Photo by Alyse Horn
The Northside and Allegheny General Hospital representatives after the re-signing of the agreement.

By Alyse Horn

On Thursday, January 30, the Northside community and Allegheny General Hospital celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Allegheny General Hospital Northside Partnership, a groundbreaking agreement that formed the framework of a long-standing trust.

The hospital and neighboring communities pledged mutual commitment to their common goals of improved housing, education, employment, economic development, and health and wellness on the Northside.

The 25th anniversary of this partnership was celebrated with a re-signing ceremony at AGH, compromised of representatives from the Northside neighborhoods and AGH.

Senior Vice President Debra Caplan led the ceremony, opening the night by saying how the partnership faced challenges over the years but it has and will continue to be a wonderful experience that benefits the Northside.

Walk Nalducci, President of the Northside Leadership Conference, light heartedly joked about the first meeting between AGH and the Northside neighborhoods and the disagreements that took place.

Nalducci said shaping the partnership did not come easy, but the people who were dedicated to make it happen are also the people who have shaped the history of the Northside and contributed to making it what it is today.

“[AGH] is our hospital, and they have become our friend and partner,” Nalducci said. “The next 25 years will be that much better.”

Mayor William Peduto also spoke during the ceremony and praised NSLC and AGH for what it has accomplished over the past 25 years, noting how rare it is to see a partnership of this kind.

“If you lose them, you could do nothing to replace them,” Peduto said.

Incorporated into a ceremony was a slideshow that told the story of the partnership and all of the good that has come from it, including achievements and initiatives such education employment fairs, homeownership, student exploration, health initiatives, and more.

After the re-signing of the agreement, which happens every two years between AGH and Northside neighborhood representatives that are organized by NSLC, Executive Director of the Northside Leadership Conference Mark Fatla shared his remarks to bring the ceremony to a close.

Fatla said the people who started this partnership 25 years ago did not do it because they wanted to be applauded or awarded; they did it because they wanted to make the changes needed in the community.

Through the partnership, thousands of children have been helped and decent jobs have been created, Fatla said.

“We’re not done… this is a 25 year foundation,” Fatla said.

After 25 years, the relationship stands as the longest running partnership between a community and major medical institution in the region. AGH and the 15 neighborhood groups continue to work together to realize their common goals for the Northside community.