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Chabad Jewish Center of Monroeville presents: The 2nd Annual LIGHT UP THE NIGHT

Chabad Jewish Center of Monroeville presents:

The 2nd Annual LIGHT UP THE NIGHT

Monday, December 3, 2018 – 5:30 pm

At the Miracle Mile Shopping Center on William Penn Highway

Giant Glow-In-The-Dark Menorah lighting and Chanukah celebration!

Featuring: Fire Truck Gelt Drop

Musical performance by: The Gateway Elementary 4th Grade Chorus

Free of charge and open to the whole community!

For more information visit: www.jewishmonroeville.com.

Sponsorships available

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Monroeville Hello Bistro Sets Opening Date

Hello Bistro says hello to Monroeville Nov. 19 when the local restaurant chain opens its latest location in the Miracle Mile Shopping Center.

The grand opening celebration from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday will include prizes and giveaways, and several diners will win free salads for the year. The restaurant also will be offering the new Hello Monroeville Salad for a limited time at the new eatery.

The restaurant is known for its 55-item salad bar, burgers and grilled sandwiches. Orders can be placed at the counter and then delivered to the table, or placed online for easy pickup.

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Breakfast With Santa

Event sponsored by:
Re/Max Heritage & Jaden’s Catering Center

Children ages 2-10 years old

Parents – bring your cameras to take a photo with Santa!
Featuring breakfast, time to give Santa your Wish List, Chinese Auction and a take-home craft!

Proceeds benefit:
– Children’s Miracle Network
– Big Brothers and Sisters
– Beverly’s Birthdays
– Toys for Pittsburgh Tikes
– Pittsburgh Athletic Association

If you have any questions or would like to purchase tickets in advance, please contact Deborah Friedman at 412.848.8042.

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Supply Drive

The Human Needs & Resources Board is collecting new toiletry items for local food bank visitors.

What: toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, body wash, etc.
When: from Saturday, October 20 – Saturday, December 1
Where: Donation Drop-Off boxes will be located at the Monroeville Public Library and Senior Center

Do you see a need in the community? We want to help!
Email: humanneeds@monroeville.pa.us

Who We Are:
– We are a volunteer board comprised of seven Monroeville residents

What We Do:
– Collect and assess data on social problems and needs of the Municipality
– Investigate sources of funding appropriate for assisting in the solution of social problems
– Utilize resources now existing, including increased cooperation among community groups
– Report quarterly to Council regarding community needs and resources

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Monroeville to host ‘Trail of Treats’ event Oct. 27

The Monroeville Recreation Department will sponsor a “Trail of Treats” event at the Monroeville Community Park later this month.

The event, which includes a costume contest, a hayride and a Halloween movie, will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Monroeville Community Park (West).

The free event will feature a “trail of treats” that begins near the children’s maze continuing along the trail behind the gazebo to the parking lot near the amphitheater. There will be tables with candy on them along the trail.

In case of rain, the event will move to the Monroeville Senior Center at 6000 Gateway Campus Blvd.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, dcarr@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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Much anticipated Coast & Main restaurant opens in Monroeville Mall

Coast & Main will serve surf, turf, elegance and an arsenal of fresh flavors when it opens Tuesday in the Monroeville Mall.

The bi-level seafood and chophouse is owned by Ricky and Michelle Kirsop and sits in the spot (705 Mall Circle Drive) that was previously occupied by Monterey Bay Fish Grotto.

Mr. Kirsop also is the executive chef and presents a Pacific-Northwest inspired menu having grown up in Portland, Ore. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, he worked in a couple of the city’s restaurants before moving to Seattle to continue in the culinary path. He became an executive chef by the time he turned 24 and later was named the regional chef for the casual chain, Cucina! Cucina! In 2002, he came East and joined McCormick & Schmick’s in Reston, Va. He was transferred to Philadelphia a year later and moved to Pittsburgh in 2005 to continue working for the upscale steak and seafood chain.

“I am a huge Steelers fan and that’s what prompted me to move here,” he says.

He has not looked back since, especially since he also met his wife, Michelle, a Pittsburgh native, while he was the executive chef and she the general manager at McCormick. The couple also are the co-founders of Savor Pittsburgh, where the city’s finest chefs have gathered for the past 12 years to share their culinary creations and compete for the best dish of the year. The fundraiser benefits Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation and the 13th edition will be held on Sept. 27 at Petersen Events Center.

