By admin on July 17, 2018
PITTSBURGH – UPMC is getting an earful from community members as it plans a massive expansion.
City council chambers in the City-County Building were packed on Tuesday as more than dozens of people signed up to speak at a hearing discussing UPMC’s $2 billion expansion plan.
“This is going to be a tremendous opportunity,” said Jennifer Rafanan Kennedy, who is with Pittsburgh United.
Pittsburgh United is a community group claiming to represent 125,000 people in the region.
As UPMC is subsidized with taxpayer dollars, they’re demanding a community benefits agreement that includes access to healthcare for all residents, higher wages and union rights for workers and development that doesn’t displace longtime neighbors.
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“We need primary care. We need addiction treatment. We need mental health care. We need diabetes care,” Kennedy said.
Last fall, UPMC announced the single largest infrastructure investment in the company’s history — the building of three digitally-based specialty hospitals, creating 20,000 new jobs.
“The community wants to have a voice in that. We want to be decisions makers. We want a seat at the table,” Kennedy said.
More than 100 people signed up to speak at today’s hearing, including the president of UPMC Mercy Hospital.
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