The Allegheny County Council on Wednesday patiently listened to taxpayers, teachers, parents, religious leaders, workers, and patients as they shared their stories of how UPMC’s actions affect their lives. We all know that, because it is the region’s largest employer, healthcare system, and tax-exempt charitable organization, what happens at UPMC affects us all.
More than 90 County residents signed up in advance for the Dec. 5 County Council hearing to share their concerns about UPMC’s status as a purely public charity, but the hearing room and overflow seating areas quickly filled to capacity when over 200 members of the community came to show their support.
Rev. David Thornton, pastor of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in the Hill District, compared the community and the hospital to the tale of David and Goliath. Rev. Thornton delivered more than 2,000 cards signed by members of the community asking County Council to hold UPMC accountable to respect worker rights, create middle class jobs, and help fund transportation and education.