UPMC Health Plan
In Your Community e-Newsletter

UPMC Health Plan In Your Community is a quarterly e-newsletter for UPMC Health Plan members that highlights special events, programs, and nonprofit organizations we support in the communities we serve. You'll find opportunities to participate in UPMC Health Plan-sponsored programs, exclusive member discounts, and more.

This e-newsletter is part of UPMC MyHealth Community, an initiative of UPMC Health Plan that supports public programs to help families and communities achieve a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle.

Winter 2019 e-Newsletter

Community Spotlight: 412 Food Rescue and its Cooking Matters program

Visit 412 Food Rescue’s website to download its app today.

Read an article in Pittsburgh Magazine about Cooking Matters.

Screenshots from 412 Food Rescue's app

If you have read the news lately, you’ve probably seen “412 Food Rescue” in the headlines. 412 Food Rescue was founded in 2015 and has an extraordinary approach to reducing food waste and food insecurity in southwestern Pennsylvania. The organization uses a free mobile app to rally a cadre of more than 1,000 volunteers who pick up surplus produce at grocery stores and restaurants – produce that is safe to eat but is either nearing its “best by” date or needs to be disposed of to make room for new shipments – and redistribute it to food pantries, senior housing developments, and community organizations so that it can be used by people who need it.

412 Food Rescue also serves as the region’s hub for Cooking Matters, a nationally-recognized food education program of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Each Cooking Matters session includes a series of six weekly interactive cooking classes and is hosted by a local community organization that primarily serves low-income families with young children ages birth to five, and senior citizens who are experiencing food insecurity. Participants learn how to make nutritious food choices, prepare healthy, affordable meals, and reduce food waste in their homes. In addition to covering the basics of cooking, the classes also highlight topics such as how to accurately read food nutrition labels, how to purchase healthy foods on a budget, and tips for eating a well-balanced diet. Sessions are facilitated by volunteers who are stationed at a community organization or are employed by a multi-site partner such as Adagio Health, which has agreed to implement the program at several locations. All facilitators are trained in the Cooking Matters curricula by 412 Food Rescue and certified in food safety.

UPMC Health Plan is currently supporting the purchase of groceries, cooking supplies, and educational materials for Cooking Matters sessions that are currently being hosted by 10 nonprofit organizations. By June 2019, these sites will deploy 19 cooking sessions to about 200 parents and caregivers. Last fall, three of these sites completed their first Cooking Matters sessions. Parents of young children and the senior citizens who participated in these sessions reported that the program taught them how to cook healthier foods, understand how to shop for groceries on a budget, and assist their families with making better food choices. Here are a few quotes from a survey they filled out after the session:

  • “Cooking has become an adventure!”
  • “Foods I thought were hard to make, are not.”
  • “[This program] has given me more confidence in the kitchen.”
  • “[I learned] different ways to use vegetables.”
  • “It taught me a lot of nutrition facts and increased my awareness about healthy eating, along with saving money.”

All of the parents and 83 percent of the senior citizens reported that they prepared a healthy recipe from the class for their families at home. The self-reported frequency of drinking low-fat dairy products and choosing low-sodium foods also increased significantly among all participants.

412 Food Rescue has identified many organizations among its network of nonprofit partners in southwestern Pennsylvania that want to hold Cooking Matters sessions on an ongoing basis and become “cooking schools” for the community. Its goal is to deploy 100 Cooking Matters “schools” – which means it will need to train many more facilitators to deploy the Cooking Matters curricula. To help reach this goal, UPMC Health Plan is supporting a Cooking Matters Train-the-Trainer event in spring 2019 that will enable the training of approximately 40 additional facilitators who will operate within 20 nonprofit organizations.

