Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Give me a "U" -- You are ...

Councilman collecting letters to save UPMC South Side

District 3 Councilman Bruce A. Kraus is continuing to collect letters of support to keep UPMC South Side from closing and being merged into the Uptown campus of UPMC Mercy.
The councilman is collecting the letters which he intends to deliver to UPMC officials at a meeting in the coming weeks. Mr. Kraus said he was pleased with the support and the number of letters he has already received from residents and businesses in the UPMC South Side service area.
Letters of support for having the hospital remain in South Side should be mailed to: Councilman Bruce A. Kraus, 414 Grant St., Room 510, Pittsburgh, Pa 15219, as soon as possible.
UPMC announced plans to close UPMC South Side and transfer in-patient and out-patient services it provides over a period of three to five years. In addition, the Emergency Room will be converted to an urgent care center operating on a reduced schedule
For more information, contact Councilman Kraus office at 412-255-2130.
You are "sick" might be a pun that other bloggers might stoop to deliver to sum up a campaign to save a local hospital. "Heartbroken" might be another.

I'll stick to a classic -- "full of folly."

To tell UPMC that it can't close its South Side Hospital, and put it in a letter, is but a waste of ink and a way to waste valued time.

The real question is what will become of UPMC's facility.

The next real question is what should become of that facility. Can vision be injected into the discussion so that the future can more easily be crafted to make better opportunities?

It is time to think again and not be so full of folly.

Furthermore, this news is bitter. I want to see the hospital stay on the South Side. However, I saw the arrival of the closing.

UPMC made a big play to get and keep alive Mercy Hospital on the bluff. So, we've got hospitals in Oakland and on The Bluff. We've got close access to hospitals -- more so than McDonalds and Eat'n Park. Go figure.

The time to work hard to save and fortify UPMC South Side was in 1999 when I was raising concerns in political circles. That was when the plans of UPMC's South Side football practice facility were put upon the local landscape. That medical / sporting facility was built on valuable river-front land sold to the nonprofit at greatly reduced costs by the public authority, the URA.

The Steelers needed a practice facility and UPMC played the game to get them one, pulling the wool over the eyes of local politicians without the vision to make better suggestions. The land deal was facilitated by a public agency.

The better solution, back then, one that I advoctated for, was to put the football practice and sports medicine facility directly next to the UPMC South Side Hospital. Dr. Freddie Fu does surgery. That is his area of specilization. A close hospital association would have many benefits -- including the long-term sustainability of the hospital complex within the neighborhood.

Furthermore, the public land right behind and next to the UPMC Hospital is closed. They have had a pad-lock on the parking lot and closed indoor ice rink for years.

A dark hole is right in the middle of the South Side. And, next, the hole is going to spread to the UPMC Hospital facility. Whereas this should be a thriving sports medicine complex with recreational and local hospital services.

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