Program for Health Care to Underserved Populations
The Program for Health Care to Underserved Populations (PHCUP) was founded in 1994 under the sponsorship of the Division and offers quality medical and pharmaceutical services at no cost to uninsured and medically indigent individuals through two community-partnered clinics: The Birmingham Free Clinic (partnered with The Salvation Army in the South Side of Pittsburgh and open to the general public) and the Women’s Center and Shelter Clinic (serving women in a sheltered setting who are recovering from intimate partner violence). The Program’s mission continues to be accomplished by an interdisciplinary team of volunteer clinicians, health professional students, and AmeriCorps National Service members. PHCUP’s volunteers help to maintain the uniqueness of the Program as a leader in service learning and training for emerging students, interns, and residents in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and public health.
The PHCUP serves homeless, uninsured, and disenfranchised Pittsburghers through clinics that provide approximately 3,500 primary and other specialty care visits and fill about 4,500 on-site prescriptions free of charge per year.
In 2019, the Birmingham Free Clinic is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in service to the Pittsburgh region!
PHCUP clinics offer primary and specialty care medication access and social services assistance medication access and social services assistance at no charge to any patient due to the generosity of our community partners, volunteer providers, donors and support from the Division. Clinical services are provided by an all-volunteer staff of clinicians, including attending, resident, and fellow physicians, as well as pharmacists and nurses from the Division, UPMC, and the University of Pittsburgh. Depending on the clinic location, services include the following:
- Influenza, Pneumovax and Tetanus immunization
- Physical exams for employment, housing, post-secondary education, and driving
- PPD testing
- Basic diagnostic testing such as urinalysis, EKG, blood glucose, HA1C, pregnancy, Strep A and PAP, etc.
- Smoking cessation
- Diagnosis and management of chronic medical conditions, including hypertension, asthma, and diabetes
- Medication access and management
- Social services assistance
- Insurance navigation
Volunteer specialists and fellows from across UPMC, the University of Pittsburgh, and the community also help the PHCUP’s Birmingham Clinic enhance its care for patients through a variety of monthly specialty sessions. Participating departments include the Vascular Medicine Institute, Guerrilla Eye Service, the Eye and Ear Institute, the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute, General Surgery, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Audiology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (PT and OT), WPIC Community Psychiatry, and private practitioners from Vujevich Dermatology Associates and O’Donnell and Conner, DPM.
If you are an individual needing medical care, please call for information about the Birmingham Free Clinic at 412-481-7900 ext. 281 or 412-692-4706, or see the Clinic’s web site at https://birminghamfreeclinic.wordpress.com/.
“There was something appealing to me about health care that isn’t based on profit, and doesn’t revolve around the American dollar. This experience inspired me. It allowed me to see the side of health care that I want to be a part of. I really can’t wait to go back.
I loved my experience.”
Sabrina Kuiken, P2
Birmingham Free Clinic
Volunteer and Training Opportunities
Volunteer attending and resident physicians, pharmacists, nurses, medical and pharmacy students, AmeriCorps National Service members, social workers, and lay volunteers continue to make up the cornerstone of our ability to provide clinical service to the community. These volunteers provided more than 8,000 hours of volunteer service to the community via the Birmingham and Women’s Center Clinics this past year. Volunteer clinicians come from across the University and UPMC’s disciplines and departments. In order to continue to provide the best possible care to our community’s uninsured and underserved, PHCUP is always in need of:
- UPMC, UPP, and University physicians and pharmacists to volunteer their time at our clinical sites
PHCUP partners with additional community agencies and academic institutions throughout the Pittsburgh area to achieve its mission:
- The Salvation Army
- Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh
- Primary Care Health Services of Pittsburgh
- Grace Lamsam Pharmaceutical Program of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
- University of Pittsburgh Schools of Medicine, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing and Public Health
- The Pittsburgh National Health Corps, part of the national AmeriCorps program
- University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine’s student groups of the Health Outreach and Education Project (HOEP) and Students and Latinos United Against Disparities (SALUD)
- SALUD Para Niño’s of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
- The Consumer Health Coalition
- The YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh
- APPRISE, Inc.
- UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Community Cancer Screening Program
Training and Education and Service Learning
PHCUP continues to stand as a leader of unique and robust training and service-learning opportunities for health professional students, interns, and residents to experience the rewards and challenges of providing health care to vulnerable groups in their community. Students and residents work side-by-side with faculty volunteers, witnessing the commitment of attending-level clinicians to the community and the value of an interdisciplinary, team approach to care. Curriculum rotations are available at PHCUP clinics for students from the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing, as well as for residents from Internal Medicine at UPMC. The Birmingham Free Clinic is also a continuity clinic practice for the Global Health and Underserved Populations Track for residents in Internal Medicine at UPMC-PUH.
PHCUP volunteer attendings provide more than 2,900 annual hours of precepting time to providers in training.
For more information about volunteering or training opportunities, please contact Mary Herbert, Clinical Director, at email@example.com.
How You Can Help
In order to continue to provide the best possible care to our community’s uninsured and under-served, the PHCUP is always in need of corporations and individual donors who underwrite the cost of supplies and medicines:
- Your Donation of $20 provides an uninsured patient with one primary care clinic visit, including pharmacy services. (Actual cost per visit is $120-$100 in-kind provided by volunteer health professionals).
- Your Donation of $50 provides an uninsured, diabetic patient with one month of medication.
- Your Donation of $100 buys three new blood pressure cuffs, or more than two months worth of multiple medications for an uninsured patient with high blood pressure.
- Clinical Support – $10,000 needed annually for medications, equipment, medical supplies, immunizations, and patient education materials.
For more information on ways to support PHCUP, please contact Anne Immekus at (412) 647-2434 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to the PHCUP are tax-deductible.
Medical Directors of the Birmingham Free Clinic: Jennifer Corbelli, MD and Eliana Bonifacino, MD
Medical Director of the Women’s Center and Shelter Clinic: Raquel Buranosky, MD, MPH
Director of the IM Global Health and Underserved Populations Residency Track: Thuy Bui, MD
Program Clinical Director: Mary Herbert, MS, MPH
Program Administrator: Joyce Holl
Program Assistant: Autumn Komorowski
Nurse: Gregg Hammer, RN, BSN
Medical Assistant: Halima Mustaqeem
Birmingham Clinic Nurse: Karen O’Shea, RN
Birmingham Clinic Medical Assistant II: Halima Mustaqeem
Birmingham Clinic Interpreter and Healthy Women Program Patient Navigator: Patty Andres-Sanmartin
Birmingham Clinic Part-time Nurse: Gregg Hammer, RN, BSN
2018/2019 Pittsburgh Health Corps Members: Chandler Mitchell and Ingie Osman
Division of General Internal Medicine Academic Offices
UPMC Montefiore Hospital
Pittsburgh, PA 15213