Not so fast, UPMC
With the closing of UPMC Braddock on Jan. 31, I should not have been surprised to see the sign was down the next morning and the rush was on to remove as much equipment as possible. Then came the announcement by Allegheny County and UPMC of plans to demolish the hospital maybe "as early as June" ("UPMC to Raze Braddock Hospital," Feb. 3). What a kick in the teeth.
I think it's time to throw the red flag. Why the hurry, gentlemen? Fearful of a review? Is someone hiding something or is UPMC acting as recklessly as it did when it remodeled the third floor within the last year or spent taxpayer money on a new front entrance that was open for less than a year?
If I were not already saddened and angry, I could find the recent hypocrisy of UPMC and CEO Jeffrey Romoff almost laughable.
First, UPMC closes Braddock hospital by claiming low patient census. Second, I have had two acquaintances who recently spent 24 to 36 hours in UPMC emergency rooms while waiting for unavailable beds in overcrowded facilities.
Third, UPMC grandly announces that it will welcome Haitian disaster victims for admission and treatment here, presumably in these same overcrowded facilities. Fourth, UPMC is moving quickly, with eager support from its puppet, County Executive Dan Onorato, to demolish Braddock hospital to remove it from possible use and public memory ("UPMC to Raze Braddock Hospital," Feb. 3).
One must wonder exactly what sort of logic Jeffrey Romoff, the absolute UPMC decision-maker, uses in his thought process. Can we not see that the obvious solution is to immediately reopen Braddock if for no other reason than to serve the desperate Haitian people?
And then I remember ... the only logic ever used by Mr. Romoff is that of the financial bottom line where human values are all too often discarded as old and in the way.
UPMC needs to be reminded early and often that it is a nonprofit to serve the people, not the bottom line.