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Building off a rich history, UPMC Passavant looks to a bright future



UPMC Passavant is an advanced tertiary care center in the heart of northern Allegheny and southern Butler Counties, offering patients access to more than 400 board-certified physicians across 22 specialties. It is home to state-of-the-art surgical procedures and diagnostic testing with robotic capabilities. And it offers a plethora of specialty services, such as UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, emergency care services and more — all with a patient-and-family-centered atmosphere that has become a hall-mark of UPMC Passavant.


All of this grew from very humble beginnings.


Rev. Dr. William A. Passavant, a Lutheran minister born in Zelienople, founded the hospital in 1849 to serve Mexican War soldiers. Known as the Pittsburgh Infirmary, it was the first Protestant hospital built in the United States and was located in what is now the Hill District of Pittsburgh.

In the 1960s, North Hills community members banded together to relocate the hospital north of Pittsburgh because

no hospital existed in the northern suburbs. They signed petitions and conducted door-to-door fundraising to make it possible and, in 1964, the hospital moved to its current location in McCandless Township. It was renamed North Hills Passavant Hospital and began serving as a full-service hospital for residents of northern Allegheny County.


The hospital merged with UPMC in 1997 and added a satellite campus in Cranberry Township a few years later, expanding its reach to many more

people in Butler County and the  surrounding regions.


Now under the leadership of UPMC Passavant President Susan Hoolahan, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, the hospital continues to grow exponentially in

both size and services. In recent years, a $36 million expansion project brought a retail pharmacy, a new UPMC Heart and Vascular patient care area, an expanded UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services and breast imaging center, a pre- and post-surgical testing center, a strong affiliation with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for emergency pediatric care, and more to the UPMC Passavant-McCandless campus.


Another large expansion project is currently underway at the UPMC Passavant-Cranberry campus.


Since 1981, Passavant Hospital Foundation — a non-profit entity dedicated to advancing health and wellness through education, outreach and grant-making — has supported the hospital and its patients in many ways, including raising more than $122 million for hospital expansion and renovation projects, the procurement of cutting-edge medical equipment, and nursing education.


With all of UPMC Passavant’s growth and expansion over the years, one thing that remains constant is the high quality of care. “That’s what makes me the most proud: the high level of patient care and the world-renowned clinical expertise provided by our physians, nurses and staff,” Hoolahan said. “We’re a Magnet-designated hospital, which means we meet or exceed the gold standard in nursing care. We’re consistently ranked as the

#2 Best Regional Hospital in the Pittsburgh Metro Area by U.S. News & World Report, based on quality of care.”


As health care continues to evolve and advance, UPMC Passavant is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art capabilities and the highest standard of care to the region, and looks forward to serving the community far into the future.




Teen leads project to provide gifts for patients


As a part-time hospitality associate who interacts directly with patients at UPMC Passavant, Connor Fadgen, 18, witnesses the emotions that go along with being admitted to the hospital. This knowledge inspired him to make a difference in the lives of others this past holiday season.


“I decided to collect donations to provide gifts for patients at UPMC Passavant to help cheer them up,” said the North Allegheny Senior High School student. “I wanted to get my entire school involved.”


He promoted the idea on the morning announcements at school and recruited help from friends and classmates in Student Council, National Honor Society, Key Club, and other school groups. His goal was to collect enough donations to provide gifts for 35 patients, but after just two weeks, he’d collected enough for 150 patients.


Students donated coloring books, boxes of colored pencils, word games, hand lotion, socks, blankets, and board games. He included two of these items, plus a handmade card, in each gift bag. “We’d set up a table in the school cafeteria so students could come over and make cards with nice messages during their lunch period. People started hovering over the tables to make cards. They made 200 cards in just two or three days,” Fadgen said.


Several students, including Fadgen, transported the gifts to the hospital and distributed them to patients in the days surrounding Christmas.


“It took eight hours to distribute them all,” Fadgen said. “The patients were overwhelmed. It brought tears to the eyes of some, and brought a smile to

everyone’s face, including the students who helped and felt so good about helping. At the end of the day, they knew they’d done an awesome thing.”


Although he’ll be graduating from high school this coming spring, Fadgen is excited to mentor next year’s Student Council to keep this project alive, and to be a part of it next year. “Maybe we can make it even bigger by involving more NA schools and possibly taking the gifts to a variety of UPMC facilities,” he said. “That would be amazing.”



A tireless group of volunteers works behind the scenes to provide a better experience for UPMC Passavant patients


The Passavant Hospital Auxiliary is a dedicated group of volunteers who have conducted many fundraising events — including craft, chocolate,

jewelry and bake sales, themed basket auctions, and the annual “Lights of Love” holiday tree honoring and memorializing loved ones — in order to raise money to benefit patients, patients’ families, and staff of UPMC Passavant. Since 1961, the Auxiliary has raised and donated more than $4 million to the hospital.


Items funded by the Auxiliary and intended for patients and their families include cell phone rechargers in waiting rooms, free valet parking, specialty wheelchairs, blanket warmers, and the renovation of patient care rooms into end-of-life care rooms. For nurses, aides and hospital staff, the Auxiliary

purchased a mobile tea cart and created a plan to keep it well stocked with free beverages and snacks to keep employees energized. The Auxiliary also continues to team with Passavant Hospital Foundation and UPMC Passavant to support bigger renovation projects like the recent $36 million expansion at UPMC Passavant.


If you’d like to support the Auxiliary and its fundraising efforts, please go to to see the schedule for various vendor sales at the hospital.


If you’d like to join the Auxiliary and help with its mission, please contact Nicole Kaib, Passavant Hospital Foundation’s Administrative Coordinator, at 412-748-6639.