The Kirsops live in Plum and wanted to open a restaurant close to home. “Moreover, there are nine or 10 steakhouses in Downtown Pittsburgh but there is no fine-dining restaurant in Monroeville,” Mr. Kirsop says, on opening the dining spot in the mall.

He initially wanted to open just a steakhouse with a small section devoted to seafood but when he thought about the fish, crab and mussels he grew up on in the Pacific Northwest, he decided to divide the menu of small plates, entrees and happy hour items, into Coast and Main equally.

If you go:

Where: Coast & Main, 705 Mall Circle Drive, Monroeville Mall.

When: Open for lunch and dinner daily. Happy Hour: 4-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday in the Lounge only.

Contact:. 412-380-6022; www.coastandmain.com

The surf part of the small-plate menu features East and West Coast oysters (half dozen, $14 and $16), small and tender steamed Manila clams ($14), Penn Cove mussels in a smoked tomato and saffron broth ($12), jumbo shrimp in a piquant tropical pineapple-mango cocktail sauce with a underlying bite of horseradish ($15). Entree choices include yellowfin tuna that comes with a togarashi sesame crust or a pistachio pesto crust for $38 and pillowy soft scallops that are seared and served with a Thai chili sauce or spinach Boursin cream ($36).

A creamy bisque is made with Dungeness crab ($12) that brings back fond memories for Mr. Kirsop. “I used to go Dungeness crab fishing and place traps in the water [off the coast of Washington state]. And then I would cook them right then and there,” he says.

Prime grade certified Angus beef is the star when it comes to “Main” items on the menu. Wagu ($64), bone-in filet ($56), porterhouse ($54) and a 38-day dry aged ribeye ($70) are served with sauces such as Cajun mushroom cream and red wine demi glace and toppings like roasted fig and shallots and a five-ounce lobster.

Other signature meats include pork chop with cherry bacon relish ($28), roasted chicken with lemon-artichoke butter ($26) and lamb chops with mint chimichurri ($42).

All desserts such as kailua cheesecake, triple-layered chocolate cake and Key Lime pie are made in-house.

A full-fledged bar is by the entrance on the lower level near the lounge and pours red and white wines and beer from the Pacific Northwest and California in addition to international ones. The happy hour menu is extensive, just like the main one, and includes choices of bruschetta, tacos, tostadas, sliders and chips and dips.

Even as the evening sun shines brightly through the big glass windows in the front, the blue hues at Coast & Main from the walls to the chairs and booths to the carpet set a cool and elegant tone. Spacing is generous in the 8,200-square-feet restaurant that seats 263. There also are two private dining areas where wine dinners, meetings and private events can be held.

The restaurant is open every day of the week for lunch and dinner and Happy Hour is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

So Mr. Kirsop has a hectic workload ahead but he is unfazed.

“I am used to working 17 to 18 hours a day and that’s the decision I made because I love what I do,” he says. “I am going to work until I drop.”

Arthi Subramaniam: asubramaniam@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1494.

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Smokey Robinson to make appearance at Rotary Club of Monroeville fundraiser

Smokey Robinson will attend a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Monroeville in November.

The musician and record producer will be presenting and sampling his wine collection starting at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.

Participants can purchase tickets starting at $125 at tinyurl.com/RotaryGala2018. Proceeds will benefit the Rotary club.

Those in attendance can sample some of Robinson’s wine with dinner. Pittsburgh’s Finesse Band will play music and there will also be a dessert auction.

The event’s attire is ballroom, black-tie optional.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, dcarr@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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No Mutation Needed: New Treatments Being Developed for a Small Group of Parkinson’s Patients May Work for Most People with the Disease

7/5/2018

PITTSBURGH – A gene linked to 3 to 4 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease could play an important role in most, if not all, people with the disease, according to new study findings from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC. The gene, called LLRK2, was previously thought to only cause disease when mutated, but researchers have found that it may be just as significant in the non-hereditary form of the disease, according to the study published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“This discovery is extremely consequential for Parkinson’s disease because it suggests that therapies currently being developed for a small group of patients may benefit everybody with the disease,” said senior author J. Timothy Greenamyre, M.D., Ph.D., Love Family Professor of Neurology in Pitt’s School of Medicine, chief of the Movement Disorders Division at UPMC and director of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND).

