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New UPMC Children's president draws on 36 years of nursing experience to help her lead

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in Bloomfield.
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in Bloomfield.

On today’s episode of The Confluence: UPMC Children's Hospital has a new president, Diane Hupp, who is bringing 36 years of experience with the hospital, including more than a decade as the chief nursing officer; and we speak to Pittsburgh Action Against Rape’s executive director Lisa Perry about how the organization is marking 50 years of supportive services and education.

UPMC Children’s new president take on role after a nearly two decades as Chief Nursing Officer
(0:00 -11:10)

Last week, UPMC announced Diane Hupp would take over as the new president of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh effective Feb. 1.

Hupp has spent 36 years at the hospital, starting as a volunteer. Prior to this role, Hupp served as chief nursing officer, vice president of patient care services and vice president of operations.

“Having been here so long, [I have] a mutual level of respect with not only physicians, but frontline staff, frontline nurses, [and] more than ever right now, we must focus on our people,” says Hupp. She adds that in a time of a national healthcare worker shortage, retention should be a high priority.

Hupp says at Children’s Hospital, more than 100 nurses have been newly hired and are now being trained.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate for medical facilities that take federal funding through Medicare or Medicaid programs. Prior to that decision Dr. Donald Yealy, chief medical officer at UPMC, had said they were awaiting the high court’s ruling before requiring vaccination.

Hupp says UPMC Children’s Hospital is complying with the mandate, and so far, 90% of employees at the hospital are vaccinated, including health care workers and other staff members.

“We know the mandate is real, and we are working to get to full compliance,” says Hupp. “We do believe here at UPMC [that] education, encouragement is the way to go and the way to get all of our staff on board. We’re also making it easily accessible for them.”

Hupp says on-site vaccinations will be available in the coming weeks to help the unvaccinated staff meet government deadlines: Employees need to have received both vaccine doses by Feb. 28.

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape turns 50 years old
(11:11 - 22:30)

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) was the county’s first victim service agency, and as its oldest, is hitting a milestone of 50 years serving the Pittsburgh region.

“We were started by some fierce women who saw the need to address the issues of sexual violence and harassment in our community,” explains Lisa Perry, PAAR’s executive director. “Over the years we have grown as an organization to not only provide those immediate needs for those that are experiencing immediate sexual violence, but we also sit in the space of education and prevention, along with advocacy because what we do know over the last 50 years is that rape and sexual violence can be prevented.”

According to the City of Pittsburgh’s Uniform Crime Reporting dashboard, which was last updated early November last year, there were 82 reported offenses of rape in 2019. In 2020 that number dropped to 35 reported offenses, and the amount of reported offenses stayed about the same through November 2021, tallying 34 in total.

Perry says those numbers don’t reflect how many people actually experience rape or sexual violence. Some survivors PAAR serves may reach out for help long after the incident occurred, and Perry explains that sometimes media reports about other survivors and perpetrators of sexual assault may trigger someone into seeking help.

“We see about 3,000 clients a year at PAAR and that has been a steady number. The number doesn't change much, but the people do,” says Perry. She adds that her staff typically accompanies 500 victims a year in emergency departments.

Perry says during the pandemic, PAAR has shifted to more virtual counseling and hired more staff.

“This is not just a women’s problem, this is not just an LGBTQIA+ problem. This is everyone’s problem. … I think we have to educate ourselves on what this looks like and how we can help, and certainly PAAR’s role in that is extremely important.”

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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