The region owes UPMC thanks for its ascent

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Many of my UPMC colleagues and I were disappointed Sally Kalson chose not to embrace all the excellence we have brought to Pittsburgh ("Mayor v. Moneybags: UPMC Could Be Beloved If It Put Patients Over Its Profits and Perks" March 24). Thirty years ago, the unemployment rate was at an all-time high and tens of thousands of people, most of them young, were fleeing the region. As everyone knows, the transformation of Pittsburgh's economy from smokestacks to "meds and eds" would not have happened if not for UPMC.

The UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, where I practice, treats thousands of local athletes and weekend warriors. Elite athletes from around the world travel here seeking out our care.

None of this would have happened if not for UPMC. Likewise, the neighborhoods of Lawrenceville (with the gleaming new, nationally renowned Children's) and Uptown (where UPMC stepped in to save Mercy hospital) would not be seeing the revivals they are now if not for UPMC.

The University of Pittsburgh's rapid ascent to become one of the top-five recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health would not have happened if not for UPMC and its close collaborative relationship with the university. It's helped to recruit some of the best physicians and researchers in the world to Pittsburgh.

It would be heartwarming to see our elected officials and the entire community embracing UPMC for the world-class organization it is rather than bashing its excellence and all that UPMC and its nearly 60,000 employees (who pay all kinds of taxes) have done, and will continue to do, for the region.

Point Breeze



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