Parkinson’s affects one million people in the U.S. and as many as 10 million worldwide and has no known cause, but is thought to involve both genetic and environmental factors. In 2004, researchers discovered that mutations in the LRRK2 gene (commonly pronounced as “Lark2”), overactivated the protein and caused Parkinson’s in a small group of people, often in a hereditary fashion. However, the LRRK2 protein is difficult to study because it is present in extremely small amounts in nerve cells that are affected in Parkinson’s.

To overcome this problem, Greenamyre and his team engineered a molecular ‘beacon’ that attached to LRRK2 and glowed red under a microscope only if the protein was active. This allowed them to also reveal the nerve cells in which LRRK2 was active in the brain.

The researchers applied the test to postmortem brain tissue donated to science by Parkinson’s patients, none of whom had mutations in LRRK2, and healthy individuals of approximately the same age.

Remarkably, the test indicated that in ‘dopamine neurons,’ which are the brain cells most commonly affected in Parkinson’s, LRRK2 was highly active in individuals affected by the disease, but not in the healthy individuals. This suggests that LRRK2 overactivity may be important in all people with Parkinson’s, not just those who have a mutation in the gene.

A second major finding of the study was that it connected two proteins that have separately been recognized as important players in causing Parkinson’s – LRRK2 and alpha-synuclein. Accumulation of alpha-synuclein leads to the formation of structures called ‘Lewy bodies,’ a hallmark of Parkinson’s.

While enormous efforts have been focused on alpha-synuclein, the cause of its accumulation is still poorly understood. Using a rodent model of Parkinson’s induced by an environmental toxin, Greenamyre and his team discovered that activation of LRRK2 blocked the mechanisms that cells use to clear excess alpha-synuclein, leading directly to its accumulation. The researchers then treated the animals with a drug currently being developed to treat familial Parkinson’s patients by blocking LRRK2 activity. The drug prevented the accumulation of alpha-synuclein and formation of Lewy bodies.

“LRRK2 ties together both genetic and environmental causes of Parkinson’s, as we were able to show that external factors like oxidative stress or toxins can activate LRRK2, which can in turn cause Lewy bodies to form in the brain,” noted lead author Roberto Di Maio, Ph.D., an assistant professor in Greenamyre’s lab and a researcher at the Ri.MED Foundation.

In the future, Greenamyre expects to build on these findings to discover how neurodegeneration caused by LRRK2 overactivation can be prevented, and identify how oxidative stress and environmental toxins cause LRRK2 activation.

Study co-authors include Eric K. Hoffman, Ph.D., Emily M. Rocha, Ph.D., Matthew T. Keeney, Briana R. De Miranda, Ph.D., Teresa G. Hastings, Ph.D., Alevtina Zharikov, Ph.D., and Amber Van Laar, M.D., from PIND; Antonia Stepan, Ph.D., and Thomas A. Lanz, Ph.D., from Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development; Julia K. Kofler, M.D., of Pitt; Edward A. Burton, M.D., of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and PIND; Dario R. Alessi, from the University of Dundee; and Laurie H. Sanders, Ph.D., of Duke University and PIND.

This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants NS100744, R21ES027470, NS095387 and AG005133, the Blechman Foundation, the American Parkinson Disease Association, University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, Michael J. Fox Foundation grant 6986, Medical Research Council grant MC_UU_12016/2, and friends and family of Sean Logan. The University of Dundee’s Division of Signal Transduction Therapy Unit received support from pharmaceutical companies Boehringer‐Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, and Merck KGaA. Greenamyre briefly held an advisory position at Pfizer. The authors declared no further competing financial interests.

For Journalists

Arvind Suresh
Manager
412-647-9966
suresha2@upmc.edu

Madison Brunner
Communications Specialist I
412-578-9193
brunnerm@upmc.edu

Pitt Health Sciences UPMC Life Changing Medicine

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Monroeville Police Fighting Crime With Surveillance Cameras

MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — For the last few months, the Monroeville Police Department has been fighting crime with technology.

Cameras have been set up all around the municipality to catch suspected criminals.

“If you come here to commit a crime, you will be seen, you will be caught,” said Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala.

The district attorney is praising the surveillance camera monitors at the Monroeville Police station, saying it’s changing the movement of crime by using technology.

Monroeville has had the system in place for three months.

So, with 25 cameras in place in Monroeville, several at busy intersections like at 22-48, the question is – are the cameras doing what they were designed to do?

Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole admits he didn’t embrace the technology at first, but says now, it has gone above and beyond his expectations.

“Last night, we had an incident where we assisted the Pitcairn Police Department with a double shooting. We were able to place the getaway vehicle after we did some detective work and be able to go back and trace where it left and how it left our community,” Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole said.

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Additional Surveillance Cameras Now Operational in Monroeville

ADDITIONAL SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS NOW OPERATIONAL IN MONROEVILLE

Pittsburgh PA —- Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., along with officials from Monroeville, announced today that additional surveillance cameras are now operational throughout Monroeville. The pledge to provide additional cameras had been announced a few weeks ago at a meeting of Monroeville business owners and community leaders and is a collaborative effort involving the DA’s Office, the Municipality of Monroeville, Visit Monroeville and the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“These additional cameras are a top priority for our community and will be a very effective tool for our police force,” said Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko.

“I am very pleased at the cooperation of our business leaders and residents banding together for the common goal of ensuring that Monroeville is a safe place to raise families and to provide a positive experience to everyone visiting our community,” added Sean Logan, President of Visit Monroeville and the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The cameras will stream back to a central location where they will be monitored in real time, part of a two year effort to utilize the latest technology at a time when the City of Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania are being recognized nationally for their roles in technological innovations.

“The safety of a community should be an inclusive process and cameras are an important part of that process because we see what the camera sees in an objective fashion,” said D.A. Zappala. “The way that Monroeville has implemented this project with input from all the stakeholders should be a model for other communities.”

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MEDIA NOTE: REPORTERS WISHING GET MORE INFORMATION CAN CALL SEAN LOGAN AT (412) 856-7422.

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12 Video Cameras to Act as Eyes for Monroeville

Samson X Horne
By Samson X Horne | Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, 10:57 p.m.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office will provide 12 high-resolution video cameras to monitor vehicles throughout Monroeville in an effort to reduce crime.

District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. told Monroeville public officials, businesses leaders and some residents about the initiative Tuesday.

“We’ve found over the years that the best deterrent to crime is knowing you’re going to be seen and knowing you’re going to get caught,” Zappala said.

Supplying the new cameras, which have license plate recognition capabilities at a cost of about $4,000 each, “is a continuation of what was started after the shooting at the mall,” said Mike Manko, spokesman for Zappala.

Officials declined to disclose locations for the cameras.

Police say Tarod Thornhill, 18, of Penn Hills opened fire into a crowd at Macy’s at the Monroeville Mall in 2015, wounding three people. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 17. Officials implemented a youth escort policy on weekends and reopened a police substation in the mall after the shooting.

The cameras through the DA’s office are an expansion of surveillance cameras in place in Monroeville, said Sean Logan, CEO of Visit Monroeville and president of the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Monroeville Police Department monitors those cameras.

“We’re really just bringing crime prevention to the next level. We have to take the next step in crime prevention, and that’s technology with cameras,” Logan said.

The recognition software in the cameras will serve as “virtual checkpoints” in Monroeville, which is home to a busy shopping district, hospitals, the Community College of Allegheny County’s Boyce campus, and the Monroeville Convention Center. About 28,000 people live in the community, located at the “crossroads” of Interstate 376, Route 22 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko encouraged business leaders to get involved by installing their own cameras that would link with the other cameras; doing so, he said, not only will assist with law enforcement but will “help your customers feel safe.”

“Let’s be honest, bad guys don’t want their face on film,” Erosenko said.

Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole said such a linked system is possible.

Two men were wounded in a daylight shooting June 21 outside a shopping center near the Monroeville Mall. Their injuries were not life-threatening. Bullets damaged the storefronts of two businesess.

“With these cameras, if you’re going to commit a crime, you’re going to get caught,” Logan said.

Samson X Horne is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at 412-320-7845 or shorne@tribweb.com.

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Fitzgerald Announces Launch of Parks Trails App for County Parks System

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced today the launch of a new Trails App which will give users information on trails available in the Allegheny County Parks System. Using their mobile devices, residents and visitors alike will be able to discover and navigate park trails both in advance of a hike, and while in the park too.

“We’re excited to launch the Trails App for our residents and visitors. Our nine county parks contain 12,000 acres and attract over two million visitors each year,” said Fitzgerald. “For hikers, being able to plan hikes, as well as utilize information while hiking will make their experience even better. We’re proud of the work that has been done on this effort to date and look forward to the continued offerings that this technology will provide to park users.”

