Frankel responds to news of UPMC president’s upcoming departure

Points to health system’s great potential under new leadership

PITTSBURGH, July 28 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, welcomed UPMC’s Wednesday morning announcement that President Jeffrey Romoff’s time at the helm of the organization is coming to a close, and noted UPMC’s potential for a bright future now that Romoff’s reign is ending.

“For too long, UPMC has used its strength and expertise to extract from our community -- whether that’s the labor of employees who had to rely on the hospital food banks, the silence of doctors fearful of speaking out in case they lost their jobs, or the hard-earned dollars of patients desperate for care,” Frankel said. “Perhaps now the institution can become the leader it promised when it posted its logo in the brightest possible lights on top of the Steel Tower: Stop taking and start giving back.”

Frankel has consistently called on his colleagues in the General Assembly to regulate organizations like UPMC more rigorously as it has increasingly employed monopolistic and ruthless tactics under the financial shield of purely public charity status. He is currently gathering support for two bills that would require UPMC and similar organizations to contract fairly with all health care payers.

Romoff has served as UPMC’s president since 1992, and over that time the Pittsburgh region suffered significant trauma from UPMC’s bouts of brinksmanship. Additionally, employees from custodial staff to surgeons have reported a disturbing pattern of abusive and exploitative policies.

“Over Jeffrey Romoff’s tenure, we’ve seen what it looks like when revenue targets drive decision making. With new leadership, UPMC could give Pittsburgh the health care provider, employer and neighbor it deserves,” Frankel said.  

Frankel has served as the co-chair of the House Health Committee since 2019, where he has been a staunch advocate for public health, specifically patient rights and lowering medical costs.