Passavant Hospital Foundation Denounces UPMC Closing of UPMC Beaver Valley: Passavant Cites Closure Actions as Another Example of How UPMC Fails to Keep Its Promises
By admin on December 16, 2011
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ — A spokesperson for the Passavant Hospital Foundation today said that the imminent closure of UPMC Beaver Valley and the layoff of 175 of its employees was an example of how UPMC Health System does not keep its commitments.
“When UPMC took over the former Aliquippa Hospital, it made a pledge to that community that it would keep a viable healthcare presence and important jobs in the area,” said Ralph DeStefano, Chairman of the Passavant Hospital Foundation Board of Directors.
“The recent announcement that UPMC is closing the hospital now called UPMC Beaver Valley has tragically demonstrated that when local control is lost, the best interests of the local community are forgotten,” said DeStefano.
“We in the Passavant Hospital Foundation and the North Hills community believe that if our merger with UPMC is completed and our local hospital board is dissolved, the same thing could happen here,” said DeStefano.
DeStefano stated that the recent operating loss at UPMC Beaver should not be the reason to close a hospital. “We understand that as recently as 1998 UPMC Beaver Valley showed an operating profit.”
“The operating losses at UPMC Beaver were $1.5 million for the first quarter of the fiscal year, an amount that is relatively minor compared to other recent UPMC expenditures, such as $35 million to build a practice field for the Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers,” said DeStefano.
“What’s more important for an organization that’s supposed to be a not-for- profit medical provider: a practice facility for sports teams, or healthcare and jobs in a part of western Pennsylvania that has suffered enough economic distress over the past 20 years?” asked DeStefano.
DeStefano cited other recent UPMC expenditures that the Passavant Foundation considers less important than fulfilling the basic hospital mission of serving communities: — Tens of millions spent on buying physicians’ practices in recent years — Tens of millions in losses in operating physician practices in the last fiscal year — $5.0 million gift to the St. Francis Health System.
“It makes no sense to close a part of your own system and blame it on too many beds, yet contribute $5.0 million to a competing organization like St. Francis with a severe over-bedding problem,” said DeStefano.
“We sympathize with the plight of the people of Aliquippa, but our resolve is strengthened to make sure it doesn’t happen in the North Hills,” said DeStefano, who added that “the events in Aliquippa exemplify what happens when there is no local independent board of directors managing a community hospital.”
The Passavant Hospital Foundation was incorporated in 1981 as a 501(C)3 nonprofit foundation and opened its offices in 1983 for the sole and exclusive purpose of raising funds for the benefit of North Hills Passavant Hospital. The foundation is a separate entity from the hospital. Funds contributed remain in this community to strengthen existing hospital services and develop new ones.
UPMC Passavant is a 296-bed community hospital located in McCandless Township, North Hills. The hospital was founded in 1849 and has been serving the North Hills for more than three decades. The hospital’s centers of emphasis include cancer care, cardiac care, emergency medicine, orthopedics and women’s care. For more information, contact The Passavant Hospital Foundation at 412-367-6485.
SOURCE Passavant Hospital Foundation
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