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Mckeesport Hospital Approves Merger with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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PITTSBURGH, April 21, 1998 — The McKeesport Hospital and the McKeesport Area Health Care Systems Boards of Directors approved the merger of the hospital with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on April 17, 1998. Plans were also announced of upcoming capital improvements. Investments in the hospital of up to $50 million will be made over the next five years. Improvement plans include expansion and enhancement of emergency services, such as a new emergency department, improvement of outpatient services, addition of a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization suite, upgraded radiation oncology services and the introduction of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Program to the McKeesport campus. The merger will be official on April 30, 1998.

"Today is a very important day in the history of McKeesport Hospital and the communities we serve," stated Ronald H. Ott, President and CEO of McKeesport Hospital. "In this age where collaborations and networks are essential for success, we are very pleased about this merger with a world-renowned health care leader. We move forward with enthusiasm and a strong belief that this merger and integration strongly enhances the health of our community and the well being of UPMC McKeesport."

"UPMC McKeesport’s acute care services will not only be maintained but enhanced as this hospital will be a cornerstone of our services in the Mon Valley and eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh," said Jeffrey Romoff, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center President. "With our partners, which include UPMC Braddock, we are committed to provide the best, most comprehensive and cost-effective primary and specialty services to the citizens of these areas," according to Romoff.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, UPMC McKeesport will be a subsidiary of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It will retain its own board, medical staff and administration.

Hugh Coughanour, Chairman of the Board of Directors for McKeesport Hospital said, "as UPMC McKeesport begins its second century of service, this merger is a definitive step to enable UPMC McKeesport to achieve our strategic initiatives and ensure the continuation of the tradition of providing quality health care to our community now and in the future." He sees this as being an "exciting time in trying to assess the future and prepare for it. This is right in line with our mission statement and that is something to which we are committed."

"The ultimate beneficiaries will be the residents of the UPMC McKeesport service area who will be able to take advantage of the latest medical treatments and technology close to home," Mr. Romoff added.

Mr. Ott said there is a common vision between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and UPMC McKeesport. "For example, the teaching program has been an important part of UPMC McKeesport, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center recognizes the importance of the primary care aspect of teaching. Our teaching programs will be enhanced as we move forward."

"From the medical staff perspective, we view the merger as being extremely positive as more resources will be available to expand and improve the services UPMC McKeesport provides," stated Rahat Chaudhry, M.D., President of the Medical-Dental staff. "But more importantly, the merger will enable UPMC McKeesport to be enhanced as a full service acute care community hospital as we’ve done for over 100 years."

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is committed to provide $18 million to the McKeesport Hospital Foundation on April 30, 1998. The Foundation has agreed that the funds provided will support inpatient and outpatient facilities, programs, activities and operations associated with UPMC McKeesport, and other health care activities that are determined by the Foundation to be beneficial to the community that McKeesport Hospital Foundation and UPMC McKeesport jointly serve.

"We are pleased that UPMC McKeesport has joined the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center," stated Mr. D. James Heatherington, President of the McKeesport Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. "Funds will be used to support programs identified by our recently completed community health needs assessment."

In 1996, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and McKeesport Hospital signed an affiliation agreement, which has led to joint purchasing programs, clinical partnerships and a number of other projects. In conjunction with the merger, UPMC McKeesport will become a member of the Tri-State Health System, a network of health care providers, including University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in southwestern Pennsylvania.

UPMC McKeesport is the largest employer in McKeesport. Established in 1894, it provides a comprehensive continuum of services ranging from obstetrics through geriatrics. More than 1000 employees and 300 physicians share the hospital’s commitment to providing high-quality, cost-effective services with an emphasis on patient satisfaction.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is an integrated healthcare delivery system that spans western Pennsylvania. At its heart is a comprehensive academic medical center dedicated to providing exemplary patient care, educating the next generation of health care professionals, and advancing biomedical knowledge through basic and clinical research.