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The History of Life Changing Medicine at UPMC

Over the last 20 years, UPMC has ushered in a new era of health care excellence in Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania, and locations around the world. UPMC has evolved from a single psychiatric hospital into a $19 billion integrated global health enterprise closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh.

The beginnings of Life Changing Medicine at UPMC can be traced back to the final years of the 19th century. Important dates covering nearly 120 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 what today is its Insurance Services Division.

Also dedicated to supporting Life Changing Innovation and redevelopment of the economy of the Pittsburgh region, 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.

To learn more about UPMC’s remarkable history, see Beyond the Bounds, which traces the organization’s progress from its inception through today.​