PITTSBURGH, January 30, 1998 — UPMC Bedford Memorial (formerly Memorial Hospital of Bedford County) today becomes the seventh community hospital to join University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Merger documents were signed by officials from both organizations this morning.
This 59-bed acute-care facility has served the citizens of Bedford County for 46 years. It has been recognized by the industry magazine, Modern Healthcare, as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country and one of the top 20 small and rural hospitals.
"High quality community hospitals, like UPMC Bedford Memorial, form the backbone of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center," said Scott Becker, vice president of Network Development, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "We welcome this fine facility into our family."
Mr. Becker and George Huber, vice president and counsel, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, were in Bedford today for the signing of the agreement and an employee/medical staff/board celebration. There also was an unveiling ceremony for the sign with the hospital’s new name.
"This merger gives the citizens of Bedford County the best of both worlds," stated John R. Blackburn, Jr., chairman of the hospital’s board of directors. "Through this new alliance, the hospital continues to benefit from local leadership. In addition, as a subsidiary of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the hospital has access to the latest medical technology, some of the most highly-regarded specialists in the world and the financial resources of a large health care system," Mr. Blackburn continued.
James C. Vreeland, UPMC Bedford Memorial’s president and chief executive officer, added that the merger guarantees the future of the local hospital at a time when the entire industry is in a financial crisis due to the rapid rise of managed care.
"During these difficult times, UPMC Bedford Memorial will not only survive, but will flourish through the enhancement of existing clinical programs, the addition of new services and the recruitment of more primary care physicians," Mr. Vreeland stated.
No lay-offs are expected as a result of this merger and all of the hospital’s 300 employees will eventually become part of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
In November, 11 physicians representing nine practices associated with the hospital joined University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is an integrated, comprehensive health care delivery system serving the citizens of Western Pennsylvania. It’s four divisions include hospitals, physician practices, diversified services and insurance products.