New president makes quick impact at UPMC St. Margaret

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

In David Patton's first month as president of UPMC St. Margaret, the hospital expanded its rehabilitation unit and is preparing to open a new outpatient center on Jan. 6.

“I am proud to serve in this new capacity,” said Patton, 42, who had been the hospital's interim leader since August.

A native of New Castle, Patton has held leadership positions at the hospital system for 18 years, including vice president of operations at UPMC St. Margaret.

Patton earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his master's degree from Point Park University.

UPMC St. Margaret, located along Freeport Road, between Aspinwall and The Waterworks, nearly doubled the size of its Rehabilitation Institute with a renovation completed in December. The unit grew from 14 to 26 beds.

“The expansion allows for better continuity of care and for patients to stay in close contact with their physicians,” Patton said.

Growing need mandated the expansion, with 40 percent of the hospital's patients in stroke recovery. Previously, there were not enough beds to serve them in rehab.

Nine new jobs were created to staff the unit, with a potential to add five more next month.

Mary Lee Gannon, president of the St. Margaret Foundation, has established a good rapport with Patton over the years. Her group recently donated $60,638 for the hospital to purchase an occupational therapy robot.

“When Dave Patton started here, he was immediately embraced by the St. Margaret family for his ability to make good decisions and his genuineness,” Gannon said.

“People like that he's smart, down to earth and has a no-nonsense style. What you see is what you get. He has been a great partner for the foundation.”

Patton is looking forward to overseeing the unveiling of the outpatient center in Harrison Township. It will include primary, women's and cardiac care, diagnostic services, 17 exam rooms and a lab.

He said extended weekend hours for primary care also are available now at the St. Margaret campus. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

“Each day, it is a distinct privilege to work alongside the talented and compassionate employees who are dedicated to advancing the quality of care provided to our patients,” Patton said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at

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