was established in 1881 and officially became a part of UPMC in 2011.

UPMC Hamot Campus at Magee-Womens Hospital

In 2011, UPMC Hamot Women’s Hospital was established as a separate, five-story building with a total area of 165,000 square feet and 93 beds. It provides specialized services in obstetrics, neonatology, and gynecology, previously offered by UPMC Hamot. Additionally, the hospital has a Level III neonatal intensive care unit. As of October 2013, the Pediatrics wing of UPMC Hamot has also been relocated to this hospital.

UPMC Kane

The renamed UPMC Kane, previously known as Kane Community Hospital, is a small hospital with 31 beds located in Kane, Pennsylvania. It became an affiliate of UPMC Hamot in November 2009 and was fully incorporated into the UPMC network on April 1, 2017. It now operates as a direct subsidiary of UPMC Hamot.

UPMC Passavant

UPMC’s tertiary care hospital, UPMC Passavant, is located in Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs and is comprised of two campuses – one in McCandless and the other in Cranberry Township. Together, these campuses have a total of 423 beds. Founded in 1849 by Lutherans, Passavant was the first Protestant hospital established in the US. In 1964, it moved from Pittsburgh to McCandless to serve the communities of northern Allegheny and southern Butler counties. Passavant merged with UPMC in 1997 and in 2002, St. Francis Medical Center was converted into the new Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, with UPMC converting St. Francis’ hospital in Cranberry into a satellite campus of UPMC Passavant. In 2010, the McCandless campus saw the opening of a new patient pavilion with 188,000 square feet spread over seven stories, bringing the total number of beds there to 399.

UPMC Harrisburg

UPMC Harrisburg is a teaching hospital located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with a capacity of 409 beds. It serves as the main referral hospital for the UPMC Central PA system, which includes seven hospitals and various clinics that cater to the healthcare needs of individuals in south central and southeastern Pennsylvania. [112]

Williamsport UPMC Susquehanna

UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport is a tertiary hospital with 224 beds located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It acts as the main referral hospital for the UPMC Susquehanna system, which includes six hospitals and serves the north central region of Pennsylvania.

UPMC in Pittsburgh

Hospitals for Acute Care and Community Patients

The specific mission of each community is dedicated to by UPMC through the operation of a number of acute care hospitals. These hospitals are listed below.

 

  1. UPMC Bedford is situated in Everett, Pennsylvania.
  2. UPMC Chautauqua, which was established in 1885, is a 317-bed hospital located in Jamestown, New York. It is the only hospital outside of Pennsylvania to join the UPMC system.
  3. UPMC East, a full-service hospital with 155 beds and a cost of $250 million, opened in Monroeville, Pennsylvania in July 2012.
  4. UPMC Horizon includes Greenville and Shenango Valley campuses.
  5. UPMC Jameson is located in New Castle, Pennsylvania.
  6. UPMC McKeesport is situated in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
  7. UPMC Northwest is located in Seneca, Pennsylvania.
  8. UPMC St. Margaret, an acute care and teaching hospital with 248 beds, serves the residents of northeastern Allegheny County and the Alle-Kiski Valley. It is situated in the northeast corner of Pittsburgh, near Aspinwall, PA.
  9. UPMC Central Pa, which includes seven hospitals, operates its flagship UPMC Harrisburg and serves South Central Pennsylvania. It also operates the following seven community hospitals:
  • UPMC Carlisle in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC Hanover in Hanover, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC Lititz in Lititz, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC Memorial in York, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC Community Osteopathic in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC West Shore in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
  1. UPMC Somerset is a community hospital with 111 beds located in Somerset, Pennsylvania.
  2. UPMC Susquehanna, which operates six hospitals including its flagship UPMC Williamsport, also has five community hospitals in north central Pennsylvania:
  • UPMC Cole in Coudersport, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC Lock Haven in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC Muncy in Muncy, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC Wellsboro in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
  • UPMC Williamsport Divine Providence Campus in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
  1. UPMC Western Maryland is a 200-bed hospital located in Cumberland, Maryland.

