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Fox Chapel

Past and present leaders at UPMC St. Margaret honored in 'Chairmen's Row'

Tawnya Panizzi
| Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, 1:36 p.m.
St. Margaret Foundation has installed a “Chairmen’s Row” plaque to signify the hospital’s leaders at the campus near Aspinwall.
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St. Margaret Foundation has installed a “Chairmen’s Row” plaque to signify the hospital’s leaders at the campus near Aspinwall.

Past and present leaders of UPMC St. Margaret have been honored with a “Chairmen’s Row” plaque installed inside the entrance of the hospital near Aspinwall.

Shown on the photo plaque are Andrew Mathieson (chairman 1975-1981, formerly of Fox Chapel), Walter Braham, Jr. (chairman 1981-1997, formerly of Fox Chapel) and Neil Y. Van Horn (chairman 1997 – present, resident of Fox Chapel), the chairmen of the boards of directors of St. Margaret Hospital since its opening in the current building in 1980.

The effort was paid for by St. Margaret Foundation and UPMC St. Margaret.

When the hospital originated in Lawrenceville more than a century ago, it was a gift from iron manufacturer John Shoenberger in memory of his wife Margaret who died of breast cancer.

He bequeathed $800,000 — the equivalent of $10 million today – along with three acres of land on the family’s summer estate in Lawrenceville to build the hospital. Shortly after the hospital reached its 75th anniversary, trustees faced the decision of how best to enhance operations. Options were a complete renovation or a new start.

They chose its present site on the Allegheny River near Aspinwall because it was central to Blawnox, Etna, Fox Chapel, Millvale, Sharpsburg, as well as other local townships where there was no hospital, St. Margaret Foundation President Mary Lee Gannon said.

The new hospital opened in 1980 and six years later, the board created St. Margaret Foundation to preserve assets to support health and wellness initiatives for the patients served by St. Margaret.

In 1997, St. Margaret became the first Pittsburgh hospital to merge with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

“The leadership of these gentlemen represents a vanishing breed,” Gannon said. “The tireless dedication and profound wisdom of these leaders altered the quality of life for the people in this region. There is no question that because of them many lives have been saved, healed and kept well.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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