Regional News from WTAJ
ALTOONA - Two years ago on July 1, one of the area's largest hospitals joined a major health system based in Pittsburgh.
When Altoona Regional became UPMC Altoona, its parent company, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center pledged to spend $250 million to upgrade the local facility over the coming ten years.
Here are some of the changes that have taken place since the merger occurred.
UPMC President Jerry Murray says the hospital has recruited 21 new physicians over the past 24 months."That is by far the most number of physicians I can recall recruiting in that period of time," he says.
Among them, is Dr Elliot Bilofsky, an ear, nose and throat specialist who offers procedures to repair damaged vocal chords, allowing patients to speak again.
Elite Orthopedics, part of UPMC Altoona, has grown to include 5 specialists and expects to add more. A founder of the practice, Dr. Charles Harvey says "we just recruited a young man who's doing an upper extremity fellowship. We've been working on this for 2 years and this gentleman can actually handle any problems from your fingertips up to your shoulder."
As part of its new Breast Health Center, UPMC Altoona has recruited Dr. Dianna Craig, a surgeon who concentrates on breast diseases. The facility began offering 3 D mammography and recently unveiled a second opinion option where patients just diagnosed with breast cancer, can consult via telemedicine with a breast specialist at UPMC Magee Women's Hospital. "One of the early concerns was that Pittsburgh would act as a center where they would want our patients to go there and that hasn't happened at all," Dr. Harvey says. "As a matter of fact, Pittsburgh has made it very clear to us, they want our patients to stay right here in Altoona." And Murray adds,"they're looking at us as the hub in the eastern part of the state or the central part, what they call the eastern region for UPMC."
Murray says in the next couple of years, UPMC Altoona will focus on 5 key areas neurology, orthopedics, oncology, women's health and cardiology.
UPMC Altoona has also added a pediatric telemedicine program, hooked up to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and a transplant clinic at Station Medical Center for patients before and after their procedures.
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Copyright © 2015 Renda. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved.