Public Health Directions: Winter 2012 - 2013

PHMC Health Centers Get a New Look

Recently, Mary Howard Health Center and PHMC Care Clinic received a facelift: new window wraps that brighten up the clinics and invite clients in with their fresh, clean look. The updated look represents PHMC’s integrated network of health centers working together to bring high-quality primary care to at-risk communities throughout the Philadelphia area.

“Why I Love PHMC”: PHMC Employees Share Their Stories

employeesHear firsthand from employees across the organization as they share their stories about working at PHMC, including the challenges they face day to day, their favorite parts of the job and more. Learn about the diverse ways PHMC’s people impact public health. Click here to view the video.

Students Speak about CTI

ctiMetropolitan Career Center (MCC) and its nonprofit career school, Computer Technology Institute (CTI), educate and train individuals with limited access to resources to connect them to employers and help meet the changing needs of the workforce. MCC and CTI encourage sustainable careers and economic independence by building a supportive learning environment in which students receive personalized attention. To further that mission, CTI, an approved and accredited training provider through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and one of the few nonprofit secondary career schools in Pennsylvania, offers an associate degree in specialized technology and a diploma in health information technology. Here are a few CTI students sharing their academic experiences.

Our HIV/AIDS Experts on TV

hivIn conjunction with World AIDS Day, December 1, PHMC commemorates 26 years of HIV/AIDS research in Philadelphia. Since 1987, PHMC has sought to reduce infections, increase access to care and address persistent disparities experienced by marginalized groups infected with HIV—all through intensive research and evidence-based initiatives. In this video from PHL17’s In Focus show, PHMC HIV/AIDS Researcher Lee Carson and PHMC Care Clinic Clinical Director Alvin Kingcade discuss the topic.

SIHLE’s The Hype Hits the Airwaves

Every week, a group of teenage girls gathers to produce The Hype, a show for, by and about young women. It airs every Thursday at 6 p.m. on Comcast Channel 66. The Hype features teens from the Philadelphia area talking about health and wellness, fashion and beauty, lifestyles and relationships, and current events. Participants from PHMC’s Sisters

hypeInforming Healing Living & Empowering (SIHLE) produce the show. SIHLE is a monthly healthy lifestyles workshop aimed at reducing HIV sexual risk behaviors, improving personal communication skills, identifying and maintaining healthy relationships and promoting gender and ethnic pride among young African American women ages 14 to 18. Link here for an episode of The Hype, “What’s Love Got to Do with It? Abusive Relationships.”

To learn more about SIHLE, visit its website.

In March, the Out-of-School Time (OST) program received a $15,500 empowerment grant from the Motorola Mobility Foundation. The grant, given to non-profit organizations that leverage mobile technology and applications to help build stronger communities, will fund a video library to help educate, inform and empower OST providers.

Since 2009, PHMC has served as the intermediary for 180 OST programs funded by the City of Philadelphia, all of which implement a project-based learning (PBL) approach to promote youth-driven, rigorous programming that exposes youth to new learning and develops 21st-century skills. To support PBL programs in planning and implementing quality projects, PHMC has developed a range of workshops and coaching opportunities, including convening a small learning community cohort. “While these supports are valuable, there is a need for additional online resources to reach those staff who cannot easily attend trainings or dedicate the time necessary for coaching,” says Tyler Richendollar, OST program specialist.

With the Motorola Empowerment Grant, PHMC will record video tutorials from the workshops and post them to the OST PBL Blog, making them available to staff both in and outside the PHMC network. Staff in the learning community cohort will receive video cameras to record the progress of their projects. Footage from their programs will be used for coaching and to inform workshop instruction. PHMC will post footage of high-quality projects to the blog and create a video library for practitioners. This video library will be accessible and free of charge to all afterschool providers. “The video library will help providers save time,” says Richendollar. “Each video will target key issues that OST providers want to learn about. The library will help increase effectiveness and familiarity with OST programs.”

To improve access, PHMC anticipates developing a mobile application that allows providers to search categories of videos from their mobile devices, bringing the content directly to them in the classroom. Having such a comprehensive video library will continue to advance Philadelphia’s OST network as a provider of innovative programming. Planning for the program, which included writing scripts and ordering equipment, began at the end of September. PHMC expects the full library to be available as a resource on the blog and via the mobile app at the end of fiscal year 2013. Check out the blog here.

How do nonprofits, with little budget for regular website updates, maintain an ever-changing array of online resources that attract visitors? Two years ago, Eastern North Philadelphia Youth Services Coalition (ENPYSC), a collaborative of youth-serving agencies, faced that very question.

In response, ENPYSC turned to Targeted Solutions, the consulting practice of Public Health Management Corporation, to create a set of comprehensive websites with an integrated look and feel. The primary goal: to increase the agencies’ public profile and help agency consumers easily access the resources they needed. The secondary goal: since ENPYSC serves as a portal that connects its members to one another and to Philadelphia, to ensure that the sites would share much of the resource information that would demand constant updating.

The result? Individual websites for ENPYSC member agencies—Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos (AMLA) and Concilio—as well as a forthcoming site for ENPYSC itself and an additional agency, The Lighthouse. The sites share a linked directory of youth services, event calendar and job postings. Together, these ENPYSC global tools compose a service ENPYSC hopes to expand to future websites. Each of the websites retains its own distinctive style while sharing the global tools.

