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Governor Lincoln D. Chafee Leads Rhode Island Delegation on Fact-Finding Trip to Pittsburgh

Providence, RI – One of Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s top economic development priorities is the successful development of the valuable land opened up by the relocation of I-195 in downtown Providence. Since taking office in January, Governor Chafee has led a number of fact-finding trips to cities that have successfully developed urban areas centered around educational institutions and the medical, research and life-sciences industries. The Governor traveled to Houston in February to visit the Texas Medical Center and to Baltimore in April to tour the University of Maryland Medical Center and BioPark.

Governor Chafee continued the series today, inviting a delegation of leading Rhode Islanders to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to tour the facilities of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and meet with UPMC officials.

The Governor was joined in Pittsburgh by a number of Rhode Island leaders, including: Providence Mayor Angel Taveras; Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio; House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello; Dr. Edward Wing, Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences, Brown University; I-195 Commission Chairman Colin Kane; Marissa Quinn, Brown University; Dr. Timothy Babineau, President & CEO, Rhode Island Hospital; RIEDC Executive Director Keith Stokes; Jon Duffy, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce; Rich Horan, the Slater Fund; Michael Sabitoni, Local Union 271; Allan Tear, Betaspring; George Nee, AFL-CIO; James Bennett, Economic Development Director, City of Providence; and Patrick Rogers, Governor Chafee’s Chief of Staff.

“Pittsburgh is an impressive model of how an old economy steel town transformed itself into a cutting edge medical and educational center of excellence,” Governor Chafee said. “By aligning sometimes competing groups -- universities, hospitals, government, labor and business -- toward a common goal, Pittsburgh has become a leading center of ‘meds and eds.’ The result of this positive collaboration has been consistent economic growth, increased research investment, and a proven record of innovation and job creation.”

“Mayor Taveras, Senate Majority Leader Ruggerio, House Majority Leader Mattiello and I are pleased that our delegation from Rhode Island -- including leaders from the fields of education, medicine, business development and labor -- is in Pittsburgh with us today so that we can work collaboratively to implement some of the best practices learned on our visit,” Governor Chafee continued. “I am confident that many of the lessons learned here can be applied to Rhode Island and can help our state realize its full educational, economic development and job creation potential.”

The day began at UPMC’s facilities in the U.S. Steel Building in downtown Pittsburgh with a welcome address from Board Chairman G. Nicholas Beckwith III, followed by an overview of the medical center and its relationship with the University of Pittsburgh as a whole. The group then took part in a panel discussion featuring a number of UPMC officials, with topics including: the role of ‘meds and eds’ in developing a knowledge-based economy; workforce development considerations; how an academic medical center can spur and support economic health and vitality; the role of the availability of land; and challenges and lessons learned from the case of UPMC. The second session of the afternoon, held at UPMC’s Center for Connected Medicine within the U.S. Steel Building, featured presentations on a number of topics: “innovation and industry partnerships”; an overview of the Center for Connected Medicine; “good science/smart technology”; an overview of the Technology Development Center; and “industry (public/private) partnerships.” In the late afternoon, the delegation was led on walking tours of the UPMC Shadyside and Hillman Cancer Center as well as the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC.

The group will return to Rhode Island this evening.

***About the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)***

UPMC is an $8 billion integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Committed to developing and delivering Life Changing Medicine, it is one of the leading health systems in the United States.

* UPMC is a nonprofit that melds an unwavering community mission with entrepreneurial business models. UPMC is the first nonprofit health system to fully adopt Sarbanes-Oxley.

* UPMC is western Pennsylvania’s largest employer, with almost 50,000 employees, and ranks as the no. 2 employer in the Commonwealth.

* A recognized innovator in information technology, UPMC has deployed an electronic health record across its hospitals and is developing a semantic interoperability solution to unify information from multiple systems. These capabilities, which are being developed in collaboration with industry leaders like Cerner, GE, and IBM, will result in products that are commercialized nationally and abroad.

UPMC operates 20 academic, community, and specialty hospitals and 400 outpatient sites, employs more than 2,700 physicians, and offers an array of rehabilitation, retirement, and long-term care facilities.

* UPMC has created a genuinely integrated health delivery system. With renowned centers of excellence in transplantation, cancer, neurosurgery, psychiatry, rehabilitation, geriatrics, and women’s health, it is ranked among “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

* UPMC’s facilities are among the most technologically advanced in the nation. The recently opened Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is one of only a handful of “paperless” hospitals in existence has achieved HIMSS Stage 7— the highest level — in electronic health record implementation; four other UPMC hospitals are at Stage 6.

UPMC’s health insurance arm serves more than 1.4 million members and has some of the fastest growing health plans in the region. It offers commercial, Medicare, Medical Assistance, CHIP, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers’ compensation products.

* It provides a “public-health” focused front door to a network that includes world-renowned medical experts, quality health promotion and health management programs, and unmatched service.

* It has been nationally recognized by business and industry groups for innovation and service excellence.

Through its International and Commercial Services Division, UPMC has launched a portfolio of new businesses and international ventures.

* UPMC is commercializing its expertise, bringing world-class health care, advanced technologies, and management skills to markets throughout the world through: clinical services management, infrastructure consultation, strategic and commercial product development partnerships, translational sciences, and national security and public health. Each component is designed to drive transformation of health care delivery worldwide. * Internationally, UPMC operates a hospital specializing in transplant in Italy, and two cancer centers and a hospital in Ireland; is implementing information technology solutions in the United Kingdom; will manage a biomedical research center in Italy; and is providing ongoing clinical teaching and training in Family Medicine at a 1,265-bed teaching hospital in Japan.

UPMC is committed to giving back and reinvesting in the community.

* In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC’s community contributions topped $500 million and represented 13 percent of net patient revenue.

* In 2007, UPMC made a $100 million commitment to The Pittsburgh Promise to fund postsecondary education for Pittsburgh’s high school graduates.

Related links

Department or agency: Office of the Governor

Online: http://www.governor.ri.gov

Release date: 10-04-2011

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