The app focuses on navigation information for all users at each of the county’s nine parks. All trails – blazed, unmarked and paved – are shown in the map. Information on the blazed trails also includes length and difficulty (based on a hiker’s perspective). When the mobile device’s GPS is turned on, the app can also provide live elevation information when on a blazed trail. Additionally, users will have access to current weather conditions, alerts and upcoming forecasts from the National Weather Service.

“Our parks are a wonderful resource for so many different organizations and groups, many of which take full advantage of our many trails,” said Council Member John Palmiere, Chair of County Council’s Parks Committee. “Having a resource such as this app which makes the users’ experience better, safer and more enjoyable ensures that residents and visitors have a good, positive interaction with our parks system.”

The Division of Computer Services partnered with Esri, a geographic information systems (GIS) mapping software company, to create a product using the county’s GIS data. Working with Esri, the Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group, and the Allegheny County Park Rangers, the data and information collected was developed into an application that reflects current conditions for users. Work on future versions of the app will include information on trailheads, parking options, shelters and restroom facilities.

The map-based, GPS-enabled app is available and free to download in the Apple App Store. It will be available through the Android Play Store by the end of the week. The app can be found by searching “Allegheny County Parks Trails.”

# # #

Office of the County Executive
101 Courthouse • 436 Grant Street • Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone (412) 350-6500 • Fax (412) 350-6512

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This Region Needs the Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension

This Region Needs the Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension

Late last year the Construction Legislative Council issued a report reviewing a number of key transportation projects essential for the economic future of our region. On this list was the completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway link from Route 51 to Monroeville, with extension of the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway to the expressway.

The report was developed by a committee of the region’s leading transportation engineers, planners and professionals with expertise in development and design of public infrastructure.

It was disappointing that the Post-Gazette took a negative position on the expressway project in its Feb. 2 editorial “False Promise: The New Mon-Fayette Segment Is a Road to Nowhere.”

Our region has shown its resilience through evolution and adoption of new industries such as health care, education, technology, robotics, financial services, film and most recently oil and natural gas. However, southwestern Pennsylvania is crippled by severe congestion that significantly limits our economic competitiveness.

In the case of the Mon Valley, a lack of modern highway access has significantly limited the redevelopment opportunities of brownfield industrial sites. Linking these sites to regional and interstate markets is essential to increase jobs in the Mon Valley.

In addition, transit access into Oakland and other parts of Pittsburgh from the extension of the busway to the expressway would both improve access of Mon Valley residents to job opportunities throughout the region and spur redevelopment of Mon Valley communities.

We hope that businesses and residents of the Mon Valley will take the opportunity to participate in meetings and hearings on the restart of the expressway project and offer their thoughts on the benefits of this valuable transportation improvement.

JIM WEAVER
Chairman
Construction Legislative Committee
Green Tree

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A New Pennsylvania Tourism Slogan? It’s About That Time

HARRISBURG PATRIOT NEWS
March 8, 2016

We’re going to bet Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers never really thought about how to make Pennsylvania stick in the common man’s mind as a travel destination.

But at the rate Pennsylvania’s going in the 21st Century, those guys from Independence Hall may soon start demanding royalties.

The state Tourism Office unveiled its new marketing slogan for state tourism promotion Tuesday, and it is – drum roll please: “Pennsylvania. Pursue Your Happiness.”

The accompanying logo is designed, officials said, to present a fresh look for Pennsylvania, with the hint of a smile.

The new tagline is central to a re-branding effort tagged to traditional travel guides and paid advertising, as well as very 21st-Century social media campaigns that developers hope will spawn an inter-active conversation.

“We’re asking our social media followers to join the conversation and share photos of what makes them happy about travel in Pennsylvania using the hashtag #PATravelHappy,” Department of Community and Economic Development spokeswoman Lyndsay Kensinger said.

The slogan replaces “State of Independence,” the winner of a contest sponsored by former Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration that also happened to play off the Philadelphia-born Declaration of Independence.

“This new slogan encourages travelers to satisfy a core virtue which we all desire and can never have too much of — happiness,” Karen Winner Sed, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Tourism Partnership, said during the official unveiling at a Somerset County winery Tuesday.

“Whether you are looking to explore the outdoors, a historical attraction, or an urban setting the overarching motivator is happiness,” Winner Sed said.

