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The History of Life Changing Medicine at UPMC

UPMC has ushered in a new era of health care excellence throughout Pennsylvania, regionally in New York and Maryland, and in locations around the world.

The beginnings of Life Changing Medicine at UPMC can be traced back to the final years of the 19th century. Important dates covering nearly 130 years of accomplishments include:

  • 1893, the tertiary care hospital that was to become UPMC’s flagship — UPMC Presbyterian — was founded.
  • 1973, a comprehensive reorganization of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Psychiatry, under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Detre and Jeffrey A. Romoff, began a new era of research-based medicine in Pittsburgh — and set the stage for UPMC’s eventual mission of clinical care, research, and teaching.
  • 1986, three university-affiliated hospitals — Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Presbyterian-University Hospital, and Eye & Ear Hospital of Pittsburgh — unified under an organization that would evolve into UPMC.
  • 1990, the name “University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,” or UPMC, was adopted. UPMC continued to merge with community and specialty hospitals, creating the first truly integrated health care delivery system in the Pittsburgh region.
  • 1997, recognizing the efficiencies possible from complementing its provider network with a health insurance product, UPMC started its Insurance Services Division. Today, UPMC Health Plan is western Pennsylvania’s largest medical insurer.

Also dedicated to supporting Life Changing Innovation and redevelopment of the economy of the regions we serve, UPMC has diversified into a wide array of services that range from home health care and retirement communities to international and commercial operations.

Driven by an unwavering focus on core values, these initiatives support the academic and nonprofit missions that fuels UPMC’s continued development. Never content to rest on past accomplishments, UPMC continues to anticipate and prepare for the challenges facing academic and nonprofit medicine, both today and tomorrow.

About UPMC

A $26 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 more than 95,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a more than 4.5 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.5 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 Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to