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South Fayette 'disappointed' with UPMC's plan to scrap hospital

Bobby Cherry
| Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, 11:27 a.m.
The UPMC logo on U.S. Steel Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The UPMC logo on U.S. Steel Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh.

A spokeswoman for South Fayette Township said the municipality was surprised to learn UPMC scrapped plans for a hospital in the community.

There was a sense of “surprise and disappointment that UPMC would abruptly change their plan,” township spokeswoman Andrea Iglar said Friday morning.

UPMC on Thursday announced it was backing away from plans to construct a $200 million, 90-bed hospital in the Newbury Market development in South Fayette. UPMC already has a children's hospital in the township.

Instead of South Fayette, the hospital giant now is seeking a new facility in the South Hills.

“UPMC is pursuing other, more significant strategic options to advance the innovations in care and the cures that we provide to our patients and that are rapidly accelerating, including living-donor liver transplantation and immunotherapy treatments for cancer, aging, and vision restoration,” UPMC spokeswoman Gloria Kreps said in a statement. “We will soon announce more specific plans of a sophisticated set of facilities to better serve our patients.”

Iglar said UPMC was not obligated to inform the township of its decision as the development was not in need of South Fayette approval.

“We got a courtesy call, but nothing in writing,” Iglar said. “This was not in the middle of any township process. There is no official notice they'd have to give us. Nonetheless, South Fayette Township is disappointed that the project will not come to fruition.”

The township gave conditional approval in August to the project.

“The township hopes that Newbury will be able to attract a good, reliable taxable partner for that plan,” Iglar said. Newbury Market is a mix of residential units and commercial parcels located off Route 50 near Interstate 79.

Kreps said UPMC is evaluating several sites in South Hills for a new hospital, which would offer emergency, intensive care, surgery and inpatient and outpatient services.

The hospital would serve patients “who already choose UPMC physicians and facilities as their preferred providers,” she wrote in a statement.

UPMC previously explored the South Hills and had planned to construct a hospital in Pleasant Hills. It backed away from those plans in September 2016.

Bobby Cherry is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rcherry@tribweb.com and on Twitter at @bc_trib. Jeff Domenick contributed to this report.

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