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The History of Life Changing Medicine at UPMC

UPMC has ushered in a new era of health care excellence throughout Pennsylvania, regionally in New York and Maryland, and in locations around the world.

The beginnings of Life Changing Medicine at UPMC can be traced back to the final years of the 19th century. Important dates covering nearly 130 years of accomplishments include:

  • 1893, the tertiary care hospital that was to become UPMC’s flagship — UPMC Presbyterian — was founded.
  • 1973, a comprehensive reorganization of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Psychiatry, under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Detre and Jeffrey A. Romoff, began a new era of research-based medicine in Pittsburgh — and set the stage for UPMC’s eventual mission of clinical care, research, and teaching.
  • 1986, three university-affiliated hospitals — Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Presbyterian-University Hospital, and Eye & Ear Hospital of Pittsburgh — unified under an organization that would evolve into UPMC.
  • 1990, the name “University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,” or UPMC, was adopted. UPMC continued to merge with community and specialty hospitals, creating the first truly integrated health care delivery system in the Pittsburgh region.
  • 1997, recognizing the efficiencies possible from complementing its provider network with a health insurance product, UPMC started its Insurance Services Division. Today, UPMC Health Plan is western Pennsylvania’s largest medical insurer.

Also dedicated to supporting Life Changing Innovation and redevelopment of the economy of the regions we serve, UPMC has diversified into a wide array of services that range from home health care and retirement communities to international and commercial operations.

Driven by an unwavering focus on core values, these initiatives support the academic and nonprofit missions that fuels UPMC’s continued development. Never content to rest on past accomplishments, UPMC continues to anticipate and prepare for the challenges facing academic and nonprofit medicine, both today and tomorrow.

About UPMC

UPMC is a world-renowned, nonprofit health care provider and insurer committed to delivering exceptional, people-centered care and community services. Headquartered in Pittsburgh and affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC is shaping the future of health through clinical and technological innovation, research, and education. Dedicated to advancing the well-being of our diverse communities, we provide more than $1 billion every year in community benefits, more than any other health system in Pennsylvania. Our 100,000 employees — including more than 5,000 physicians — care for patients across 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland, as well as overseas. UPMC Insurance Services covers more than 4 million members with a focus on providing the highest-quality care at the most affordable price. To learn more, visit