To facilitate easy updates, Targeted Solutions developed the websites using a content management system that allows staff to effectively maintain revisions with minimal training. It has used the award-winning Joomla! content management system for the last five years. The open source platform has no licensing or usage fees and its large network of developers is constantly improving it. For ENPYSC and its member agencies, that means websites that stay fresh, attract visitors, dispense vital information to improve the health of North Philadelphia communities and don’t break the budget.

fallsIn January 2013, the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) will begin construction of a dramatic, 60-foot video projection on the side of a skyscraper, showing the real-time quality of air in Center City, Philadelphia. CHF received funding for the project from PHMC affiliate Public Health Fund, which provided a total of $1,030,815 in awards to 13 organizations in its 2012 grant-making season. “This year’s grant recipients represented an exceptional group of community organizations that will continue to uphold our mission to improve the health of the Delaware Valley,” says Public Health Fund Chief Operating Officer, Anne Callan. “The Chemical Heritage Foundation’s proposal captures in a really special way the intersections of science, health and the urban environment.”

CHF’s proposal for the three-month public art installation, Public Falls, received a glowing letter of support from the City of Philadelphia’s Air Management Services. Digital media artist Andrea Polli’s projection will dramatically illustrate the largely unseen matter in polluted air. The Chemical Heritage Foundation will choose the location for the project in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy and The Franklin Institute to maximize the number and diversity of people who interact with it. As an educational tool, the installation will teach the greater Philadelphia community about the link between respiratory diseases and poor air quality via the inventive and thought-provoking installation.

This is the fourteenth year that the Public Health Fund has granted awards to local organizations. After joining PHMC as an affiliate in July 2010, Public Health Fund (formerly Philadelphia Health Care Trust) began operating with an independent board of directors comprising members whose backgrounds span the areas of health care, social services, law and business.

Click here for a full listing of the 2012 Public Health Fund awards.

In the coming year, three major PHMC programs will occupy beautiful new homes that will expand their capacity to serve their clients.

The Bridge

Who We Are: A residential and outpatient treatment facility

Who We Serve: The Bridge offers long- and short-term residential programs for adolescents and outpatient counseling for children, adolescents and adults.

What Will Change: Next summer, The Bridge will move to a custom-designed, 25,600-square-foot, single-story facility in the Northeast section of Philadelphia. The plan provides 44 beds. The building will incorporate four zones. Zone one welcomes the public with a reception area and conference rooms. The second zone offers outpatient services. The third zone contains a licensed private school for youth in the residential program, where residents of The Bridge will study in well-lit, airy classrooms. The fourth zone provides the living spaces plus a game room, fitness room and theater. The residential area also features two lounges designed to let in natural light. In the heart of the facility lies a 2,600-square-foot cafeteria with room for over 150 people, which will facilitate The Bridge’s ability to entertain families during its bimonthly Family Nights. The facility also contains a workshop where the teens can exercise creativity in woods and metals.

Why We’re Moving: Two years ago, The Bridge learned that it needed to move from its current Fox Chase Northeast Philadelphia location, leading to the identification of the new location. “We are excited to move into a new building that was specifically designed to meet our needs,” says Bridge director Michael Ogden. “A beautiful, state-of-the-art facility demonstrates our commitment to innovation and can help our clients to feel better about themselves.”

26,000: Square-footage of The Bridge’s new custom-designed facility


PHMC Health Connection

Who We Are: A nurse-managed community health center

Who We Serve: PHMC Health Connection, located near Temple University’s main campus, offers primary health care services to its surrounding community, including residents from Norris Homes and Apartments as well as Fairhill Apartments.

Our New Location: In spring 2013, PHMC Health Connection will move two blocks from its current location to larger space at 9th and Berks Streets.

Why We’re Moving: The move expands examination rooms from three to 12 and patient capacity from 2,000 to 8,000. In May, US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $729 million in funding for community health centers across the nation, with $1.1 million to benefit PHMC Health Connection. “Space has always been a challenge for PHMC Health Connection. Our current location is very small,” says Donna Brian, clinical director. “We’re very grateful that we can now offer more services to more people in the community.” The funds also are helping the center to integrate behavioral health services into its primary care offerings.


The move expands PHMC Health Connection’s patient capacity from 2,000 to 8,000.

Rising Sun Health Center

Who We Are: A nurse-managed community health center

Who We Serve: Rising Sun Health Center provides high-quality, affordable health care to patients of all ages in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood.

Our New Location: In fall 2013, Rising Sun Health Center plans to move from its current location at Adams Avenue and Rising Sun Avenue to a larger facility nearby in the One and Olney Square.

Why We’re Moving: “Our current clinic, which consists of four exam rooms, limits us in terms of meeting the growing needs of our community,” says Clinical Director Mariam Salahou. “Our new clinic will offer 13 exam rooms and provides a significant opportunity to expand our services and the number of patients we can serve. This will be a great win not just for PHMC, but for the well-deserving surrounding community as well.”


Rising Sun Health Center’s new facility will offer 9 additional exam rooms.