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West Penn Celebrates a Century in Bloomfield
West Penn has been called The Hospital Built on Friendship since its move from Polish Hill to Bloomfield in 1912. In reality, it’s the hospital built by friendship, along with large doses of dedication, loyalty, hard work and a commitment to excellence which continues today, 100 years later.
The cornerstone of the original building was laid by James R. Mellon, on November 3, 1909. The elder brother of Andrew (Secretary of the U.S. Treasury), J.R. Mellon led the charge for West Penn’s move to Bloomfield. Mr. Mellon worked tirelessly to draw down the debt incurred by West Penn earlier in the century, and to acquire the land on which it stands today. Since that beginning, the Mellon family has continued to be a friend to West Penn.
In 1950, the Richard King Mellon Foundation provided a $220,000 grant to establish West Penn’s obstetrical wing. An additional gift of over half a million dollars helped provide for the complete renovation and upgrade of the obstetrics department a decade later.
In November 1970, R.K. Mellon’s widow was on hand to dedicate the Mellon Pavilion, named for the benefactors who had helped to make this first step towards outpatient services in Pittsburgh a reality. Fittingly, Mrs. Mellon used the same trowel to place and seal the pavilion cornerstone as that used by James Ross Mellon back in 1909. R. K Mellon Foundation support continued in 2004 with a $600,000 grant to develop a toolbox for orthopedic surgery.
In 1937, as an epidemic of infantile paralysis swept the country, Mrs. M. L. Benedum donated an ‘iron lung’ to West Penn. In 1960, the Benedum School of Medical Technology was established, this time through the generosity of Mr. Michael L. Benedum, a long-time board member. Today, the Benedum Education Fund supports the continuing education endeavors of nurses and other professionals within the hospital, ensuring that we continue to deliver the excellent care for which we have been known since our beginnings, “worthy of our vicinity and of the age in which we live,” a goal established by our founders in 1848.
During the 1960s, the Scaife family funded major advancements at West Penn, providing for open-heart operating rooms, a catheterization lab, and a new emergency room.
In May 1970, West Penn’s Burn Care Unit was opened. Richard Scaife’s donation of $750,000 helped pave the way for its creation. West Penn Burn Center has since been the region’s leading burn center and is the only burn center in southwestern Pennsylvania verified by the American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for care of both adult and pediatric burn patients - and the only burn center in Pennsylvania to earn ABA/ACS verification five times. These lofty achievements are thanks to the generosity of the Scaife family, which helped transform West Penn from an ordinary hospital to a modern, scientific, technically advanced facility.
And then there are the women, countless of them through the century who have volunteered hundreds of thousands of hours, raised millions of dollars, and supported West Penn through thick and thin.
Originally, there was the Cot Club, established in in 1894 when West Penn still resided on Polish Hill. The Cot Club’s first project was to raise $50 to endow a cot for a young patient, which eventually grew into a separate children’s ward, and then a focus on pediatric needs at West Penn, which has since spanned generations. Whenever there was a need, and a shortage of funding, the call rang out --- ‘ask the Cot Club;’ they always delivered. This dedicated group served the hospital faithfully for 100 years, and to this day, its charitable trust donates thousands of dollars annually for the continued care of our pediatric patients.
In 1914, the Women’s Committee, then the ‘Social Services Committee,’ joined the circle. In the last 50 years, the Women’s Committee and its Governing Board has donated over five million dollars, generously funding numerous programs and activities, including: renovations to the cafeteria, the Medical Staff Lounge, and many clinical units; a $1 million gift to renovate the West Penn Hospital School of Nursing; educational materials for patients and families; an Ambulance Simulator for the STAR Center; equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and support of West Penn's Summer Camp for Burned Children, among many others.
The Junior Committee was started in 1930 by the Women’s Committee to attract younger volunteers. In addition to their own countless philanthropic endeavors, they helped make history at West Penn when they raised the funds to build a heliport, the first in a city hospital, dedicated on October 7, 1971.