Hospitals and Facilities Around the World

Globally, UPMC has a transplant hospital, known as ISMETT, situated in Italy. It also operates two hospitals and two cancer centers in Ireland, as well as a cancer center in Rome. In the past, UPMC assisted in the establishment of an emergency medical system in Qatar. The organization has also implemented information technology solutions and aided in the development of cancer centers in the United Kingdom. In addition, UPMC provides consultation services and is developing a network of co-managed hospitals in China. Furthermore, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC has implemented a U.S.-style resident training program in Japan. UPMC is also involved in Fondazione Ri.Med with the University of Pittsburgh, the Italian government, and the Sicilian region. This initiative is constructing a Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center in Carini near Palermo with a budget of €210 million. In June 2019, UPMC entered into a partnership with the Wanda Group to establish and operate five private hospitals in major Chinese cities. The first hospital, the Chengdu Wanda-UPMC International Hospital, is scheduled to open in 2022.

ISMETT

ISMETT, also known as the Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies, is situated in Palermo, Italy and is dedicated to providing transplant services and treating end-stage organ failure for the Sicily region and the Mediterranean. It is a partnership between the Region of Sicily, Civico and Cervello hospitals in Palermo, and UPMC, which manages and operates the facility. ISMETT is also recognized as a hub for regenerative medicine research and collaborates with various international institutions, including the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, which is also managed by UPMC.

UPMC Kildare

The privately-owned UPMC Kildare Hospital, situated in County Kildare, Ireland, was established in 1985 as Clane General Hospital. In collaboration with the Institute of Eye Surgery, UPMC took over the hospital in November 2019.

UPMC Whitfield

Situated in Waterford, Ireland, UPMC Whitfield is a privately-owned hospital with 80 beds. In 2018, UPMC took ownership of the hospital, which had already been home to a cancer center since 2006.

UPMC Salvator Mundi

The UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital is a private hospital located in Rome, Italy with 75 beds. It is co-owned by UPMC and Rome International Hospital Management Srl. UPMC holds a 50% share in the hospital and oversees its medical operations, including the selection of its medical director and chief operating officer.

Previous medical facilities

UPMC hospitals that were previously in operation include UPMC Sunbury in Sunbury, Pennsylvania (2017-2020), which was shut down and its services were integrated into neighboring facilities; UPMC Beacon Hospital in Dublin, Ireland (2009 to 2014), which was acquired by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien; UPMC Braddock in Braddock, Pennsylvania (1996 to 2010), which was also closed; UPMC South Side in Pittsburgh (1996 to 2009), which merged with UPMC Mercy and was turned into UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center; UPMC Lee Regional in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (1998 to 2005), which was sold to Conemaugh Health System; and UPMC Beaver Valley in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania (1996 to 2001), which was returned to its community board and eventually closed. Additionally, UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster, previously known as St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, ceased operations on February 28, 2019 and its services were consolidated into UPMC Pinnacle Lititz.

Involvement of the community

UPMC has made a commitment to various community projects, notably investing $100 million in the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program, which aids students from Pittsburgh Public Schools in pursuing higher education. Additionally, UPMC has allocated $525 million towards the construction of a new Children’s Hospital. In the 2012 fiscal year, UPMC donated a total of $622 million in charitable community benefits. This included $96 million for community health programs and donations to support over 3,000 health improvement programs, $288 million for research and education, and $238 million for charity care and uncompensated healthcare expenses. This does not include an additional $146 million for covering Medicare reimbursement shortfalls. Despite holding a 60% market share, UPMC accounted for 78% of healthcare services in low-income communities in Allegheny County and 88% for children living in poverty. In the 2013 fiscal year, UPMC contributed $887 million, equivalent to over 15% of its net patient revenue, towards community services and provides the most care to underserved areas compared to any other healthcare institution in the region.

The head of the Center for Biosecurity at UPMC (CBUPMC) is Dr. Thomas V. Inglesby. Their main objective is to carry out unbiased research and analysis while providing nonpartisan policy suggestions, in order to assist decision makers in enhancing the US’s preparedness, response, and ability to withstand catastrophic events.

