Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

GIM News
Donna L. Bishop, Editor

Next issue:
December 2009

Submission deadline:
November 6, 2009


PHCUP Receives $90,000 in Donations from the Class of 2009

On May 7, 2009, the Program for Health Care to Underserved Populations (PHCUP) gave special recognition to the members of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Class of 2009 who raised $90,000 for renovations to the Salvation Army's Birmingham Clinic. This clinic is located on Pittsburgh's South Side and is one of several clinics overseen by the PHCUP.

"We could not be more thrilled and grateful to honor what the Class of 2009 has done for the Birmingham Clinic and the uninsured and medically vulnerable in Pittsburgh whom we serve," said PHCUP clinical director Mary Herbert, MPH.

Established in 1994, the PHCUP offers free health care to the region's uninsured working class and other medically vulnerable groups, such as homeless individuals, residents of substance abuse programs, and female victims of intimate partner violence. The program relies on volunteers, donations, fundraising efforts, and its community partner organizations—the Salvation Army and the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh—which provide rent-free space for its clinical sites. The Birmingham Clinic is the largest clinic in the program and the only completely free, walk-in clinic in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Members of the Class of 2009 took it upon themselves to raise $90,000 for the PHCUP. "We believe that leaving a legacy of community service at the end of our medical school tenure will serve as a testament to the calling of our future profession and as a model of our commitment to society for future medical school classes," said Brett Michelotti, fourth-year medical student and "90K from 2009" project coordinator.

With the help of individual donors, local foundation grants, and "90K from 2009" donations, the PHCUP and the Salvation Army moved the Birmingham Clinic in November 2008 into a much larger and newly renovated space that allowed for expanded and private exam rooms and a larger pharmacy and waiting room. Early "90K from 2009" donations helped fund replacement of the floor and computer hardware for an upcoming wireless patient database system.

As the largest contribution PHCUP has received in its history, the $90,000 donation has sparked much excitement among the organization's staff and volunteers.

"With our nation's long economic downturn, we've seen an increased need for the services that a program like PHCUP and its Birmingham Clinic can provide in the community," said Ms. Herbert. "The students' donation could not have come at a more crucial time to support the growing needs of our patients and expansion of the clinic. We're hoping to use the funds to support clinic diagnostic equipment, supplies, and increased staffing."

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