The tourism partnership is a public-private entity that helped lead consumer research and brand development efforts to develop the new brand over the last 18 months, at a cost of roughly $500,000 split between state funds and private matches.

Because the initiative was kicked off and funded in the 2013-14 fiscal year, it was not stopped by this year’s budget impasse, Kensinger said.
DCED still has about $500,000 on hand to kick off the new campaign’s roll-out, which will be supplemented by additional private sector matches, according to Kensinger.

New PA Slogan

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Business Booms in Monroeville Medical Corridor with Forbes, UPMC East

Business Booms in Monroeville Medical Corridor with Forbes, UPMC East

Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko proudly refers to it as “mini Oakland,” the one-mile stretch of Mosside Boulevard housing rival hospitals owned by UPMC and Allegheny Health Network.

For Erosenko, business booms in a medical corridor with more jobs, more commerce and more competition between AHN’s community mainstay Forbes Hospital and the glistening, state-of-the-art UPMC East.

“Sincerely, it has been good not just for Monroeville residents, but for everyone out east,” the mayor said. “The competition has kept both health systems on the cutting edge, and that’s definitely not a bad thing.”

As UPMC postures to build a controversial hospital in the South Hills — less than a mile from AHN’s Jefferson Hospital — Erosenko points to the eastern suburbs as a model for coexistence of dueling hospitals.

An open question is whether 341-bed Jefferson Hospital can handle the competition. AHN lost $39 million in 2015, according to financial documents filed with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

David Holmberg, president and CEO of AHN’s parent company Highmark Health, is confident Jefferson will thrive. Still, he’s not thrilled with the prospect of a neighboring hospital in the South Hills.

“I don’t think we need more beds in the region,” Holmberg told the Tribune-Review. “Jefferson is an excellent facility. It has everything people need in the South Hills to take care of them. You have to ask what the motivations are for putting a hospital right next to a high-performing institution like that.”

UPMC plans to invest as much as $200 million to build the proposed 300,000 square-foot UPMC South, similar in size to UPMC East, with promises of 500 permanent jobs. The health care giant’s most recent plan was to build UPMC South in Pleasant Hills off Route 51 at Lindsay-Snyder Drive, although resident complaints could persuade UPMC to select an alternate site. A hearing on the plan before the Pleasant Hills zoning board is scheduled for April 25.

“We are optimistic that the UPMC proposal will foster sustained economic development in the 51 corridor,” said John Biedrzycki, vice president of the South Hills Chamber of Commerce. UPMC Health Plan is a member of the chamber. AHN is not.

Paul Wood, spokesman for UPMC, said motivation for building UPMC South is simple: thousands of UPMC Health Plan members live in communities along the Route 51 corridor that want and need a local hospital.

The South Hills proposal has opened a new chapter in an ongoing feud between UPMC and Highmark. As a result of the dispute, most UPMC hospitals no longer accept most Highmark insurance and UPMC Health Plan doesn’t contract with most Allegheny Health Network hospitals.

There are some exceptions. A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision issued in late November required UPMC to include seniors in a group of “vulnerable” Highmark patients that the state is requiring UPMC to continue treating until 2019, when a consent decree governing relations between the nonprofits expires. People with Highmark insurance who are disabled, poor or engaged in a “continuing course of treatment” at UPMC hospitals are also protected until 2019.

Another exception is Jefferson Hospital. Unlike the other hospitals in Allegheny Health Network, Jefferson admits anyone with UPMC Health Plan insurance because it has a separate contract with the insurer. The terms of that contract, including when it expires, are confidential, both systems said.

“We do provide access to UPMC patients at Jefferson, whereas UPMC has said to us, they don’t want to see Highmark customers,” Holmberg said. “They have made it very clear. So it’s a different motivation.”

BOOST IN SERVICES

When UPMC announced plans for a hospital in Monroeville, said Forbes Chief Medical Officer Mark Rubino, patients asked: “Why are they hurting you? Why are they trying to kill you?”

“Most cities are not building additional hospital beds in a stable population. Yet, that was the UPMC model,” Rubino said. “Here, we try to provide high quality, comprehensive acute care services. We need to have strong core services to do that. To have it diluted by excess bed capacity doesn’t really make sense.”

Mark Sevco, president of UPMC East, said demand prompted the opening of the Monroeville hospital. UPMC Shadyside was over capacity and 30 percent of its patients were driving into Pittsburgh from the eastern suburbs, he said. The $250 million UPMC East opened in 2012.

“Our strategy was to provide low-cost, high-quality care in a community where our patients live,” Sevco said.

Forbes executives point out their hospital is full-service, offering medical services that UPMC East does not, such as open heart surgery, inpatient psychiatric care, complex brain and spine surgery, trauma care and baby deliveries. Forbes is certified as a Level II trauma center, which Holmberg said saved lives during the April 9, 2014, stabbings of 20 students and an adult at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.

UPMC East is just one piece of a regional Western Pennsylvania network that satisfies the full range of patient needs, Sevco said. Trauma patients can be flown by helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian or Montefiore hospitals in Oakland. Magee-Womens Hospital offers quality women’s health care, he said.

At UPMC East, planners sought to avoid duplicating services of other UPMC hospitals, Sevco said. Planners left the more complicated procedures to doctors who perform the procedures more often. Research shows that medical teams that perform higher volumes of procedures often have better outcomes, he said.

UPMC East does medical imaging and heart procedures, has a critical care unit, a rehabilitation program and performs a broad range of surgeries, he said.

“In medicine, like most things in life, the more you do something the better you are at it,” Sevco said. “For us, it’s about supporting a network of coordinated patient care, not duplicating services within our network. The focus is integrated and we work very hard at making patient transfers seamless.”

Forbes took a hit when UPMC East opened, losing 17 percent of its emergency department patient volume, according to its president and CEO Duke Rupert. However, much of the volume has bounced back, he said.

“We still have our challenges going forward with UPMC East right here,” Rupert said. “Obviously, if you put another inpatient facility in the community, it starts to split the volume.

“I think the future is bright for Forbes, but it’s not without investment and time and expenses.”

RESIDENTS REACT

Since the formation of AHN in July 2013, Highmark has invested about $34 million in renovations, new technology and program expansions at Forbes.

Among them: a new trauma program, a new 20-bed intensive care unit, an expanded obstetrics and postpartum unit, installation of an electronic medical record system, a reconstructed emergency room waiting area, a dedicated patient elevator tower designed to improve the admission and transport of patients throughout the hospital and new signs atop and outside of the hospital.

The investments aren’t lost on Monroeville resident Kimberly Miller, 47, who wondered whether Forbes would survive after UPMC East opened.

“As a resident, I was very nervous that Forbes would immediately shut down and become a vacant eyesore in the community,” she said. “On top of that, there would be lost jobs. Nobody wants that.”

Miller, who three years ago switched from Highmark to a UPMC health insurance plan for her family, is thrilled with the convenience of UPMC East. A mother of four, she has made several visits to the emergency room for bumps, bruises and illnesses.

“The parking is great, there are low wait times and the building is super clean since it’s brand spanking new,” she said.

Although she hasn’t visited Forbes much since her switch in health insurance, she is pleased that Forbes is still around.

“They are certainly putting on the persona that they are making improvements and trying to stay a leader in health care out here,” she said.

Bernhard Erb, who served on Monroeville’s council from 2010 through 2014, said he believes UPMC’s plan is to continue growing locally, nationally and internationally. He joked that the only headache associated with UPMC East’s construction was creating an extra turning lane off Mosside into the hospital campus area.

“You’ve got great doctors at both facilities in Monroeville; you’ve got many of them moving to the region,” he said. “If the only benefit this new hospital brings to the South Hills is doctors and surgeons with six-figure salaries moving into the area, that’s still a great thing.”

Ben Schmitt and Wes Venteicher are Tribune-Review staff writers. Reach Schmitt at 412-320-7991 or bschmitt@tribweb.com. Reach Venteicher at 412-380-5676 or wventeicher@tribweb.com

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Monroeville Mall Announces Additional Security Upgrades

JUNE 30, 2015
MONROEVILLE MALL ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL SECURITY UPGRADES

Additional Security Upgrades Planned for Monroeville Mall
Monroeville, PA (June 30, 2015) – At a press conference today, Monroeville Mall officials announced additional security upgrades for Monroeville Mall, located in the Monroeville suburb of Pittsburgh. Security upgrades include the installation of an internal and external state-of-the-art video camera system. This cutting edge system will have both on and off-site monitoring capabilities. Monroeville Mall’s security provider will also take other measures to enhance visibility and maximize coverage of the center; including adding additional security hours and shifts.

