NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for May, 2015

UPMC Responds to Commonwealth Court Ruling

As President Judge Dan Pellegrini stated, the hearing in Commonwealth Court on Wednesday, May 27 was to determine if UPMC was in contempt of the Consent Decree when it exercised its rights to terminate Medicare Advantage arrangements with Highmark effective December 31, 2015. The Commonwealth Court clearly did not find that UPMC was in contempt.

The Court, however, erroneously reinterpreted the plain text of the language of the Consent Decree to render an arbitrary and capricious order that far exceeds its jurisdictional authority and prejudicially contrived a solution that ignored the evidence presented. It is wrong both as a matter of fact and law.

Under the Court’s own volition, Judge Pellegrini has put the entire business relationship between UPMC and Highmark under his direct supervision. This was not requested by the Commonwealth nor does the Court and, in particular, this Judge have any such authority to assume control of health care in Western Pennsylvania.

UPMC will immediately appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and is confident the Commonwealth Court’s order will be reversed.

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Maroon on Crucible hike: Tougher than climbing Kilimanjaro

The same as his long walk up 19,000-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa barely 15 months earlier, UPMC neurosurgeon Joseph Maroon, M.D., knew a 70-mile hike through the Laurel Highlands would be no leisurely stroll.


He didn’t expect it to be almost as grueling as any of his seven Ironman Triathlons, a punishing combination of a 26.2-mile marathon, 112-mile bicycle race and a 2.4 mile swim through ocean or lake water. . . all in one day.

“It was clearly harder than Mount Kilimanjaro, and I’d say almost equivalent to the Ironman. Yes, indeed, it really was an effort,” said Dr. Maroon, who served as Medical Director and fellow hiker on this Crucible excursion to raise funds for the Checkpoint organization, a western Pennsylvania resource for area military veterans. “Most people hung in pretty well. A few people dropped out for a few miles here or there and then returned. A couple of them had to drop out completely because of exhaustion. But the majority finished.” (more…)

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How the Pittsburgh Promise Stacked the Numbers in Chris Norman’s Favor

Chris Norman has made the most of the $20,000 he was given for a college education by The Pittsburgh Promise, the scholarship program largely funded by UPMC.

Not content with a single major, he went to Slippery Rock University for five years to earn a bachelor’s degree with majors on accounting, finance and management.

“Think about it – three majors and only $10,000 in student loan debt. That’s amazing!” comments Chris. (more…)

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UPMC AGAIN Honored at the 2015 Disability Matters North America Conference

UPMC has again been recognized as a leader in recruiting and hiring individuals with varying disabilities, receiving the coveted 2015 Disability Matters Employer of Choice award and Disability Champion Award at the 2015 Disability Matters North America Conference.


UPMC was honored for workforce development programs and the ways it assists individuals facing barriers to obtain work at UPMC. Corporate initiatives such as the Military Talent Network, Partnership on Work Readiness and Retention, Project SEARCH and Young Leaders Academy enable UPMC to work with various community partners and individuals with disabilities to assist them in preparing for job opportunities at UPMC. These initiatives also serve as recruitment pipelines and help decrease employee turnover. (more…)

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UPMC Nepalese Community Asks for Our Support

I recently had the opportunity to go to a large conference for UPMC. I left on a Sunday evening and returned on a Thursday. As I stepped out my front door, I hugged and kissed my wife and 2 year old son. Two hours later, I was 36,000 ft in the air traveling to a destination 2,000 miles from home. As Wednesday morning’s sun creeped through my blinds and lit up my hotel room, my first thought was “I miss my family.” I don’t often admit to having feelings; I pretend to be a tough guy and nothing bothers me, but in reality no matter how tough you are, you are feeling something. (more…)

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