PITTSBURGH - UPMC made a major announcement Friday that involves the largest single infrastructure investment in the company's history.
There will be a $2 billion investment to build three digitally-based specialty hospitals, creating 20,000 new jobs.
Construction is expected to begin this summer. The economic impact could result in billions of dollars not just for Pittsburgh, but all of western Pennsylvania.
"This will radically transform and disrupt healthcare as we know it," UPMC CEO Jeff Romoff said.
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The three new hospitals will beUPMC Heart and Transplant Hospital at Presby, UPMC Hillman Cancer Hospital at Shadyside, and UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital at Mercy.
The hope is the new hospitals will make Pittsburgh and UPMC the leaders in healthcare for the future.
"Pittsburgh is now the center of the healthcare, we want to be the Amazon of healthcare," Romoff said. "I expect our economic impact will be tens of billions of dollars more."
"It's wow, because I realize Pittsburgh has finally got through wondering if the city would ever come back," Mayor Bill Peduto said.
"Add that to what's happening to the airport cracker plant, there is a lot of construction," Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. "Our building trades will be extremely busy."
Microsoft will collaborate with UPMC to make these the "digital hospitals of the future."
"UPMC and Microsoft will have more to share in the coming months,"said Jeffrey A. Romoff, president and chief executive officer of UPMC.
UPMC is a $17 billion provider of healthcare and insurance.
UPMC Vision & Rehab UPMC Hillman Cancer & UPMC Heart&Transplant Hospital. 2 Billion dollar project expected to get begin Summer 2018 #WPXI— Damany (@DamanyLEWIS) November 3, 2017
It's the largest non-government employer, has more than 30 hospitals and is the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania.
"This $2 billion investment makes a big statement about us, doubling down on our core hospitals," said Leslie Davis, UPMC chief operating officer for health services.
For the city, it means a lot of new jobs, design and construction, science and medical jobs, and further boosting Pittsburgh's profile as an innovative and high-tech city.
"It will drive commerce, it will drive jobs, restaurants and hotels, all kinds of ancillary support and businesses that will want to be here as a result of it," Davis said.
UPMC already has three specialty hospitals in Magee-Womer Hospital, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Like those facilities, the new specialty hospitals will bring doctors, researchers and scientists under one roof. Davis said the focus is not just making people better, but preventing diseases and finding new cures and treatments.
"Bringing those treatments, the best of the treatments into the community, is really what the genius is of the special hospital," she said. "We are discovering something new and working on the treatments for tomorrow."
The UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital, on the UPMC Mercy campus, is expected to open in 2020.
In 2022, the new UPMC Hillman Cancer Hospital will open on the UPMC Shadyside campus.
There will be an architectural design contest for the other new buildings before they can be built.
The addition will not increase inpatient beds.
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