New WPAHS CEO Plans to Move Health System Forward
b y John Fries
It’s a new day—and a new era--at West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS),
as the region’s second largest health system moves forward, full-speed-ahead,
under the direction of a new leader--one who played a key role in creating
Jerry Fedele, formerly the system’s senior vice president and general
counsel, was appointed president and CEO last October. This is the same
Jerry Fedele who, just a few years ago, spent many long hours helping
to craft the agreement that would merge West Penn Hospital, Allegheny
General Hospital, and four related community hospitals to form WPAHS.
Less than four months into the job, he said things are going very well.
He spoke with enthusiasm about his new role, and the bright future he
envisions for the system.
"I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead the West Penn Allegheny
Health System," said Fedele. "We’re going in a positive direction. The
health system is strong and vital. Patient volume is up, and there’s
a real sense of unity among the six hospitals.
With more than 18 years of healthcare leadership experience, Fedele
has the background and credentials to lead the system and its 12,000
employees. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University
of Pittsburgh, an MBA from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
at Pitt, and a Juris Doctor degree from the Duquesne University School
of Law, where he was class valedictorian.
He started his health care career in 1986 as general counsel at West
Penn Hospital, eventually moving into senior management. In 1999 and
2000, during the formation of WPAHS, Fedele worked closely with the
man he would ultimately succeed, then-system president and CEO Charles
Over the past three years, the system has begun to grow and thrive.
Fedele plans to continue that growth.
"The organization has been stabilized financially, and the hospitals
are now enjoying positive physician recruitment, patient growth, and
investment in cutting-edge programs and technologies," he said. "West
Penn Allegheny Health System is moving forward as an integrated system,
and will play a key role in regional health care," said Fedele.
The six facilities, with more than 2,000 beds, serve not only Pittsburgh
with a continuum of care, but several surrounding states as well.
"Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital are excellent tertiary
and quantenary facilities. They are working together in a collaborative
manner, and are developing new programs—for example, a new, in vitro
fertilization center, and a joint residency and fellowship programs
for educating physicians."
He noted that WPAHS is well-positioned to provide community care through
its hospitals that are strategically located in growth regions: Alle-Kiski
Medical Center in the northeast, Canonsburg General Hospital in the
south, Forbes Regional Hospital in the east suburbs, and Suburban General
Hospital just to the north.
"We’re already seeing the benefits of collaboration," said Fedele, who
explained that the system’s management structure includes a president
at each hospital, all of whom meet regularly.
Fedele, originally from Greensburg, lives in Wexford with his wife,
Terry, and three children: Katie, a sophomore at the University of Michigan;
Jeff, a senior at North Catholic High School; and Andy, a sophomore
at North Allegheny high school.
A few of Fedele’s favorite pastimes are photography, golf, and watching
college basketball—especially when Pitt,, his alma mater, is playing.