TribLIVE

| Home


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

UPMC East takes in first patients

Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - Julie Ehman of Latrobe tends to her husband David Ehman, following his knee replacement, one of the first surgical procedures at UPMC East hospital in Monroeville on Monday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>   Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Julie Ehman of Latrobe tends to her husband David Ehman, following his knee replacement, one of the first surgical procedures at UPMC East hospital in Monroeville on Monday.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - UPMC East President Mark Sevco welcomes staff on their first day of caring for patients on the fifth floor of the Monroeville hospital on Monday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>   Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>UPMC East President Mark Sevco welcomes  staff on their first day of caring for patients on the fifth floor of the Monroeville hospital on Monday.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

UPMC East vs. Forbes Regional Hospital

Beds: 156 vs. 349

Physicians on staff: 600 vs. 636

Employees: 650 vs. 1,613

Annual emergency department visits: 18,000* vs. 50,000

Year opened: 2012 vs. 1978

*estimated

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
 

UPMC East President Mark Sevco left his suit and tie at home on Monday, the opening day of the Monroeville hospital he oversees.

Sevco donned black scrubs and running shoes for the $250 million hospital's official first day of operation, choosing comfort as he traveled around the facility making sure everything went smoothly.

The hospital opened at 5 a.m., and by early afternoon, doctors had treated 15 patients in its emergency department, performed about a dozen elective surgeries and admitted six patients to some of the 156 private rooms.

On the fifth floor, UPMC East's first patient was recovering from a knee-replacement surgery.

David Ehman, 47, of Latrobe moved up his procedure by two months by coming to UPMC East instead of UPMC Shadyside. Coming from Latrobe meant “it was a nice half-hour drive this morning,” Ehman said.

The hospital hopes to attract many elective-surgery patients from Pittsburgh's eastern suburbs, which will “take pressure off Shadyside,” Sevco said. The fifth floor primarily will house patients who undergo orthopedic procedures.

Though many people criticized UPMC for building a hospital about a mile away from Forbes Regional Hospital, owned by rival West Penn Allegheny Health System, officials have said UPMC Presbyterian and Shadyside hospitals admitted up to 100 patients from the Monroeville area each day. Having a hospital east of Pittsburgh saves patients time and reduces crowding at those hospitals in Oakland and Shadyside.

Forbes, with more than twice the number of hospital beds, began preparing for the opening of UPMC East with a $20 million renovation. It plans to earn a designation as a Level II Trauma Center, which would enable it to treat more severe illnesses and injuries. The hospital hopes to earn the designation by 2013 or 2014, and in April announced it hired a medical director to lead the trauma center.

Bringing in patients through the emergency department will be essential to the success of UPMC East, Sevco said, because that is a primary portal for filling beds. Though ambulance drivers and dispatchers will direct patients to the closest hospital during emergencies, Sevco said sometimes the preferences of patients, doctors and ambulance services influence where a patient goes.

UPMC East initially expects about 18,000 patients a year in its emergency department, compared with about 50,000 a year at Forbes. Sevco said it could accommodate 35,000 to 40,000 a year, and “clearly we would expect to expand.”

Forbes can provide a wider range of services, such as labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care and in-patient psychiatric care, West Penn Allegheny spokesman Dan Laurent said.

UPMC East will transfer more complicated cases to larger UPMC hospitals in Pittsburgh, Sevco said.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
  2. Steelers won’t be backed into a corner at NFL Draft
  3. Crosby’s 2 goals lift Penguins past Rangers, even series
  4. Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
  5. Marte jump-starts Pirates in win over Brewers
  6. Sutter steps up for Penguins in series-tying victory
  7. Starkey: Taylor’s type fading away
  8. Coming off hill revives Seton Hill University, downtown Greensburg
  9. Crosby says Edmonton would be good spot for prospective top pick McDavid
  10. Governor Wolf’s outreach to lawmakers contrasts with Corbett’s style
  11. Defense shines in Pitt football spring game