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Our History

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UPMC Presbyterian had its beginnings in 1893, when it was founded by Louise Lyle, the wife of a Presbyterian minister.

In 1895 it was legally incorporated as Presbyterian Hospital of Pittsburgh.

By the late 1920s, the University of Pittsburgh was thinking about creating a medical center and lured Presbyterian Hospital from its North Side location by promising a tract of land for construction of a new hospital.

Ground was broken in 1930 and the new hospital opened in 1938.

In 1949, a new affiliation agreement with the university established a three-tiered mission of patient care, research, and education.

Twelve years later, the hospital name changed to Presbyterian University Hospital, reflecting its close ties with the University.

In 1986, the trustees of the hospital entered a shared management agreement with the University’s Medical and Health Care Division, the forerunner of today’s UPMC.

Over the decades, the hospital’s reputation has flourished, particularly in critical care medicine, neurology and neurological surgery, oncology, cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, and organ transplantation.

A few of the luminaries who graced its history are Jonas Salk, MD, renowned for the polio vaccine; Peter Safar, MD, sometimes called the father of cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and transplant pioneer Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD.

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