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 Hospitals 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.
unwelcome discovery of a disaster
rise of Sherif Abdelhak
quest for a medical school
march through Philadelphia
struggle to stay afloat
the authors of this series