Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

GIM News
Donna L. Bishop, Editor

Next issue:
April 2010

Submission deadline:
March 26, 2010


Happy Holidays from the Program for Health Care to Underserved Populations

The past year has been a busy one for the Program for Health Care to Underserved Populations (PHCUP). With the help of its partners, volunteers, and supporters, the PHCUP has been able to enhance and expand the capacity of the Birmingham Free Clinic. Initially founded in 1994, the clinic was recently moved from its cramped facility to a newly renovated space donated by the PHCUP's 15-year partner, The Salvation Army. Intake interviews in the clinic can now be conducted with privacy, and each patient is seen in one of four newly refurbished exam rooms.

Other exciting enhancements have also been made:

  • The PHCUP expanded the clinic pharmacy and will soon have new and larger medication cabinets.
  • Thanks to the generosity of volunteer faculty and fellow physicians from the UPMC Cardiovascular Institute, the PHCUP added a Cardiac Clinic, held monthly for patients with cardiac needs. With this clinic, there are now six specialty clinics, including the Guerrilla Eye Service and the Ear Nose and Throat Clinic, with volunteers from the UPMC Eye and Ear Institute, as well as the Dermatology Clinic, the SALUD Para Niņos Clinic, and the Mental Health Clinic.
  • With the help of the special fundraising efforts of the 2009 Pitt medical school class, the PHCUP purchased an ultrasound machine to be used to better diagnose patient illnesses.
  • With the support of General Internal Medicine, the PHCUP hired a full-time medical assistant to strengthen health care services at the Birmingham Free Clinic.

The improvements made over the past year will help the PHCUP provide better care for current patients and to serve the increasing number of patients who need care because of loss of employment and insurance coverage.

The PHCUP extends its thanks to everyone who volunteers at the Birmingham Free Clinic and the Women's Center and Shelter Clinic. With an exclusively volunteer staff of physicians, pharmacists, and students from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, the PHCUP is able to keep the costs of providing basic services amazingly low. However, more volunteer physicians are always needed. Even giving a few hours once a month is vital in helping to keep the clinics open and serve the large volume of patients seeking services. To find out how you can help, please contact Mary Herbert at

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