As former UPMC physicians who left the organization last year to join the Allegheny Health Network, we read with great interest Dr. Dennis Gabos’ compelling commentary (“A Tale of Two UPMCs,” May 4 Forum) about the ever-growing and disconcerting dichotomy between UPMC’s corporate motives and the mission of its many dedicated caregivers, like himself.
At a time when the pressure from UPMC’s corporate headquarters to stand united around the organization’s plans to dissolve the Highmark contract must be incredibly high, Dr. Gabos displays extraordinary courage in speaking out on behalf of his patients and all of our colleagues at UPMC who too believe that open access to charitable, nonprofit hospitals is in the community’s best interests.
We could not agree more with Dr. Gabos. In fact, we left UPMC’s Magee-Womens Hospital after spending our entire careers there for just the reasons he articulates so well. We left because we felt there was an erosion of the organization’s once vibrant commitment to women, a growing culture of profits at all costs and a disregard for physicians as caregivers and patient advocates.
As UPMC draws a line in the sand in refusing to work with Highmark, we share Dr. Gabos’ concern that those same misguided priorities threaten the integrity of the physician-patient relationship across all of the organization’s services. We are worried that like so many of our obstetrical patients last year, tens of thousands of others will soon be forced to change providers in the middle of their care.
Who wins in such a scenario? Certainly not patients or the doctors who care for them.
For the sake of our community, it’s a message we hope UPMC’s corporate leaders hear loud and clear.
PAMELA KRIDGEN, M.D.
Seasons OB/GYN (formerly Magee Womancare Teal Division)
The letter also was signed by Ganya Alvardo-Reagans, M.D.; Emily Lebovitz, M.D.; Kristina Bishop, M.D.; and Amy Yester, M.D.