UPMC Passavant Celebrating 50 Years of Health Care in the North Hills

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Passavant Hospital Foundation and Auxiliary Integral to Hospital’s Success

This year, UPMC Passavant celebrates its 50th year of providing health care to the North Hills community. The hospital has long been a vital part of the area, thanks to the collective effort of community members who first worked to “bring it north” and then helped it grow into the innovative, state-of-the-art medical facility that 
it is today.

In 1964, residents of the North Hills could hardly imagine that 42 acres located on Babcock Boulevard would one day house an advanced care hospital that could provide highly specialized medical and surgical treatment for cancer, as well as heart and vascular, spine, colon and rectal, and women’s specialty services. Over the years, the size of the campus, its locations, and its services have grown. Today, those who live north of Pittsburgh now have access right in their own backyard to the same cutting-edge medical care offered at urban hospitals.
From the individuals who went door-to-door collecting nickels and dimes to bring the hospital north, to the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary that has raised funds for hospital projects for more than a half-century, to the Passavant Hospital Foundation, which continues to provide funding to take UPMC Passavant into the future, a legacy of caring has been built through the efforts of the entire community.
“The community has always supported this hospital; it wouldn’t be here today if people did not take a proactive role in supporting it,” says Fay Morgan, president and CEO, Passavant Hospital Foundation. “It is our goal to make sure that the people in the North Hills have an outstanding facility with the most advanced technology so that they can receive the best care when they need it — now and in the future.”

Passavant_Cover option 2Bringing It North
Passavant Hospital, originally called the Pittsburgh Infirmary, was established by Pastor William Alfred Passavant in Lacyville, now the Hill District section of Pittsburgh, in 1849. “While UPMC Passavant has been in the North Hills for 50 years, it has actually been in Pittsburgh for 165 years,” explains Ralph T. DeStefano, former president and CEO of Passavant Hospital and the Passavant Hospital Foundation.
Dealing with a decline in patients, and the fact that the city was redeveloping the Hill District to make room for the Civic Arena, the hospital board decided that it was time to move the facility. While Monroeville, the South Hills, and the North Hills all vied for the hospital, the North Hills proposal was strengthened by its show of community support.
“We needed a hospital out here, so a group of people banded together to do what we could to bring it to the North Hills,” explains Pat Kutcher, Passavant Hospital Auxiliary member and hospital and foundation board member. “We called it the ‘Bring It North’ campaign, and we went door-to-door collecting nickels and dimes to help fund the move.” The group also presented a petition signed by 16,000 North Hills residents stating their willingness to support a hospital in the area.
“Eight different auxiliaries, one from each township, also helped raise money to bring the hospital to the North Hills,” Ms. Kutcher adds. “Over the years, these auxiliaries all merged into one, called the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary, which is still very active; to date, we’ve raised more than $4 million for the hospital.”
During the 1960s, the auxiliary raised money through a thrift shop located in Etna, as well as through lunches and fashion shows, the Mother Passavant’s Kitchen at Gimbels department store, and by selling home-baked goods. “Now, the auxiliary raises money through a variety of sales at the hospital that we hold several times a year,” says Ms. Kutcher.
In 1981, Passavant Hospital Foundation, a nonprofit organization independent of UPMC, was created with the goal of raising funds to support the hospital while maintaining its unique culture. “Passavant has always been known as a warm, caring hospital, and the foundation and the auxiliary strive to enhance the hospital by providing amenities that are not in its capital or operating budgets,” says Mr. DeStefano.
“What’s important to note is that all of the money that we raise can only be used for UPMC Passavant — every penny we earn stays in the North Hills,” he adds. “We don’t provide funds to outside agencies or other hospitals. It all stays here.”

