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UPMC picks leader in effort to streamline care methods, costs

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center today will announce the promotion of one of its top executives and medical researchers to a newly created position designed to meld new ideas for disease treatment with the need to reduce health care costs.

Starting Oct. 1, Steven Shapiro, currently associate medical and science director for the International and Commercial Division, will fill the post of chief medical and scientific officer for the entire UPMC system.

"When you think of a chief medical officer you think of someone fixing problems and trouble-shooting," said Dr. Shapiro, 54, who came to UPMC from posts at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2006. "But in this position, I'll help fine-tune some of the care delivery systems we've put in place."

The fine-tuning will be the result of pilot programs aimed at everything from how to reduce readmissions, to making use of in-home monitoring, to studying which patients might react better to certain diseases.

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