The Guild, an organization of doctors’ wives created in 1946, dedicated their time and efforts to providing improvements to patient facilities, supporting their spouses in the best way possible, by helping to make their hospital the best it could be.
As much as West Penn has relied on community support, we also take care of our own. The Employee Catastrophic Fund, which assists those staff members afflicted by tragedy, be it fire, flood or health emergency, has been heavily supported by fellow employees over the years via the annual employee campaign. Friendship does begin at home.
And so it goes. As we begin a second century as the Hospital Built on Friendship, although the landscape has changed, the commitment to excellence, and the loyalty dedication and hard work of so many to ensure that provision remains strong.
STAR Allied Health Careers Training Academy
|STAR’s summer 2012 Certified Nurse Assistant graduates|
The West Penn Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce that the PNC Foundation has awarded the Simulation Teaching and Academic Research (STAR) Center a $150,000 grant to expand its very successful Star Allied Health Careers Training Academy (Academy). The Academy provides minority elementary and high school students, post-high school students, and unemployed and displaced workers desiring a career in health care access to the health career pipeline. This program addresses PNC Foundation’s funding priorities in education and economic development.
"This grant allows STAR the opportunity to continue to meet our mission of excellence in patient care through life-long learning, research and innovation. We are honored to offer this unique and creative program and play a vital role in preparing the future health care leaders of tomorrow," said Donamarie N-Wilfong, DNP, RN, Director of Clinical Education at the STAR Center.
The Academy provides certified nursing assistant and emergency medical service students, 6th and 7th grade students in Gateway Medical Society’s Youth Mentorship Program, and Pittsburgh Public School health career students with training at STAR. STAR is a virtual hospital reflecting the patient and family experience from admission to discharge. Simulators mimic the physiology of humans (blood pressure, heart rate, breath sounds, etc.) and can be programmed for a wide range of symptoms/health conditions. STAR students use simulated patients and individual task trainers to learn and practice clinical skills in a risk- free environment prior to performance on real patients.
STAR is internationally accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. In 2012, STAR was invited by the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers to present the Academy at REDEFINING excellence, The Health Care Team of Tomorrow, Pennsylvania’s Best Health Care Practices conference in Harrisburg.
Health care professions are one of the fastest growing employment opportunities in Pennsylvania, due to the health care needs of the growing elderly and disabled population. Registered nursing is the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020.
Additionally, racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care services are well documented and a more diverse health care workforce is essential to provide culturally competent health care to minorities. Interventions to improve the racial and ethnic diversity of the health care workforce must begin at the precollege level and address nonacademic barriers, such as social and environmental issues, that prevent capable students from progressing. Partnership programs that link health professions schools and teaching hospitals with local schools and communities help to strengthen the education pipeline. The Academy helps to meet this need in our community.
The Academy will enhance the academic preparation of students and nurture their interest in health careers. Learning styles assessment, study skills and test taking strategies to enhance student’s success and a tutoring program to assist with math and science curriculum will be provided. Students will also receive job placement assistance, career counseling and access to job opportunities in health care.
STAR is transforming allied health education and giving students the knowledge, experience and confidence to provide exceptional patient care. The allied health training programs not only attempt to alleviate the shortage of allied health professionals in our region and address the ethnic and racial disparities in healthcare, but they open an avenue for success for under-represented minority, and educationally and economically disadvantaged high school students to explore a health career path. This program will also serve as a model for the future of medical education: inter-professional team training embracing the cultural diversity and individual differences that characterize patients, populations and the health care team.
For more information, contact STAR at 412-578-4470 or visit STAR online.