Free Good Fridays at The Warhol every Friday in January 2019

Warhol gallery - photo credit Abby Warhola Warhol gallery - photo credit Dean Kaufman

Photo credits: Abby Warhola (left) and Dean Kaufman (right)

Kick the winter blues with a night at the The Andy Warhol Museum! Admission will be FREE from 5 to 10 p.m. every Friday in January.* You can mingle with friends, take in the funky artwork by Warhol and other artists, and groove to the beats of a DJ. While you’re there, check out The Warhol’s latest exhibition, “Cry Baby,” by artist and Carnegie Mellon University professor Devan Shimoyama. Mr. Shimoyama’s captivating artwork depicts a vulnerable yet resilient portrait of African-American boyhood and masculinity. The exhibition features paintings, photography, and sculptures that span his career to date, plus a series of new works that will be on display for the first time.

*UPMC Health Plan members may be asked to sign in upon admission for attendance tracking. Free admission does not include paid programs, seminars, and special events that may occur at The Andy Warhol Museum on these dates. Admission is subject to venue capacity.

Half-price admission at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Did you know that UPMC Health Plan members receive half-price admission at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on days when UPMC MyHealth Community events are held? Just show your UPMC Health Plan insurance card upon admission. (Please note, this discount is applicable only for UPMC Health Plan members. Regular admission fees apply to guests of the members unless otherwise stated.) Visit the museum’s website to see a calendar of all upcoming UPMC MyHealth Community events.

Sunday, January 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. – Enjoy a family dance party in the theater with one of the coolest DJs in town: DJ KellyMom! This event is a great opportunity for children of all ages to work off their winter energy!

Sunday, February 17, from noon to 2 p.m. – Your child can celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day by making a kindness pledge and creating a bookmark of appreciation for someone important in their life.

Caring for senior citizens during the holidays

volunteers with meals for seniors

UPMC’s hospital expansion to central and eastern Pennsylvania over the last few years has brought many positive changes to the communities located in those regions, and UPMC Health Plan’s investment in these areas has naturally followed. In December 2018, more than 400 low-income senior citizens who live in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, received care baskets delivered by volunteers of Success Through Engagement and Partnership (STEP) – a local nonprofit community action agency. UPMC Health Plan gave STEP funding so it could purchase healthy food items for the baskets and we donated a supply of coffee mugs and packets of hot cocoa as a special holiday treat for the seniors.

Upcoming UPMC Health Plan Connect Center events

Heading to your local mall? Stop by one of our UPMC Health Plan Connect Centers to participate in these fun health-inspired events this fall! Be sure to check our events page often for the latest updates about these events and others.

Fall in love with heart health

Date: Saturday, February 9, 2019
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Place: UPMC Health Plan Connect Centers at Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall, and South Hills Village

Get pumped about taking care of your heart! Speak to one of UPMC Health Plan’s expert health coaches about lowering your heart disease risk and how to better manage the condition by decreasing stress, eating healthier, and getting more active. FREE cholesterol and blood pressure screenings will be offered at the Monroeville Mall Location. FREE blood pressure screenings only will be provided at the Ross Park Mall and South Hills Village locations.

Take a stand against colon cancer

Date: Saturday, March 16, 2019
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Place: UPMC Health Plan Connect Centers at Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall, and South Hills Village

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States. The good news? You have the power to change the risk factors you can control. Join us to speak one-on-one with a health coach about how to lower your colorectal cancer risk. Enjoy FREE giveaways, and get health tips, resources, and more.

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Fall 2018

From new freezers to home reno’s: We’re helping with big community improvements in 2018

Highlighted in this article is a selection of projects funded by UPMC Health Plan in 2018 through the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. This is a valuable program for nonprofits and corporate funders in the Commonwealth, allowing companies to invest more dollars in more communities than would be possible than through a strictly charitable donation. During the 2018 NAP funding cycle, UPMC Health Plan underwrote a total of 41 projects in communities across Pennsylvania. Many of these projects have already been completed or are scheduled for completion by the end of the year. We understand the importance of working with organizational partners to address a community’s greatest needs, and we are proud to support nonprofit organizations in neighborhoods where we operate, through this initiative.

