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Monsour's legacy: An inhospitable tale

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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 8:58 p.m.
 

It's said the deeds of men live on long after they're gone. Sadly, many of Dr. William Monsour's deeds are embodied in a decaying monstrosity that bears the family name in plain view along a busy Route 30 corridor in Westmoreland County.

Dr. Monsour, 84, one of four founding (and often infighting) brothers of the scandal-plagued Monsour Medical Center, died Monday at his Jeannette home. The irascible one-time hospital CEO lived to see the family dream of a functioning hospital become a dysfunctional public nightmare. It was a textbook tutorial in how not to run a hospital.

Mired in financial problems, the Monsour Medical Center closed in 2006 after flunking various state inspections. And when its board and last CEO, Michael Monsour, finally turned off the lights, the family walked away from a towering dump of hazardous medical waste and scattered patient files which, by law, should have been secured.

The hospital fiasco is one chapter in “Dr. Bill's” medical career, which includes an indictment for Medicare fraud and a lawsuit over money allegedly diverted from a health insurance company he founded.

And still unresolved is the disposition of the decaying medical center, at a demolition cost of up to $2 million. If the Monsour family wants to do something positive in William Monsour's memory, it would raze the crumbling edifice that's become synonymous with him and the legacy he left behind.

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