By Jon Delano

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — UPMC has embargoed the names of the architects and the artistic renderings of the three new medical centers until Wednesday, Sept. 26.

But KDKA-TV money editor Jon Delano has seen them, and there’s no doubt these buildings will change the landscape in Uptown next to Mercy Hospital, in Shadyside next to Shadyside Hospital, and in Oakland next to Presbyterian Hospital.

The project will also inject money and jobs into the region.

“It’s really, really exciting,” says Leslie Davis, UPMC’s chief operating officer and the person responsible for UPMC’s hospitals and medical services.

Davis can’t wait to share the latest on UPMC’s $2 billion expansion project.

“We are taking our three incredible specialty hospitals, adding three more, taking the science and technology that we can incubate, develop, nurture, and then spread to our 42 hospitals,” she said.

UPMC has selected three architects to design the Vision & Rehabilitation Hospital in Uptown, the Heart & Transplant Hospital in Oakland, and the Hillman Cancer Hospital in Shadyside.

UPMC won’t share full visuals yet, but KDKA has pictures of part of one of the new hospitals, along with what Davis calls the iconic glass design for the Heart & Transplant Hospital.

“The building in Oakland will look a little disruptive because that’s the kind of science and technology that we would like to employ in these facilities,” Davis said.

upmc UPMC Previews Designs, Features Of Three New Hospitals

(Photo Credit: UPMC)

The private patient rooms will be equipped with almost sci-fi communication features.

“Really, the ability for patients to touch a screen and see information, maybe about their medical record, have the ability to communicate with other specialists, and then, of course, using these monitors to communicate with loved ones who may not be able to come into the hospital,” Davis said.

So the first building to go up?

KDKA has learned that ground could be broken for the new Vision & Rehabilitation Hospital next to Mercy Hospital sometime early next year, and it will be the first hospital completed by 2021.

With 40,000 patients from outside the region already, UPMC is growing.

“We know that by building three new specialty hospitals that number is likely to double or triple over the next few years,” Davis said.

UPMC is already both Pennsylvania’s and this region’s largest employer, and Davis predicts many more new jobs in the years ahead, not just to build the new hospitals but also to staff the three new buildings.

With all this growth, KDKA’s Jon Delano asked Davis if she agreed that no one at UPMC should be paid less than $15 an hour.

Davis agreed and said UPMC was raising its minimum wage to that level by January of 2021.