A new freezer for the Westmoreland County Food Bank

Ribbon cutting Crowd shot

Westmoreland County Food Bank (WCFB) has been addressing food insecurity among the 365,000 people living in Westmoreland County, Pa., for 35 years. It supplies 7 million pounds of food annually, thanks to the hard work of 24 staff members and about 7,000 volunteers. It takes a lot of resources to run an efficient food bank—not the least of which is a giant freezer that can accommodate more than 1 million pounds of food. By late 2017, WCFB’s old freezer had fallen into disrepair and wasn’t going to do its job much longer—the Food Bank was at risk of losing one of its most valuable assets at any time. Through NAP, WCFB secured a main source of funding from UPMC Health Plan and combined it with additional resources from two other funders. This enabled WCFB to purchase and install an even larger state-of-the art freezer that will not only increase the quantity of food distribution throughout its service area but will lower energy costs for the facility and is expected to operate for at least the next 20 years.

Expanding health services in central Pennsylvania

New health center

Hamilton Health* aims to improve the health of the residents in the Harrisburg, Pa. area by providing patient-centered health services. It has been doing this for more than 40 years by providing medical and dental care for the underinsured and impoverished. In 2016 alone, Hamilton Health served 26,117 people, many of whom traveled to Harrisburg from Perry County to receive care. In Perry County, 10 percent of residents fall under the poverty line and 13 percent lack health insurance. These truths spurred Hamilton Health Center to expand their services into the neighboring county through the construction of a new health center. UPMC Health Plan was pleased to support the construction of a new 4,000 square-foot facility. The building is conveniently located in a strip mall and includes six medical examination rooms, four dental operatories, and a behavioral health facility. With this new location, Hamilton Health can now provide many of its services to Perry County residents on a full-time basis. We commend Hamilton Health for the positive impact it continues to make on the health of those who live in central Pennsylvania.

*Hamilton Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) primarily serving Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries, and families and individuals who do not have health insurance. This organization is not part of the UPMC Advantage network for UPMC Health Plan commercial group and Health Insurance Marketplace members.

Revitalizing the communities of Braddock and Elizabeth, Pa.

Work on house Resident standing on balcony

Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh (RTP) revitalizes communities in Pittsburgh by renovating and creating safe and healthy homes for families who cannot afford to make necessary improvements. With the help of generous corporate donors and a cadre of 25,000 volunteers, nearly 2,300 rebuild/renovation projects have been completed since the organization’s inception 25 years ago. UPMC Health Plan was honored to be able to contribute to the efforts put forth by this organization in 2018 through NAP. This summer, RTP worked primarily in the communities of Braddock Hills and Elizabeth Borough. In Braddock Hills, six owner-occupied home renovations were completed. Two additional vacant homes were renovated that will be sold in partnership with the community land bank and Braddock Hills borough. In Elizabeth Borough, 18 home renovations were completed. With NAP funding, RTP was also able to hire three local residents and provide workers with six months of training and work to complete the renovations. RTP’s work truly transforms the lives of low-income homeowners and their families. There is an extensive impact made on families and the community as a whole by this organization, and we are pleased to have been a part of it.

UPMC Health Plan members can get healthy with Active&Fit Direct™ program

For many people, the back-to-school season can feel like a fresh start, an opportunity to set new goals – and the perfect time to launch a new fitness routine! Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Exercise can help you manage your weight and reduce your risk of chronic disease. And it often produces mood-boosting endorphins, making you feel more upbeat and energetic when you’re done.

You’re most likely to make exercising a habit if you find a workout that you enjoy. Joining a gym can be a great option for some people. There’s no worries about the weather, you have access to many different types of equipment. And if you like variety, group exercise classes can provide new challenges.

Did you know that members of UPMC Health Plan have access to the Active&Fit Direct program? This program allows you to choose from 9,000+ participating fitness centers and select YMCAs nationwide for $25 a month (plus a $25 enrollment fee and applicable taxes). And if you enroll in the month of September, your $25 enrollment fee will be waived with the promo code 792062S3.

The Active&Fit Direct program offers:

  • Online directory maps and locator for participating fitness centers (available on any device).
  • A free guest pass to try out a fitness center before enrolling (where available).
  • The option to switch fitness centers to make sure you find the right fit.