The Departmental Grants Program
One of the ways in which the foundation contributes to the quality of care and legacy of caring at the hospital is through its grants program, now in its fourth year. This year, 38 proposals were submitted by staff members for their departments, and all 38 were able to be fulfilled, thanks to a partnership among the foundation, the auxiliary, and the hospital.
“We used to have an annual campaign where we would pick an item of equipment to buy and make that the subject of our campaign,” explains Mr. DeStefano. “Now, we set aside funds each year, and solicit proposals from the hospital staff on a department-by-department basis for things that will positively impact the health, safety, and welfare of patients and staff. This year’s projects ranged in cost from $300 to $75,000.”
Because more proposals were received than the foundation alone could fund, the auxiliary and the hospital were asked to commit funds toward fulfilling the requests, which totaled $498,647. “This year is the first year that we all worked together to meet 100 percent of the proposals for projects that will enable the hospital to continue to provide the highest quality of care possible,” says Ms. Morgan. “While each entity works separately, this three-way partnership enables the hospital to be as strong and modern as it can be.”
Passavant Hospital Foundation grants, which total $335,252, include light training boards for the physical and occupational therapy departments, bariatric stretchers for wound healing, outdoor wireless coverage so that families can have Internet access when their loved ones are in the hospital, and a portable ultrasound for the Anesthesiology Department. “While we do fund some very large projects, these grants enable us to fund smaller projects, such as iPads® for the Emergency Department physicians to use to write orders, and a special hematology microscope designed to help detect disease at an earlier stage,” says Ms. Morgan.
The Passavant Hospital Auxiliary grants, which total $41,275, include compact isolation stations, cough-assist devices for Respiratory Services, a Wound Zoom® camera and color printer, and DVD players for education in the Intensive Care Unit. Hospital grants equaling $124,820 will fund efforts to obtain Magnet® status, which is a designation denoting nursing excellence, chairs in the Physical Therapy and Infection Control departments, and a kitchen office facelift in the Food and Nutrition Services Department, among other things.
In addition to providing these departmental grants, the foundation also provides larger grants to the hospital each year. Past investments have included $65 million for a new hospital wing, which includes the UPMC CancerCenter at UPMC Passavant, $16.4 million to help fund the Legacy Theater and Conference Center at Cumberland Woods, and $2.1 million for the new UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC Passavant, which opened in 2013.
“It takes a lot of money to build these kinds of facilities,” says Ms. Morgan, adding that the foundation recently committed a $6 million grant for a planned effort to enlarge the operating rooms at UPMC Passavant–Cranberry.
“The grants, in addition to other support provided by Passavant Hospital Foundation and the auxiliary, help UPMC Passavant in its mission to provide outstanding patient care,” says Dave Martin, president, UPMC Passavant. “They help us go above and beyond what you would typically expect from a community hospital.”

Looking Ahead
The Passavant Hospital Foundation and the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary will continue to rely on the community to further their mission. “When the hospital was purchased by UPMC, we had an endowment of $112 million, which we’ve since spent down significantly by contributing to build both the UPMC CancerCenter and UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute here at UPMC Passavant,” says Ms. Morgan. “Our goal is to build that endowment back up in order to continue to help the hospital provide the best care possible.”
The Passavant Hospital Auxiliary is also trying to recruit more members in order to continue its work serving the needs of patients in the North Hills. “All service organizations are seeing fewer volunteers these days, but we’d like to increase our membership — it’s important to grow,” says Ms. Kutcher.
“It is our belief and hope that the North Hills community will continue to support UPMC Passavant, just as the hospital has supported the medical needs of community members for the past half-century. Sooner or later, everyone will need the hospital,” says Ms. Morgan. “Medical care is ever-evolving, and we will need the help of our community to evolve along with it.”
To learn more about how to support UPMC Passavant through Passavant Hospital Foundation or the Passavant Auxiliary, call 412-748-6640 or visit 
passavanthospitalfoundation.org. For more information about UPMC Passavant, visit UPMCPassavant.com.
This advertorial has been provided by the Passavant Hospital Foundation.

Grant to Help UPMC Passavant Reduce Risk 
of Infection

Health care-associated infections, or HAIs, can be acquired by patients who receive treatment in a health care setting. These infections can be caused by antibiotics, and also can be passed from person to person. “While one-third of cases are endemic, or originate in the hospital, approximately two-thirds of cases are caused by visitors bringing them into the hospital,” explains infectious disease specialist Joseph Romano, MD.
One of the ways to combat these infections is to make sure that hospital rooms are cleaned appropriately, which includes disinfecting high-touch surfaces. In 2013, Passavant Hospital Foundation provided a $75,000 grant to the Environmental Services, Infection Control, and Surgical Services departments at UPMC Passavant to purchase a state-of-the-art room disinfection system to target the hospital’s high-risk infection areas. The 150-pound mobile robot can be moved from room to room, where it pulses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, including Clostridium difficile colitis, or C. diff, a bacteria that causes swelling and irritation of the large intestine or colon.
“Previous machines took more than 30 hours to clean a room and were not as effective as the new system,” says Dr. Romano.