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In Italy, UPMC will expand transplant facility, build 2nd hospital |

In Italy, UPMC will expand transplant facility, build 2nd hospital

Emily Balser
| Tuesday, January 8, 2019 9:58 a.m

UPMC’s hospital in Palermo, Italy, will be expanding and a new hospital is in the works as part of a 10-year renewal of the hospital’s partnership with the Region of Sicily.

ISMETT, the UPMC-operated transplant hospital, will expand the number of beds from 78 to 114. Plans also include a new 250-bed hospital in Sicily that will be located near the planned Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center, both of which will be operated by UPMC.

Groundbreaking for the research center is expected later this year, with construction of the hospital expected to follow in 2020.

The new agreement allocates an investment of €100 million per year from the Region of Sicily for the next 10 years. At least 3 percent of the budget established by the region will be allocated to training for staff from other Sicilian clinical facilities. UPMC spokeswoman Wendy Zellner said the expansion from 78 to 114 beds was financed by the European Union. She said the new hospital will be funded by the national Ministry of Health.

“This agreement bonds us with the United States of America in an alliance of friendship, but it also is a sign of trust — well-deserved, though unusual for the public administration, considering the duration of the contract,” said Nello Musumeci, governor of the Region of Sicily, in a press release. “Trust is especially expressed by Sicilian citizens who, over so many years, have known and appreciated a clinical facility that demonstrates high levels of performance and serves as a model for Sicilian health care. “

ISMETT completed its first transplant 20 years ago. Bruno Gridelli, M.D., managing director of UPMC Italy, said patients are increasingly coming to the center from other regions. About 3 percent of patients come from abroad, mainly children in need of liver transplantation and pediatric surgery.

“This new, long-term agreement with the region is a testament to the excellence that was achieved by ISMETT and will provide greater stability and continued excellence for this successful partnership between UPMC and the Region of Sicily,” Gridelli said.

Chuck Bogosta, president of UPMC International, said the agreement is a “significant vote of confidence in what we have delivered for patients in Sicily for more than two decades.”

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, or via Twitter @emilybalser.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 412-871-2369, or via Twitter .

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