The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is in the middle of a series examining the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s giant footprint on the local real estate market. “UPMC has come to dominate Pittsburgh’s landscape, much like the steel industry did,” the P-G observes.
As the author of the January 2012 ebook UPMC: Concussion Scandal Ground Zero, I welcome the enterprise of a major news medium on the story of how the city at the intersection of three rivers came to become the company town of traumatic brain injury exploitation. It’s good to see that the local newspaper medium still has some spunk.
Part 1 of the series includes the following account of a questionable land deal between UPMC and my favorite physician-piñata, Dr. Joseph Maroon, in 1999, the year Maron was recruited away from Allegheny General Hospital:
Dr. Maroon also was a prolific real estate investor and had bought about three dozen parcels on the North Side.
At the same time UPMC announced that Dr. Maroon was coming to work for the hospital, the surgeon sold UPMC a group of his properties for $5.2 million — real estate which cost him a fraction of that to acquire.
UPMC still owns all but two of the parcels it bought from Dr. Maroon in the deal. But 13 years after UPMC completed the transaction, the property is valued about $1 million less than the purchase price.
In 1999, both UPMC and Dr. Maroon denied there was any tie between his move to UPMC and the purchase of the property.
Dr. Maroon did not return calls seeking comment for this story.
Give that Post-Gazette reporter, Sean D. Hamill, an ImPACT baseline test at once!