Allegheny Health Network selected as U.S. Olympic regional medical center
Olympic athletes and hopefuls from the region could receive medical care at Allegheny Health Network as part of a partnership between the region's second largest hospital network and the U.S. Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday.
The designation of Allegheny Health as one of six U.S. Olympic regional medical centers drew immediate criticism from rival UPMC, whose officials said at least nine local Olympic athletes receive care at UPMC's Center for Sports Medicine in the South Side.
Allegheny Health, which includes flagship Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side, estimated that roughly 150 athletes could get care in areas such as sports medicine, orthopedics, cardiovascular care and physical therapy.
“It's a tremendous honor for our sports medicine program to be asked to join this impressive network,” said Dr. Patrick DeMeo, chairman of Allegheny Health's department of orthopedic surgery.
UPMC spokeswoman Susan Manko said the health giant often is approached for similar sponsorships but declines them because they are “financially wasteful.”
“These types of sponsorships are expensive and are simply a good money generator for the USOC, as well as a good PR tactic for the sponsor,” Manko said.
She said elite and professional athletes typically have relationships with their own physicians and would not seek care based on a sponsorship.
Jan Jennings, president of Downtown consulting firm American Healthcare Solutions, called the partnership a good move for Allegheny Health Network.
“It's very prestigious,” he said. “If UPMC were doing it, Allegheny would have something negative to say. They're like two children in a sandbox.”
Dr. Ed Snell, director of primary care sports medicine for Allegheny Health, said athletes would be sent to Allegheny Health through the U.S. Olympic Committee based on needs and severity of injuries.
“We're capable of handling any injury or medical problem,” Snell said.
The 150 or so local athletes who train in the region include summer and winter sports. Allegheny Health officials did not say where the athletes train.
“That number includes Olympic hopefuls in the pipeline for future Games,” said Vanessa Virbitsky, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Allegheny Health Network officials would not disclose financial terms of the deal.
“It's a shame UPMC feels the need to diminish the (Olympic Committee's) efforts to better meet the health care needs of athletes as they train and prepare to represent our country in Olympic competition,” said Allegheny Health Network spokesman Dan Laurent.
The U.S. Olympic Committee in August devised a National Medical Network to provide medical care to elite athletes. The six-hospital network includes facilities in New York and Colorado.
Health insurer Highmark, which owns the seven-hospital Allegheny Health Network, is the “official health insurer” of Team USA.
Luis Fábregas is Trib Total Media's medical editor. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates fall short at trade deadline
- After years of lobbying, Big Ben has Steelers running the no-huddle
- Zappala disputes public safety director’s statement on police ID policy
- Spaling, Penguins agree to $4.4 million deal
- Steelers hold high hopes for pass defense
- Shooting investigation leads to large marijuana grow in Monessen
- Steelers notebook: Brown calls Sanders’ comments about Roethlisberger ‘terrible’
- Sunoco Logistics’ 300-mile pipeline dealt setback
- EPA talks on pollution limits trigger protests, arrests Downtown
- Beloved teacher at 3 Western Pa. schools hears from students across nation
- It’s lights out for Bayer sign on Mt. Washington