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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014

News

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Lupus doctors join West Penn

Monday, March 8th, 2010

By Luis Fabregas
The founding leaders of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Lupus Center of Excellence are moving to rival West Penn Allegheny Health System at the end of this month, officials announced Wednesday.

Drs. Susan Manzi and Joseph Ahearn will fill newly created roles at the region's second-largest hospital network, where top executives are building a physician-driven administrative structure.

Manzi, who spent about 20 years at UPMC, intends to bring to West Penn Allegheny the same patient care model she used to run the highly successful lupus center.

"It's a model that is patient friendly and promotes research and education," said Manzi, who will be system chair of West Penn Allegheny's Department of Medicine.

Manzi said the goal is not so much to create a lupus center but to use the model to "build and grow on a bigger scale." In addition to lupus, an illness that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs, the model could be applied to rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, she said.

Ahearn, founder and director of UPMC's lupus center, will serve as the first chief scientific officer for Allegheny Singer Research Institute, West Penn Allegheny's research arm.

The hirings follow a string of high-profile additions to West Penn Allegheny's top leadership. Late last year officials announced the hiring of Dr. Donald W. Moorman of Beth Israel Medical Center to be system chair of the surgery department.

UPMC will continue to operate its Lupus Center at the Heinz 57 Center, Downtown, with Dr. Marc Levesque as interim director, a spokeswoman said. The UPMC center attracts patients from 30 states and seven countries to get treatment for lupus and other autoimmune illnesses.

 

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