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Governor Ed Rendell, Congressman Jason Altmire and UPMC Organize Rescue of Haitian Orphans

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UPMC Media Relations 

Plane Carrying Orphans, Medical Personnel, Government Officials, Aid Workers to Arrive at Pittsburgh International Airport in Early Morning

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 19, 2010 - A rescue mission coordinated by UPMC and currently in progress will culminate in the arrival of 53 orphans in Pittsburgh tomorrow morning from earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The children, whose plight has captured international attention, had been in the BRESMA orphanage in Port au Prince.

A U.S. Air Force flight is under way bringing the children to Homestead AFB in Florida and arrangements are being made for travel to Pittsburgh. The children are being accompanied by one of their caretakers in the orphanage, Ali McMutrie, who is a Pittsburgh native, a contingent of UPMC physicians and other medical personnel, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Congressman Jason Altmire.

Upon arrival in Pittsburgh, all the children will be transported to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for thorough evaluation and treatment. The medical conditions of the orphans are at this point, unknown.

The UPMC effort was led by Leslie McCombs, UPMC senior consultant for government relations, and Alan Russell, Ph.D., director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Governor Ed Rendell and Congressman Jason Altmire, along with other government leaders who were instrumental in assisting to clear a myriad of logistical, security, legal and governmental hurdles necessary for the evacuation of the children from Haiti and their transport to the United States. Republic Airways provided the charter jet to Haiti.

Further details about a media briefing will be forthcoming.