Doris Tannehill Weyand Scholarship Fund
Doris Tannehill Weyand, class of 1967, came from Confluence, Pennsylvania, a rural, farming community in Somerset County. Doris grew up on a farm but left there for the city of Pittsburgh to attend West Penn Hospital School of Nursing. This still amazes her family as only two of the six children got a formal education after high school. Her daughter, Amy J. Litterini, said “her decision and positive example afforded all of her children the eventual privilege and opportunity to obtain degrees in Pittsburgh after high school in Somerset. Her history is therefore where our hearts go when we think about what it might mean to a student struggling to find the means to get an education and what that education ultimately means to their future.”
Doris spent her entire career in nursing, most recently at Kindred Healthcare in Oakdale. When she passed away July 19, 2012, her children, Amy J. Litterini, Julie Scott and Matthew Weyand decided they wanted to help future students of her alma mater by establishing the Doris Tannehill Weyand Scholarship Fund with a $10,000 donation. They wanted to feel engaged in this very personal memorial donation, so they established a set of criteria for scholarship candidate based on three factors:
- Brief essay
- Resident of a rural county of Pennsylvania - preferably Somerset, Fayette, Cambria or Bedford counties.
The West Penn Hospital Foundation, West Penn Hospital School of Nursing and the Alumni Association are grateful to the family of Doris Tannehill Weyand for wanting to "pay it forward" to future nursing students in need.
For more information about West Penn Hospital School of Nursing, contact Carol Haus, RN PhD CNE, at 412-578-5535 or email@example.com.
Supporters Raise More than $100,000 for WPAHS Patients at June 18th Golf Outing
This year’s Golf Classic, held on June 18 at the Pittsburgh Field Club, raised more than $100,000 for the patients of West Penn, Allegheny General, Allegheny Valley and Forbes Regional hospitals. Rich Walsh, sports anchor for WPXI-TV, was the Emcee.
|Enjoying this year’s Golf Classic were (from left) Dr. William Johnjulio, Dr. Eugene Bonaroti, Dr. Mark Rubino, and Dr. Michael Pelekanos.|
The daylong scramble featured a variety of contests on the course that challenged golfers’ skills. The top three skill prize winning teams were recognized during the dinner program. They were:
First Place: Dr. David Lasorda, Dr. George Gabriel, Dr. Ngoc Thai, and Dr. Chris Bonnet.
Second Place: Don Williams, Dave Myer, Tom Culleton, and Adam Kemp
Third Place: Dr. Andrew Adams, Matt Eberts, Dr. Donald Wilfong, and Jake Wilfong
Dr. Karl Salatka won Closest to the Pin on holes 4 and 6; Dan Keller won the Longest Putt; Rich Walsh won Closest to the Pin on the 18th hole; Jake Wilfong won the Longest Drive on hole 1; and Rona Nesbit made the longest drive at the 11th hole. Congratulations to all winners.
The Foundation thanks all of the golfers and sponsors that made the day such a success and so much fun for all involved. Special thanks to this year’s Presenting Sponsor McKamish. Next year’s System outing will be held on June 17 at the Pittsburgh Field Club.
Employee Campaign Helps to Build a Bright Future for West Penn Hospital Donations and Donors Up by 50%
This year’s Employee Campaign raised over $70,000 making it the most successful campaign in years. Donations and employee participation were up more than 50%, from last year, with 506 employees donating to a variety of funds to support our patients and through the catastrophic fund to help employees in need.
When asked why they decided to donate, West Penn Hospital’s dedicated employees overwhelmingly responded “I want to help our patients” and “I want to support the hospital.”
The campaign, which ran from April 30 to June 1, was coordinated by the West Penn Hospital Foundation, and an Employee Campaign Committee co-chaired by Dr. Joseph Ahearn (Lupus Center), Sally Bowker (Labor and Delivery), and Lisa Graper (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).
Several departments got together and organized a group gift. Support Services and Materials Management had a 95% participation rate and a matching gift of $500 from their department manager brought their total to over $1,000. West Penn Allegheny Oncology Network’s team donated over $16,000 to support “Healing Journey”, an annual educational event for cancer survivors.
2012 Employee Campaign Committee