Who We Are
We are Pitt Med students representing the leadership teams of the Health Outreach and Education Project (HOEP) and Students and Latinos United Against Disparities (SALUD). HOEP was founded in 1994 to help the Program for Health Care to Underserved Populations (PHCUP) staff their Birmingham Free Clinic (BFC) and Women’s Center Clinic with medical student volunteers.
The BFC is a community-partnered clinic that serves un- and underinsured and other medically vulnerable groups, at no cost to any patient, from across Allegheny, and some surrounding counties. It is one of the longest-operating free clinics in the state. In 1996, HOEP was expanded to include a team of student leaders to help coordinate the PHCUP’s new Women’s Center Clinic, which serves women recovering from intimate partner violence (IPV) in a shelter setting. SALUD was started in 1999 by Pitt Med students who partnered with the BFC to help uninsured Latinos in Allegheny County and was one of the first safety-net clinics in the region to do so.
Proper management of common health conditions for uninsured individuals can be financially insurmountable thus, access to basic care and medications, at no cost, can have a dramatic effect on quality of life. The student-supported services provided by the BFC and Women’s Center Clinic, and with the help of SALUD and HOEP students, allow for thoughtful continuous care in populations often left out of the healthcare sphere. Comprehensive preventative care and management of chronic health conditions alleviates health burdens on uninsured communities while minimizing the need for high-cost emergency care.
The University of Pittsburgh has recognized the importance of health professionals engaging with underserved and at-risk communities as many of us will practice in areas that require caring for this population in the future. As student leaders in collaboration with the PHCUP, we recruit and train medical and undergraduate student volunteers for the clinics, encourage students to advocate for the needs of the uninsured, medically vulnerable, victims of IPV, and uninsured Latinos and immigrants.
Through the clinics, HOEP and SALUD strive to provide quality, compassionate, culturally appropriate, and integrated care to vulnerable populations, while encouraging emerging health professionals to get involved in their community. As future healthcare providers, we are honored to have the opportunity to help those in need while actively learning how to care for underserved populations.
About Our Project
Every year, the medical student leadership teams of HOEP and SALUD host fundraising initiatives that support patient care at both clinics, as well as community outreach and student education. The continued strength of these programs serves to facilitate the care of important populations while providing meaningful educational opportunities for medical students. For us, this early exposure to community medicine lays important groundwork for becoming thoughtful physician advocates.
After nearly 30 years of calling the South Side of Pittsburgh its home, the Birmingham Free Clinic is on the move! Due to the clinic’s growth, and changes in property ownership, the BFC will be moving Uptown to the Mercy Community Care building at 1515 Locust Street, across from UPMC Mercy Hospital. In July, we will be helping Birmingham staff and volunteers get their new location ready and help to move and unpack! We plan to help Birmingham make a quick and smooth transition, to not only have as little disruption to patient care as possible, but also to help make this new space welcoming for patients and volunteers! A move of this magnitude requires many moving parts, including hundreds of flyers and postcards to alert patients and partners to the move; packing supplies, moving company costs, IT setup costs, paint, new signage, new furniture, cleaning costs, and of course elbow grease and excitement! Please help us get Birmingham into its new home and create a fresh, welcoming space for its patients, staff, and volunteers!
How You Can Help
Beyond the generous donation of volunteer time, the services and care that patients receive through Birmingham, HOEP and SALUD are supported in large part by generous giving from the Pitt community. Financial support received through EngagePitt and our Birmingham Live Auction Event has helped provide student and clinic volunteers with tools to help care for the patient population we serve, like laboratory testing (urinalysis, blood glucose, metabolic panels), preventative care (flu shots, equipment for blood pressure monitoring) and logistic support (secure filing cabinets, new exam tables). Money raised also goes toward longer-term goals of improving point of care ultrasonography and upgrading other diagnostic equipment.
We aim to raise at least $7,000 over the next five weeks to support the Birmingham Clinic in this significant change. With your support, we can help provide a smooth transition for the patients and volunteers of the Birmingham Clinic, keep disruption to patient care minimal, and provide improved clinical space.
We understand that not everyone is able to contribute financially but sharing our link through email and social media can still help us reach our goal! Please join us in our mission to provide excellent and compassionate care to those in most need throughout our community.
Thank you for your generosity!
Contributions received for this project shall be used in accordance with the purpose described herein, the terms in the FAQs and applicable law. For questions that cannot be answered in the FAQs, please call 412-648-4658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.