Meeting raises red flag

UPMC comes to Altoona to take over Altoona Regional hospital, tells us how great things will be, yet doesn’t bother to show up to a town-hall meeting to hear questions and concerns from the community.

You bet we have concerns. Being a no-show at this public forum is the latest red flag about UPMC.

I attended the town-hall meeting and heard legitimate questions about UPMC’s treatment of its workers at some of its other hospitals and the huge, unanswered question about how exactly UPMC will treat Highmark customers after 2014, when Highmark’s contract with UPMC expires.

It worries me that it is not willing to actually meet with and include people in the community.

More than 150 people were at the July 9 meeting. Elected officials from local, state and federal offices were there to hear us.

All we got from UPMC and the hospital was a letter from hospital CEO Jerry Murray directing us to the hospital website and to email or call the hospital with comments and concerns.

We need more from UPMC. A commitment to do right by UPMC Altoona employees, patients and real communication with our community would be a good start.

Jean Vaughn