Bridge To Hope offers in-person and virtual support to families of those suffering substance-abuse disorder


Bridge To Hope, a weekly Passavant Hospital Foundation educational and support program based in McCandless Township, is a peer-led support group consisting of members who have one specific experience in common: a loved one struggling with a substance abuse disorder. The group focuses on its members’ shared ideas, experiences, hopes, and successes.


The group meets virtually at 7:00 p.m. each Wednesday; an in-person meeting is offered at 7:00 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month. Meetings are open to all adults and are free, although registration is required. You can register by calling Bridge to Hope at 412-748-5120 or by emailing us at


Bridge to Hope has served more than 5,000 local families since its inception in 1999.



Passavant Hospital Foundation awarded several community grants in 2023

The Foundation advances key health and wellness initiatives that support UPMC Passavant patients and their families, hospital staff and the community. Last year, the Foundation awarded community grants totaling nearly $37,000 to organizations including:

Anchorpoint Counseling Ministries: for their bereavement groups.

Glade Run Lutheran Services:

for the purchase of two automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Highland Firemen’s Association: for the purchase of two AEDs.

Kearns Spirituality Center: for their Comfort & Hospitality program.

McCandless Franklin Park

Ambulance Authority: for upgrading and replacing stretchers, along with airway kits.

Mars Home for the Youth: to help build stronger families through the MST-Psych Family Support Program.

North Hills Community Outreach: to help provide food for low-

income families and older adults.

Orchardview Stables: for the Equine Assisted Learning and

Psychotherapy programs.

Peebles District Volunteer Fire Company: for the purchase of two new AEDs.

To apply for a community grant from Passavant Hospital Foundation, go to

for application dates and deadlines.



Sign up for a free health seminar!


Passavant Hospital Foundation partners with UPMC Passavant to provide a variety of health and wellness education programs that are free and open to all. Each interactive class is led by an expert in the field who provides up-to-date medical information in terms people of all ages can understand. Registration is required at or 412-748-6641.



Solutions for Hip or Knee Pain...

Including Robotic Joint Replacement

Tues., Mar. 19 l 6:00 – 7:30 PM l Assembly Hall at UPMC Passavant

Learn to manage (and possibly eliminate) your debilitating

arthritic joint pain as various surgical and non-surgical options

are explained by Eric A. Chen, MD, UPMC orthopedic surgeon.

Jaw Pain — Common Causes and Treatments

Thurs., Mar. 28 l 6:00 – 7:00 PM l Northland Public Library

Understand the signs, symptoms, common causes, treatments

and interventions of pain and dysfunction related to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Natalie Novak, PT, DPT, OCS, of UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, will lead this seminar.

The Use of Robotic Technology in Heart Surgery

Tues., Apr. 16 l 6:00 – 7:30 PM l Assembly Hall at UPMC Passavant

Cardiac Surgeon Johannes Bonatti, MD, FETC, of UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, will describe the design and function of a surgical robot and show examples for its

application in heart surgery. Dr. Bonatti will demonstrate and outline how robotic technology can dramatically reduce the invasiveness of surgical procedures.

Women’s Health

Thurs., Apr. 25 l 6:00 – 7:00 PM l Northland Public Library

We’ll discuss the risk factors and learn how to recognize and treat lymphedema in your upper and lower extremities. This seminar is led by Domencia Sutherland, PT, DPT, CLT, of UPMC Rehabilitation Institute.

Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation

Tues., May 21 l 6:00 – 7:30 PM l Assembly Hall at UPMC Passavant

Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia. Sandeep Jain, MD,

FACC, FHRS, director of the Cardiac Electrophysiology and Center for Atrial Fibrillation, UPMC Heart and Vascular

Institute, will discuss many treatment options, including medical therapy and procedures.

Dizziness and Vertigo

Thurs., May 23 l 6:00 – 7:00 PM l Northland Public Library

In this seminar, we’ll explore the causes of dizziness and explore the body’s balance system, including specific ear pathologies that may contribute to the condition. Treatment interventions will also be discussed. This class is led by

Tracy Spitz, MPT, CBIS, of UPMC Rehabilitation Institute.





Mar 30

National Doctor’s Day

Honor your favorite doctor by sending a note or making a contribution in his or her name to Passavant Hospital Foundation.


May 3-5

Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon

Join the Passavant Hospital Foundation Fundraising Team and help us hit our goal of raising $6,000 to support our Cancer Care Fund, which helps qualified UPMC Passavant oncology patients afford medicine, food, shelter, and transportation during their treatment. Contact Passavant Hospital Foundation Events Coordinator Amanda French at or 412-748-6641.


June 3

Annual Golf Outing

Enjoy a day on the links at Treesdale Golf and Country Club while helping Passavant Hospital Foundation raise money for its mission.


Aug 9, 10

4K and 8K Run/Walk Events

Passavant Hospital Foundation’s annual 4K and 8K Run/Walk will take place on Friday evening, August 9 at the North Park Pool Loop. The second annual Family 5K Wellness Run/Walk and Kids’ Fun Run will be held on Saturday,

August 10 at UPMC Passavant Sportsplex at Graham Park in Cranberry Township.


Sept 19

Legacy of Caring Gala

More than 450 participants attended last year’s gala and helped Passavant Hospital Foundation raise nearly $170,000 for its mission. The next gala will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh-Cranberry on September 19.


Oct 25

Annual Purse & Tool Bash

Join us virtually on Facebook Live and Microsoft Teams on Friday, October 25 to bid on a vast array of power tools and designer purses, handbags and backpacks!

For details on all our upcoming events, go to


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