Magee-Womens Celebrates Century of Welcoming New Lives

By Wills, Rick | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Magee-Womens Celebrates Century of Welcoming New Lives


Wills, Rick, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Magee-Womens Hospital, where men can get hip and knee replacements and older folks of both sexes can get geriatric care, no longer treats just women.

The hospital with the strangely punctuated name had its image burnished decades ago. A hospital where half a million babies have been born, after all, is pretty much destined to be known as a maternity hospital.

Today, nearly a century after its founding, Magee embarks on celebrating its 100th anniversary.

"This hospital is such an asset for Pittsburgh. I got great advice from doctors. There were so many kind people there, from public relations people to doctors and nurses. Everything that we experienced through Magee was wonderful," said former patient Erin Perry of Ohio Township.

Perry, who gave birth to sextuplets almost eight years ago, should know.

It took months of planning and a team of 42 to assist in the extraordinary birth of her six babies -- now second-graders at Avonworth Elementary School -- who were delivered in about three minutes and spent months in the hospital's neonatal care unit.

"I was at the hospital every day for more than four months, so I really do know what a great place it is," said Perry, 41, who volunteers as a fundraiser for the hospital.

Now formally known as Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, the hospital was founded on Jan. 19, 1911. Its first patients included 14 women who arrived in horse-drawn ambulances at the hospital's make-shift facility at Forbes Avenue and Halket Street in Oakland.

The hospital still sits on the site of the Christopher L. Magee estate once known as The Maples. Magee, a state senator and Pittsburgh political boss who died in 1901, stipulated in his will that after his wife's death, the estate should be used to build and endow a hospital. …

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