April 4, 2016
Contact: Veronica Mikitka Reed, For PHMC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 215-434-7194


The region’s largest nonprofit public health institute looks at its impact

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities, is working to underscore the need for comprehensive public health programming through the celebration of National Public Health Week, April 4-10.

“As one of the largest public health institutes in the country, PHMC is continuously focused on new ways to collaboratively work with and in the communities we serve to improve public health,” said Richard J. Cohen, PHMC’s President and CEO. “We do this work each day through the strength of our partnerships, programs, affiliates.”

With more than 350 programs, a family of affiliates and various partnerships with government, foundations, businesses and community-based organizations, the work of PHMC impacts every household in Philadelphia. Over the past several years, PHMC has expanded to create a continuum of public health services from early childhood to adulthood and include diverse populations in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

National Public Health Week 2016 focuses on several key themes including building a nation of safe, healthy communities; helping all young people graduate from high school; building a relationship between increased economic mobility and better health; social justice & health; providing quality health care for everyone; and strengthening the public health infrastructure.

These themes embody many of the efforts PHMC and its affiliates have been working toward this past year. Here is a closer look at how PHMC has been addressing these issues.

Building a Nation of Safe and Healthy Communities
Health Promotion Council (HPC), a PHMC affiliate, its Advocacy Institute, and the Real Talk Tobacco class series kicked-off #Philly1st, a social media campaign that challenges leaders and citizens to make Philadelphia the first city to drop its youth smoking rate to zero percent. #Philly1st was the result of six months of work on community and systems level changes conducted by Philadelphia students, ages 14-18, where they learned how to use policy, community and media advocacy to fight the impact of Big Tobacco in their community.

Creating safe parks and playgrounds can help form a healthy community. The 2015 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey (HHS), a biennial survey conducted by PHMC’s Community Health Data Base, shared regional facts about our access to parks. The HHS found that among adults who have access to a nearby park or outdoor space they are comfortable visiting, slightly more than one-quarter, or 28.3 percent, are obese compared to more than three in ten, or 35.5 percent, of those who do not have access to parks or outdoor space. In Southeastern Pennsylvania, 78.2 percent have a park or outdoor space they are comfortable visiting, vs. 21.8 percent who do not.

Helping Young People Graduate from High School
Education is the leading indicator of good health, giving people access to better jobs, incomes and neighborhoods. Quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs have been tied to reducing the effects of poverty by improving cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development for children residing in low-income families, in turn increasing school readiness and reducing the achievement gap between socio-economic statuses. The Early Childhood Education Workforce Transformation Initiative (ECEWTI), a partnership between Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC), Montgomery Early Learning Centers (MELC) and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is working to address early childhood education workforce issues in Philadelphia that affect the outcomes for the children. This month, ECEWTI released a report addressing early childhood education workforce issues in the region.

HPC also influences the youth of Philadelphia through the Out of School-Time (OST) Partnership Initiative to address childhood obesity in Philadelphia. This project tackled the monumental task of shaping the OST environment by creating and implementing a set of Healthy Living Guidelines for nutrition and physical activity within after-school programs throughout Philadelphia.

Building a Relationship between Increased Economic Mobility and Better Health
The science is clear: poverty and poor health go hand-in-hand. It’s time to fix our country’s growing income inequality and the unhealthy stresses it puts on adults and children. PHMC affiliate The Workforce Institute aims to transform lives through job readiness training, industry certifications and post-secondary education to those with limited resources. The Workforce Institute’s City College recently began offering an Associate’s degree in Specialized Technology with majors in Computer Support Specialist, Software, and Web Design, as well as a diploma in Health Information Technology. Since the start of the program, 84 percent of participants have completed the educational program and 72 percent of these students have found a job, with half of them successfully retaining the position.

Social Justice and Health
An integrated approach to care addresses not only health issues, but also issues that have an undue influence on health, such as legal and financial stress. The Rising Sun Health Center was one of the first nurse-managed FQHCs in the nation to offer integrated legal and financial services. PHMC worked with affiliate, Clarifi, a non-profit community resource devoted to promoting lifelong financial literacy, to offer the on-site financial services. While the free legal services in civil matters to low-income Philadelphians are provided through a partnership with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS).

Providing Quality Health Care for Everyone
Health care reform was just a start. To fulfill its potential, we must continue to pursue options for expanded access to quality care at the federal, state and local levels. To ensure that all Americans, including the underserved, have access to high-quality care, the National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC) continues its efforts to advocate for all nurse practitioners to be able to practice to the fullest extent of their education and licensure. NNCC was one of 39 health care collaborative networks selected to participate in the national Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. NNCC is receiving up to $2.1 million over four years to provide technical assistance support to help equip nurse practitioners and other clinicians across the country with tools, information, and network support needed to improve quality of care, increase patients’ access to information, and spend health care dollars more wisely.

Strengthening the Public Health Infrastructure and Capacity
Strong and consistent funding levels are necessary for the public health system to respond to behavioral and mental health issues. PHMC’s President and CEO Richard J. Cohen took a stand last fall regarding the Pennsylvania budget impasse in an Opinion Editorial in The Patriot News. He shared the importance of passing a budget immediately and the impact it has on the critical programs like behavioral health programs for the mentally ill, social services for Pre-K children and families, support services for foster children and families at risk hang in the balance. In addition to outlining the effects, he provided recommendations on what the government needs to do to prevent this issue for public health providers during future budget impasses.

PHMC Twitter Chats
PHMC will host two Twitter chats during National Public Health Week on some of the hottest public health topics in the Philadelphia region.

  • Twitter Chat #1/Monday, April 4: Helping young people graduate from high school starts with quality early childhood education.
  • Twitter Chat #2/Friday, April 8: Providing quality health care for everyone with a focus on nurse-led care and community health centers.

Join the conversation and share your views on these key topics. Follow @PHMCtweets and join the chats by adding #phmc to your tweets.

About PHMC
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit