At UPMC Shadyside, there’s an employee who made drastic moves early on at the hospital that ultimately changed the way COVID-19 patients were treatedBy Lindsay Ward

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Early last year, many of us had no real idea what COVID-19 was or the changes and devastation it would bring.

At UPMC Shadyside, there’s an employee who made drastic moves early on at the hospital that ultimately changed the way COVID-19 patients were treated

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“Do what’s best for the patients that are coming here, probably at the worst times of their lives,” said Pat Hogan, Director of Engineering & Maintenance at UPMC Shadyside.

For 45 years, Pat Hogan has worked in the heating and cooling industry, and for the last 11, he’s been the Director of Engineering and Maintenance at UPMC Shadyside.

(Photo Credit: UPMC)

He loves his job and his experience is evident, so surprises are few and far between.

But in February 2020, after learning that COVID-19 was spreading fast in China, Italy and New York, Pat knew the virus was serious.

“We knew it was going to be something that could substantially impact what we do,” said Hogan.

He said his team quickly started working with infectious disease experts. With fewer than a dozen rooms for patients with airborne illnesses, they knew they needed more.

They started transforming space on the 4th floor, then went to their Intensive Care Unit.

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“So we actually went into each room and installed a special HEPA filter to filter all the air and make it a negative space,” said Hogan.

They started with 11 rooms but ended up with more than 50.

As the pandemic worsened, month by month and more and more people started getting sick, the changes Pat and his team made early on — paid off. The hospital never ran out of space.

“I’ve been in maintenance for a long time, and these guys are the best I’ve ever worked with. I rely heavily on them, and they always come through for me,” said Hogan.

For Pat and many others, the pandemic created challenges never experienced before. But also opportunities.

He got to attend the biggest game of the year.

“One of the lucky participants that actually got a ticket to the Super Bowl this year from the Pittsburgh Steelers, so it’s been a wild ride.”

Now, with vaccinations on the rise, the end of the pandemic is hopefully getting closer. And as for Pat, another end is on the horizon.

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He plans to retire in December and is looking forward to spending more time with his family and celebrating a job well done.