In Defense of Jeffrey Romoff the Upmc CEO Should Be Heralded for Helping to Reinvent Pittsburgh, Writes Doctor

By Adalja, Amesh A | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), June 8, 2014 | Go to article overview

In Defense of Jeffrey Romoff the Upmc CEO Should Be Heralded for Helping to Reinvent Pittsburgh, Writes Doctor


Adalja, Amesh A, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Almost daily, a headline, article, tweet or blog post attempts to publicly shame Jeffrey Romoff, criticize his salary and belittle the health care empire that he and Dr. Thomas Detre built. I may be in the minority, but I do not believe Mr. Romoff deserves such a public shaming, as he has nothing to be ashamed about.

What Mr. Romoff, whom I have never met, has accomplished in the years of his leadership at UPMC is the construction of a world- class health care system the likes of which Pennsylvania - let alone Pittsburgh - has never known.

As someone who grew up in the Pittsburgh area, I personally witnessed the transformation of health care in the region, which was due almost single-handedly to the growth of UPMC.

In the health care industry, UPMC stands almost alone as capable of creating value and profits that are reinvested in the system to allow it to soar to even higher heights. Such ability not only provides unrivaled health care, it creates jobs for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians. For this achievement, UPMC should be lauded; instead, it is condemned and targeted for looting by unions and governments. Why this reaction?

It arises solely because people consider being profitable in the provision of health care sacrilegious. As if transgressing biblical laws against usury, UPMC broke the unwritten law of being successful in what has been considered exclusively the province of altruism. If people are not sacrificing themselves to provide health care, the conventional wisdom goes, they must be doing something evil.

In fact, it is the exact opposite.

Health care is no different than any other industry. In fact, because of its vital role, health care should be an industry in which success should be most praiseworthy, given that financial viability is essential for continued operations and the opportunity to purchase health care services. …

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