One thing to note: you pay $25 for your first month no matter when you start. So if you sign up on September 23, you’ll pay $25 for that entire month of September. Bottom line: if you qualify for this promotion, don’t delay. Sign up today!

If you are a member of UPMC Health Plan, you can get started by following these instructions:

  1. Log in to www.upmchealthplan.com > Featured Information > Active&Fit Direct
  2. Create an Active&Fit Direct website account
  3. Pay your fees and applicable taxes and enroll in the fitness center or YMCA of your choice

The Active&Fit Direct program is provided by American Specialty Health Fitness Inc., a subsidiary of American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH). Active&Fit Direct is a trademark of ASH and used with permission herein.

Upcoming UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center events

Heading to your local mall? Stop by one of our UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Centers to participate in these fun health-inspired events over the next several months. Be sure to check our events page often for the latest updates about these events and others.

Breast Cancer Awareness Event

Date: Saturday, October 13
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where: UPMC Health Plan’s Connect Service and Sales Centers at Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall, South Hills Village, and The Mall at Robinson
Come get empowered and learn about tests you may need, preventive strategies, and other facts about breast cancer. Join us at a participating UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center to talk one-on-one with UPMC Health Plan health coaches about self-exams, mammograms, foods that can lower risk and other tips.

Let's Deal with Diabetes

Date: Saturday, November 10
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where: UPMC Health Plan’s Connect Service and Sales Centers at Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall, South Hills Village*, and The Mall at Robinson

Learn more about how to manage or prevent the onset of diabetes at this community wellness event. Join us at a participating UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center to talk one-on-one with a UPMC Health Plan health coach—as well as get a FREE glucose check.

*The free glucose check will not be available at the Ross Park Mall or South Hills Village locations. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Happy, Healthy, Flu- and Stress-free Holidays

Date: Saturday, December 15
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where:UPMC Health Plan’s Connect Service and Sales Centers at Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall*, South Hills Village*, and The Mall at Robinson
Find out how to minimize holiday stress and maximize your chance of staying healthy this season. Plus, get a FREE flu shot.

*Flu shots will not be available at the Ross Park Mall or South Hills Village locations. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Free Thursdays and Flu Shots at The Carnegie

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

UPMC Health Plan is pleased to support FREE public admission* to the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History from 3 to 8 p.m. on every Thursday during the month of September. Your family will enjoy access to all these museums have to offer, such as the incredible Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibition, the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems, and beautiful original artwork from world-renowned classical and modern artists. Chat with UPMC Health Plan’s knowledgeable health coaches, pick up health and wellness resources, and get information about Marketplace Open Enrollment. Plus, we’re offering FREE flu shots to the public** during these events to get you prepared for the upcoming cold and flu season. Hope to see you there!

*UPMC Health Plan members may be asked to sign in upon admission for attendance tracking. Free admission does not include paid programs, seminars, and special events that may occur at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History on these dates.

**Flu shot availability is limited; first come, first served. UPMC Health Plan membership is not required to receive a flu shot, but UPMC Health Plan members should bring their ID card. Flu shots will be administered to adults over the age of 18 on every Thursday in September from 3 to 8 p.m. Children under age 18 can receive a free flu shot on Thursday, September 27, from 3 to 6 p.m. only. Children’s flu shots will be administered in the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Ronald McDonald Van at The Carnegie on this day.

Fall walks for the whole family to enjoy

Cool, crisp weather in the fall is the perfect time for you and your family to enjoy a walk or run – and lucky for you, there are plenty of UPMC Health Plan-sponsored walks and runs to participate in!

Join us for Run Shadyside on Saturday, October 6, and includes a 5K run and 1-mile Family Fun Walk that benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Shadyside. Medals will be awarded to the top male and female runners in each group. Stick around after the race and join the Boys & Girls Club and Chamber of Commerce for a pancake breakfast.

The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Relay is on October 12-13. This is the inaugural year for the race, which will challenge relay teams of eight runners each to run various distances on the Great Allegheny Passage trail from Cumberland, MD, to Pittsburgh, PA.

