UPMC reports its hiring can be a relative matter
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For the region's largest employer, relativity is not always just a theory.
With 50,000 people on the payroll, it may not be surprising that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center staff includes relatives or that key directors and administrators hold business connections with firms contracted by UPMC.
But in some cases those links go right to the executive offices.
Rebecca Kaul, executive director of the Technology Development Center and daughter of UPMC president and CEO Jeffrey Romoff, was paid $264,274 for her services in fiscal 2009, according to the tax documents filed by UPMC.
Spokesman Paul Wood said that while UPMC paid her salary, the health system billed subcontractor A-Life Hospital Coding LLC for the cost.
Scott Gilstrap, former husband of another daughter of Mr. Romoff's, was paid $259,488, in a job in which Mr. Wood said he "led UPMC's efforts to compete for federal applied research grants and services contracts, primarily from the U.S. Department of Defense." He added that Mr. Gilstrap, who left UPMC in 2009, "was a longtime director-level employee prior to becoming Mr. Romoff's son-in-law."
Mr. Romoff's brother, Doug, is president and creative director of the Pittsburgh advertising agency Paradiso Group Inc., which was paid $2,484,036 for advertising services in fiscal 2009. That contract was not renewed last year, and Mr. Wood said Doug Romoff "is not working for UPMC in any capacity nor is he employed by any company on contract with UPMC."
And Scott Cindrich, son of UPMC's chief legal officer Robert Cindrich, was paid $141,599 in compensation. Mr. Wood said Scott Cindrich joined UPMC in 1996 as a staff auditor and is now an associate counsel assisting human relations. Robert Cindrich, a former federal judge, joined UPMC in 2004.
Under tough new reporting rules for nonprofit organizations, entities such as UPMC must report business and, in some cases, personal relationships between the organization and key people.
So, while many local firms may purchase Steelers tickets for business reasons, UPMC had to report that a for-profit subsidiary spent $139,495 for Steelers games because John McGinley and the Robert Paul, UPMC board members, also own a portion of the football team. Mr. McGinley also is a junior shareholder and board member for Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott LLC, which was paid $804,414 for legal services.
UPMC board member Anne Lewis is board chair for Oxford Development Co., which UPMC paid $4,845,289 for property development services, according to the filing. She also has stakes in two other companies contracted by UPMC: Central Securities Services LLC, paid $201,198 for building security; and Central Property Services Inc., paid $457,051 for building maintenance.
Other board member business relationships listed include: $204,215 to Igate Mastech, whose chairman and co-founder Sunil Wadhwani is a UPMC board member; $348,616 to Pietragallo Bosick & Gordon for legal services -- board member William Pietragallo is managing director for the firm; and $103,521 to JJ Gumberg Co., in which board member Ira Gumberg holds a stake, for space rental.
"Given that UPMC is the largest employer in Pittsburgh and attracts talent from across the world, it's easy to understand why there are hundreds of employees with family members who also work at UPMC," said Mr. Wood. "We seek to hire the best and brightest in every position, regardless of family relationships, and take appropriate steps to manage any conflicts that those relationships might entail."
Correction/Clarification: (Published May 25, 2010) This story as originally published May 22, 2010 incorrectly referred to Scott Gilstrap, formerly with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, as the former husband of Rebecca Kaul, the daughter of UPMC President and CEO Jeffrey Romoff. Mr. Gilstrap was married to another daughter of Mr. Romoff's.
First Published May 22, 2010 12:00 am