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Obituary Stories

Executive fought to maintain Ohio Valley Hospital

| Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
William F. Provenzano, 68, of Sewickley died Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, of cancer.
William F. Provenzano, 68, of Sewickley died Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, of cancer.

Health care executive Bill Proven-zano fought for years to keep Ohio Valley Hospital independent, reshaping its services and avoiding the consolidation that swept up and shut down other local hospitals across Western Pennsylvania, his family and colleagues said.

“With many of these community hospitals, when they become part of a larger system, they no longer exist,” said Mr. Provenzano's son, Dr. David Provenzano of South Fayette. “He thought it was important for the community to have a strong hospital.”

William F. Provenzano of Sewickley died of cancer Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, about four years after he retired as chief executive officer at Ohio Valley, a 138-bed hospital in Kennedy that remains unaffiliated with larger health care networks. He was 68.

He served as the top executive for 25 years after working in similar capacities at hospitals in Massachusetts and upstate New York, his family said. A Boston-area native, he earned a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree in hospital administration from Duke University in Durham, N.C.

At Ohio Valley, former hospital leaders said Mr. Provenzano developed centers for pain management and wound care, along with a facility for assisted living. Fiscal pressures forced him to close an OB-GYN unit and cut other costs, something “that was difficult but nevertheless necessary to keep the institution financially sound,” said former hospital board member Edward A. Nicholson of Peters.

“The competitive landscape was very difficult. It was most difficult for the smaller hospitals that didn't have the reputation or the resources to compete effectively,” said Nicholson, president emeritus at Robert Morris University in Moon.

Close to home, Mr. Provenzano owned and maintained a variety of rental properties in Sewickley and often employed local young people to help with the upkeep, said his daughter, Donnamarie Provenzano of Aurora, Colo.

“He changed a lot of lives that way, too,” she said, calling her father a loving mentor who cultivated a close family. “He would help you, but if you made a mistake — he believed in second chances.”

Mr. Provenzano's parents, Dr. R. William and Teresa Provenzano, preceded him in death. His survivors include another son, Matthew Provenzano, and his fiancée, Shannon E. Hill, both of Sewickley; a daughter-in-law, Dr. Dana Dellapiazza of South Fayette; seven brothers and sisters; and five grandchildren. He was divorced.

Visitation is scheduled for 2 to 7 p.m. Friday in Richard D. Cole Funeral Home, 328 Beaver St., Sewickley. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. James Roman Catholic Church, 200 Walnut St., Sewickley.

Adam Smeltz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5676 or asmeltz@tribweb.com.

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