PITTSBURGH, September 16, 1998 — Today, UPMC Horizon celebrated its merger with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with ceremonies, food and gifts for over 1,300 employees, physicians, volunteers, visitors and community leaders. Jeffrey Romoff, president of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, came to Mercer County and officially welcomed Horizon to the UPMC network of hospitals. Performances by area high school marching bands added to the festivity of the day.
During meetings with representatives of the media, Mr. Romoff and J. Larry Heinike, president and chief executive officer of UPMC Horizon, shared plans for facility enhancements and capital improvements at Horizon in excess of $20 million.
"Today, we are UPMC Horizon! We are part of one of the finest health care organizations in the world, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center," said Mr. Heinike. "Now, thanks to this merger, UPMC Horizon offers world class health care close to home, with a significantly enhanced level of service and care available to area residents."
"We are pleased to welcome UPMC Horizon to the UPMC network," stated Mr. Romoff. "This fine community hospital, with its tradition of providing high quality clinical services, brings important resources to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. By working together, Horizon’s regional health care leadership can be maintained and enhanced."
UPMC plans to invest over $20 million in capital improvements at Horizon that will further enhance local access to state-of-the-art medical care. These improvements include a new cardiac catheterization laboratory, radiology renovations, emergency services re-design and modernization, a new intensive care unit, expansion of the ambulatory/short procedure area and a fixed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit. This investment will result in continued expansion of services, programs and facilities at Horizon that began two years ago when UPMC and Horizon signed an affiliation agreement.
That affiliation has already resulted in several significant enhancements to Horizon’s services including the on-site presence of STAT MedEvac emergency helicopter, expanded emergency services, membership in the prestigious Center for Emergency Medicine, and creation of the Center for Rural Emergency Medicine.
Other enhancements include teleradiology, which benefits local physicians by making available immediate consultations with leading specialists at UPMC, and an expanded continuing medical education program for area physicians. In addition, with the assistance of UPMC, Horizon has been able to offer local access to specialists in the
fields of rheumatology, neurosurgery, neurology and genetic counseling. Finally, the affiliation with UPMC has enabled Horizon to acquire a state-of-the-art information system that will result in savings of several million dollars.
Horizon officially joined University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on September 1 following unanimous approval of the merger documents by the board of trustees on August 26, 1998.
"The board has been impressed by UPMC’s commitment toward making Horizon the undisputed health care leader in Mercer County for many years to come," said Gerald Hodge, chairman of the UPMC Horizon board. "We could not ask for a better partner in our efforts to maintain and enhance the outstanding service we already provide," he noted.
UPMC Horizon will continue to operate as a locally governed entity within University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Under the terms of the merger, Horizon’s board will expand, and representatives from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will comprise one-third of the local board. The board will continue to direct Horizon’s activities and manage it as a community institution. Further, two members of Horizon’s board of trustees, Joseph Valentino, Esq., and John Dolan, have been appointed to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center board with Mr. Valentino also serving as a member of its executive committee.
UPMC is ranked among the top 15 academic medical centers in the nation in terms of federal research funding and is particularly recognized for its pioneering work in organ transplants, cardiology and cancer care.
In merging with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Horizon joins a network of 15 other hospitals throughout Pennsylvania.