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Anatomy of a Bankruptcy

aherfillus.jpg (22293 bytes)
Daniel Marsula/Post-Gazette
When the once-prosperous Allegheny Health Education and Research Foundation filed for bankruptcy last summer, it had amassed more than a billion dollars in debt -- only a fraction of which it will ever be able to repay. How did the system, now being dismantled, ever get in such trouble? Was it bad luck? Bad decisions? Ambition? Greed? Deceit? In a six-part series the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at what killed AHERF.

Illustration: The story of Allegheny General Hospital’s transformation from a single prosperous hospital on the North Side to a statewide 14-hospital chain buried under a mountain of debt is full of twists and turns. Orchestrated by board Chairman William Penn Snyder III, left, and CEO Sherif Abdelhak, the hospital was victimized by bad judgment, overarching ambition and maybe even some bad luck.

Introduction
Timeline
The unwelcome discovery of a disaster
The rise of Sherif Abdelhak
The quest for a medical school
The march through Philadelphia
The struggle to stay afloat
Abdelhak, a profile
About the authors of this series
Series reprints



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