Criticism and Controversies at UPMC over the Years

UPMC has faced criticism for making excessive profits (citation 146), engaging in monopolistic practices, spending too much on advertising, and prioritizing international operations over domestic ones. Additionally, there have been numerous controversies that have garnered attention both locally and nationally in recent years. In the past decade, SEIU Healthcare has repeatedly voiced their criticisms towards UPMC, attempting to organize bargaining units for service employees and front-line workers, but without success.

The living donor liver transplantation program of UPMC gained national attention in 2008 due to internal studies led by transplant pioneer Thomas Starzl, which raised concerns about the safety of the procedure. This ultimately led to the resignation of Amadeo Marcos, the head of the liver transplant program. Another controversy arose in May 2011 when a kidney infected with hepatitis C was mistakenly transplanted into a non-infected person as part of UPMC’s live-donor kidney transplant program. This incident resulted in the temporary shutdown of the program for two months, as well as the suspension of a nurse and demotion of a surgeon. According to federal reviewers from United Network for Organ Sharing, the mistake was due to human error and corrective measures, including increased oversight from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, were implemented. As a result of the botched living donor kidney transplant, UPMC’s transplant program was placed on probation by the federal Organ Procurement Transplant Network (OPTN), a rare form of discipline reserved for serious transplant errors. The OPTN cited not only the kidney transplant error, but also issues with communication and documentation procedures within UPMC’s transplant program.

In April 2009, the UPMC and health insurer Highmark were sued by rival West Penn Allegheny Health System for allegedly conspiring to create a monopoly. The lawsuit, cited as an antitrust case, was ultimately dismissed with prejudice. However, West Penn Allegheny filed an appeal against this decision, which was unanimously reinstated by the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

In October 2009, the decision made by UPMC’s administration to shut down UPMC Braddock hospital sparked several protests and legal actions from community organizations. These groups challenged UPMC’s assertion that the hospital was unprofitable and underused. The hospital, which was later demolished for future development, was officially closed in January 2010 [162].

During April of 2013, UPMC faced backlash for its payment of low wages, as mentioned in reference 163. Additionally, the Service Employees International Union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing UPMC of using unfair labor tactics to prevent employees from unionizing.

In 2013, the City of Pittsburgh took legal action in Federal court against UPMC, claiming that the organization had exploited its public charity designation to evade property taxes. This lawsuit aimed to make UPMC accountable for back taxes. However, the city ultimately withdrew the lawsuit in 2014.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General took legal action against UPMC in February 2019 to enforce the requirement for open access to healthcare, citing UPMC’s non-profit status. This dispute between Highmark Health and UPMC, the two largest healthcare providers in Western PA, has been ongoing for some time. In 2011, Highmark formed a partnership with West Penn Hospital System, now known as Allegheny Health Network, which led to UPMC deciding not to accept Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance. To ensure public access to healthcare while the two systems were still in the process of unwinding their agreements, a consent decree was brokered by the state and agreed upon by both UPMC and Highmark Health. However, with the consent decree expiring in 2019, the Pennsylvania Attorney General attempted to negotiate continued access to care with both companies. While Highmark accepted the terms, UPMC did not, which ultimately led to the legal actions taken by the PA Attorney General in February 2019. UPMC then countered by suing the Attorney General in federal court, claiming his actions were “anti-competitive” and violated federal regulations and due process rights. They also accused him of intervening in the matter for his own political gain. However, in June 2019, UPMC and Highmark reached a 10-year contract to maintain access across both health systems, resulting in all lawsuits being dropped by the Attorney General, UPMC, and Highmark.

In the year 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office initiated legal proceedings against UPMC, University of Pittsburgh Physicians, and one of their top surgeons, alleging that the surgeon was regularly scheduling multiple complex surgeries simultaneously. This resulted in the surgeon having to move between operating rooms and even hospitals, causing patients to remain under anesthesia for extended periods of time. In February of 2023, UPMC reached a settlement of $8.5 million with the federal government to resolve a lawsuit that accused them of knowingly submitting numerous false claims to Medicare. Additionally, UPMC was accused of failing to adhere to medical standards during surgeries and putting patients at risk.

UPMC on Film

Two television medical dramas, Heartland (2007) and Three Rivers (2009), were inspired by UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh’s Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. Although both shows featured fictional hospitals, the latter specifically mentioned UPMC as a hospital in the Pittsburgh area.

 

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