UPMC

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A new program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine aims to help young physicians learn the ropes of research. Less than 1.5 percent of medical doctors pursue research careers, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

An ambulance pulled up to the entrance of UPMC Preysbetarian's emergency room in early June, a pair of EMTs unloaded a portable isolation pod, basically a human-sized, medical-grade Ziploc bag.

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Allegheny Health Network has announced it will raise its minimum wage for full-time employees to $15 an hour by 2021. The move comes two years after UPMC said it would do the same.

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On a mild spring day, 47-year-old Tom Lefevre stood on his apartment’s back porch, which overlooks a quiet, wooded area in the borough of Bellevue, just outside Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

The insurance mandates of the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid helped prevent hospitals in Pennsylvania from losing more than $80 million in 2017. 

The findings come via a report on the state's health care finances from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), an independent state agency established in the 1980s by the state legislature to analyze and report information to improve the costs and quality of health care in Pennsylvania. 

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There are 14,000 people in the United States waiting for a liver transplant. And if the country's medical centers continue to draw the vast majority of viable livers from deceased donors, only half of those waiting will receive a transplant. Fifteen to twenty-five percent of those waiting never will.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hopes to change that through Living Donor Liver Transplants (LDLTs), which the hospital says are underpromoted and underutilized across the world. 

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Medical research has historically excluded minority participants, creating a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. UPMC primary care physician Dr. Mylynda Massart said the problem is pervasive, as her patients come from a variety of backgrounds.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A UPMC employee who has tuberculosis is currently on leave and the hospital is reaching out to patients.

Officials confirmed in a statement that the employee contracted TB. That person works in the UPMC Presbyterian Emergency Department and was also seen at a Presby ophthalmology clinic, as well as at a doctor’s office at Magee-Women’s Hospital, they said.

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New data says concussions might take longer for high school athletes to heal from than previously thought. 

UPMC concussion specialist Micky Collins unveiled new insight into how concussions effect the teenage brain at a symposium for youth sports medicine Wednesday at Heinz Field. 

The results are from a study of more than 300 concussed high school athletes in western Pennsylvania. There are a few reasons the current data is showing longer recovery time than in years past, according to Collins. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Shouts of surprise and joy erupted Friday at noon from graduating students at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine.

Pittsburgh Institutions Are Trying To Reduce Food Waste, But At What Cost?

Mar 14, 2018
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University of Pittsburgh freshman Naydia Rowe recently grabbed a plate of french fries at dinner. But when she tasted the fries, she realized they weren’t fresh. She went back and got a new plate.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


Alex and Jess Welker sat on a plush tan couch in their McCandless home and recounted their first date. The two tell the story together, going back and forth with details of their earliest interaction.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Another hospital expansion in the Pittsburgh region was announced Wednesday.

Allegheny Health Network will construct an $80 million, 90,000-square-foot cancer institute and academic center adjacent to the North Side Allegheny General Hospital. It is part of the $225 million investment the network has made in regional cancer centers.

“We have 15 major construction projects happening today simultaneously across the region. Many of those that relate to cancer,” said Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg.

University of Pittsburgh

A new biotech incubator specializing in immunology will open in around two years at the site of a former Ford auto plant on Baum Boulevard.

 

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Nicole Steele, clad in a face mask and thin plastic protective cover over her shirt, strung a ukulele while 14-year-old Yaheim Young played alongside her. The two had a jam session on the ninth floor of the UPMC Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Highmark’s Medicare costumers can continue receiving in-network care from nine UPMC hospitals until the end of 2019, due to a Monday ruling by Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Dan Pellegrini.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

No one masters a skill without mistakes, but when you’re a health care provider, screw ups can be deadly. 

In 2016, the National Academy of Sciences found that every year up to 30,000 civilian and military deaths of trauma patients could be prevented if the injured people had received optimal care.

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Highmark health insurance has reached a five-year agreement with UPMC to allow its customers to receive care from select UPMC locations at in-network rates.

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Stephen Arch, a 60-year-old filmmaker from Moon Township, is prescribed the drug Klonopin for his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he said stems from childhood trauma.

Courtesy of UPMC

Ann Kozak, 15, peered at a three-dimensional printed model of the female reproductive system. Learning about career options in women's health was a great experience, she said.

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For people with anxiety or depression, an online therapy can be similarly effective to seeing a mental health professional, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. The cognitive behavioral therapy program (CBT), called "Beating the Blues," consists of eight one-hour video sessions that teach patients to overcome negative thoughts.

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During his yearly budget address Monday, Mayor Bill Peduto said the city has been diligent about fiscal responsibility and is ready to retake control of its finances. 

Jessica Kourkounis / AP

New research from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC credits a computer program with detecting sudden kidney failure in hospitalized patients.

 

Acute kidney injury affects one in eight hospitalized patients in the U.S., according to UPMC. About 2 million people in the world die of the condition each year, and because it’s often asymptomatic, it can be undetected until problems arise.

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UPMC announced a $2 billion plan last week to build three specialty hospitals focused on cancer; vision and rehabilitation; and heart and transplants.

M. Spencer Green / AP

Pennsylvania was one of only four states that saw a decrease in premature birth rates last year compared to 2015, according the March of Dimes’ annual Premature Birth Report Card.

Last year 9.3 percent of babies in Pennsylvania were born before 37 weeks gestation. In 2015 the rate was 9.4 percent. Nationally the rate increased from 9.6 to 9.8 percent.

UPMC

*UPDATED Nov. 3, 2017 at 5:44 p.m.

Pennsylvania’s largest hospital system has announced a $2 billion project to build three “digital hospitals of the future” in Pittsburgh, in partnership with Microsoft. The new UPMC facilities will focus on cancer, vision and rehabilitation, and the heart and transplants.

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Courtney Bittner is mom to 3-year-old Bentley, and 3-week-old Nash.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

For pediatric cancer patients, their chances of having children in the future can be diminished by treatment. But an experimental treatment available at UPMC could preserve fertility for young boys going through radiation.

Spermatogonial stem-cell transplantation involves taking a sample of testicular tissue and turning pre-sperm cells into viable samples. When re-inserted into testes, even if they're damaged by radiation and chemotherapy, the sperm stem cells function as they would naturally and become sperm.

Wolf Blames Trump, Congress For Spiking Health Coverage Cost

Oct 16, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is blaming President Donald Trump for a sharp increase in the cost of health insurance that'll take effect next year for residents who buy individual plans.

Wolf's administration released the approved 2018 rates Monday, saying the average increase will be just over 30 percent. Wolf's office said the increase would've been less than 8 percent if Trump hadn't halted cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers or created uncertainty around the fate of the individual mandate.

UPMC

UPDATED: Oct. 6, 2017 at 12:14 p.m.

Doctors at UPMC have performed a cutting edge form of surgery to repair the heart after severe heart attacks for the first time in the United States.

Less Invasive Ventricular Enhancement, or LIVE, uses anchors to fold over scar tissue that can result from a particular type of massive heart attack affecting the left anterior descending artery which runs down the front side of the heart.

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