The Keystone Pennsylvania section of National Alliance on Mental Illness will host its 16th annual NAMIWalks on Sunday, October 14. Form a team with family and friends and register online for this fundraiser event. Funds raised will help NAMI advocate for resources to help people who struggle with mental illness. The walk will be held at the Waterfront in Homestead.

The EQT 10 Miler will be held on Sunday, November 4. This scenic run starts at Station Square and the course will take you through Pittsburgh’s historic and charismatic neighborhoods of the North Side and Lawrenceville before finally ending in downtown Pittsburgh. Spectators can enjoy entertainment by three different bands along the route, and a post-race party will be held at BRGR Pittsburgh in downtown.

Join a family-friendly barre class with Let's Move Pittsburgh

Let's Move Pittsburgh and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh will be hosting a FREE, family-friendly barre class in the Special Events Hall at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on Sunday, October 14, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. This ballet-inspired workout uses the principles of classical dance to tone and sculpt the entire body, including elements of cardio, core and flexibility. Led by a certified YMCA barre instructor, this is a great way for people of all ages to get some stress-free exercise!

This event is free to attend, but advance RSVP is required, as space is limited. Click here to register.

Be sure to save these dates for upcoming family fitness classes at Phipps:

  • November 4 – Family Zumba
  • December 9 – Family Zumba
  • January 13 – Family Pilates

Participants are asked to arrive 30 minutes early to register at the Welcome Center. Please bring your own water, towel and yoga mat. The session lasts approximately one hour. Participants need not pay admission to Phipps Conservatory unless they plan to tour the Conservatory after the session.

UPMC Health Plan is proud to be a founding partner and continued supporter of Let’s Move Pittsburgh.

Spring 2018

Ride on: BikePGH events are coming your way this summer

UPMC Health Plan is proud to support the work of BikePGH, a pedestrian and bike advocacy organization that is helping to make biking accessible to all residents of the Pittsburgh community. Check out these family-friendly biking events that are coming to your area.


OpenStreetsPGH is back in 2018 with three free events, one new extended route, and one brand-new route on a brand-new day! These events invite Pittsburghers of all ages and abilities to reimagine their streets as places for people, not just cars. Last year, an estimated 90,000 people participated in OpenStreetsPGH. This year’s events are expected to draw more than 100,000 participants. OpenStreetsPGH will be held on Sunday, May 28, Sunday, June 25, and Saturday, July 28. They will offer something for everyone, from fitness workshops, to kids’ activities, shopping, brunch, community arts, and special promotions presented by over 100 local businesses and organizations. Three event hub stages along the routes will feature free fitness classes by the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh providing dance, strength, and mind and body workshops. Be sure to check out the website for more information on these fun activities.

UPMC Health Plan PedalPGH

We’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary of UPMC Health Plan PedalPGH on Sunday, August 26! This is the largest charity bike ride in Pennsylvania, with more than 3,000 participants annually. Choose from a 10 Mile Local Loop, 25 Mile City Tour, 40 Mile Grand Tour, and 62 Mile Challenge. Don’t miss your opportunity to participate — simply register online. Adult registration starts at $40 per rider, with youth registration at only $5. The ride begins and ends at Southside Riverfront Park. The community impact of this annual event goes beyond event day. Since BikePGH took over the PedalPGH in 2012, the event has raised more than $330,000 for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy in Pittsburgh.

“Because of [UPMC Health Plan’s] support, we’ve been able to grow PedalPGH into the region's largest bike ride that has raised critical funds that go towards youth education, community building events, and advocacy that has resulted in safer streets in and around Pittsburgh,” said Scott Bricker, Executive Director at BikePGH.

Support Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at Walk for Children’s

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation started Walk for Children's in 2016 to bring patients, their families, and the local community together in support of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC's mission to provide excellence in patient care, clinical teaching, and research. Since then, the Walk has raised over $1.4 million dollars to support the kids at Children's. UPMC Health Plan is very proud to sponsor Walk for Children’s, which will be held on Saturday, June 23, at Schenley Park. We encourage you to get involved by registering a team for the walk.