This announcement comes on the heels of many other security measures that have already been put in place. A Monroeville Police Department Substation opened inside the mall in March and on-duty Monroeville Police officers will be available at the Police Substation during peak shopping hours. In addition, Monroeville Police will increase the number of patrolling officers throughout the malls interior and exterior.

In February, management launched a Youth Escort Policy (YEP), which requires anyone under the age of 18 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 21 on Friday and Saturday evenings after 6pm. This program has been met with positive feedback from customers, retailers, and Monroeville officials.

“Thank you Lance and CBL for your leadership in working with all of the retailers here at the mall, and with law enforcement officials and community leaders toward re-assuring shoppers that the mall at Monroeville is a terrific, convenient and safe place to shop,” said Mark Ionadi, Macy’s Representative.

In addition to the announced security upgrades, officials discussed their plans for the mall’s multi-million dollar renovation, currently underway. Once completed, the interior will feature an updated color scheme, new lighting fixtures to brighten common areas, and sleek, stainless steel railings lining the walkways.

Guests will discover modernized, soft-seating lounge stations designed for relaxation and conversation. Remodeled restrooms will feature new tile, granite, and cherry wood finishes. The food court will also receive a facelift that includes new furniture to complement the overall contemporary design. New benches and receptacles will also enhance the mall’s exterior appeal. In addition, the children’s play area will be updated with a brand new look, theme and play elements. The renovation is slated to be complete just in time for the 2015 holiday season with details about a renovation celebration and play area grand opening being announced later this year.

“Our commitment to the community is clear. We have and are continuing to make significant investments in Monroeville Mall through these security enhancements and the comprehensive revitalization,” said Lance Ivy, Regional Director of Management at CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., owner of Monroeville Mall. “Monroeville Mall has long held a special place in the community as a favored destination. Our goal through these upgrades is to ensure that shoppers can continue to expect a welcoming, vibrant destination to shop, dine, and spend time with family and friends for years to come.”

About Monroeville Mall
Owned and managed by Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., Monroeville Mall is a super-regional, two-level shopping center featuring Crazy 8, Christopher & Banks, Hollister Co., The Children’s Place, Rue 21 and White House | Black Market. Recent additions to Monroeville Mall include H&M, Cinemark Theatre, Gift-ology, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Soma, and Teavana. Monroeville Mall also features an 80,000 square-foot lifestyle streetscape expansion called “The District” featuring Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Jos. A. Bank, ULTA Cosmetics, Chico’s, and SAGA Japanese Steak House.

–END–

Post announcement coverage:
KDKA
WTAE
WPXI

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Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Monroeville Sign Affiliation Agreement

Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce, Visit Monroeville Sign Affiliation Agreement — Chamber Names Sean Logan President & CEO

For Immediate Release
May 27, 2015

Monroeville, PA – The Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) and Visit Monroeville signed an affiliation agreement today, marking the official beginning of a partnership between the two.

In addition, the MACC Board of Directors named Sean Logan President & CEO of the organization. Mr. Logan will continue to serve as Executive Director & CEO of Visit Monroeville.

“The agreement is designed to help strengthen both organizations,” said Sean Logan, Chief Executive Officer of Visit Monroeville and President of the Monroeville Area Chamber. “It also creates efficiencies by reducing overhead costs and sharing services.”

The management consolidation between MACC and Visit Monroeville will allow both organizations to align common missions, share resources and reduce administrative costs. While both organizations will retain their separate boards of directors and fiscal oversight, the staffs will combine under a joint Chief Executive Officer. A third advisory board will be created to oversee the partnership.

Visit Monroeville and the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce remain committed to their missions, which each play a role in continuing to promote Monroeville and the surrounding area as a great place to live, work, visit and do business.

Contact: Sean Logan – 412-856-7422

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About the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce: The Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce is a diverse, member-driven organization, focused on being an advocate to promote and advance business excellence and business alliances, thereby strengthening our local communities.

About Visit Monroeville: Visit Monroeville was established in 1987 to increase and serve the convention, trade show, and travel industry. The agency also works to promote local businesses and services – including hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments – to visitors to the region. The staff works closely with the staff of the Monroeville Convention Center to market and promote the region as a low-cost, high-quality location for trade shows and conventions. In addition to providing traditional meeting planning services, Visit Monroeville offers shuttle service to and from Monroeville’s meeting spaces, hotels, banquet facilities, and shopping.

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