Walk for Children's is an opportunity for patients, caretakers, families, and individuals throughout the community to get involved and give back to Children's. This day is also about celebrating the patient champions: those who have been or are currently being treated at Children’s and who show great strength and courage throughout their medical journeys.

The hospital thrives on the generous support of the community, which provides hope by enabling the hospital to serve all children, regardless of their ability to pay. Fundraising has enabled the treatment of rare diseases, defined new standards of care, pioneered protocols, and provided family-centered services in a world-class environment. Every discovery, every milestone, and every advancement are rooted in the same mission and supported by the same essence of community philanthropy from more than a century ago.

Enjoy Third Thursdays at CMOA through the rest of 2018

Carnegie Museum of Art

UPMC Health Plan is pleased to sponsor Third Thursdays at the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) — an after-hours, adults-only (18+), themed event on the third Thursday of every month throughout 2018. The party starts at 8 p.m. and continues through 11 p.m., complete with food and beverages, music by a DJ, and special activities. Admission is only $10 per person, unless stated otherwise. For more information about upcoming Third Thursday events, visit https://cmoa.org.

Upcoming UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center events

Heading to your local mall? Stop by one of our UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Centers to participate in these fun health-inspired events over the next several months. Be sure to check our events page often for the latest updates about these events and others.

Pit Stop for Men's Health

Date: Saturday, June 2 (The Mall at Robinson) and Saturday, June 16 (Monroeville Mall)
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where: UPMC Health Plan’s Connect Service and Sales Centers at The Mall at Robinson and Monroeville Mall

Guys, here’s your chance to speak one-on-one with a health coach or clinician about health topics like heart disease and stroke prevention, diabetes, prostate/colorectal cancer, stress management, and more. All are welcome to attend and take advantage of FREE screenings, light refreshments, and fun activities for the entire family.

Just Ahead: Your Healthiest Summer Ever

Date: Saturday, July 14
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where: UPMC Health Plan’s Connect Service and Sales Centers at Ross Park Mall, South Hills Village, and Monroeville Mall

It’s time for summer — and that means fun in the sun! Get timely tips on how to “eat in season” and incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, keep your family hydrated, and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Back 2 School in GR8 Health

Date: Saturday, August 11 (Monroeville) and Saturday, August 25 (Robinson)
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where: UPMC Health Plan’s Connect Service and Sales Centers at Ross Park Mall, South Hills Village, and Monroeville Mall

Let us help you get your kids ready to start a new school year. Chat one-on-one with UPMC Health Plan health coaches to get advice and answer questions about your child’s preventive care, immunizations, dental hygiene, asthma, etc. Enjoy FREE face painting, balloon art, and giveaways!

Let's Move Pittsburgh Family Fitness Classes

Let’s Move Pittsburgh regularly hosts fitness classes with professional instructors, featuring yoga, Zumba, and others. These classes are open to the public and geared toward families with children of all ages to encourage physical activity as a family unit. Don’t miss fun family yoga on Phipps Conservatory’s historic front lawn on Sunday, July 8, and Sunday, August 5! Bring your own yoga mat, a water bottle, and towel. Pre-registration is required. More information will be posted on www.letsmovepittsburgh.org prior to each event.

UPMC Health Plan was a founding partner of Let’s Move Pittsburgh in 2011. We are pleased to continue to support this organization’s mission to improve the health of families in Allegheny County.

Join us “under the big top” for Healthy Family Day at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Child playing Mother and child

It’s a circus like no other! Join us “under the big top” on Saturday, July 28, for UPMC Health Plan’s annual Healthy Family Day at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. UPMC Health Plan members will receive 50% off the cost of up to four general admission tickets* to this event, so bring the whole family! Your little ones will revel in the daring theatrics of the Pittsburgh Circus Arts Collaborative — plus they’ll learn how to walk a tightrope with Steel City Slackers, shimmy and shake at a family dance party with DJ KellyMom, make healthy circus-themed treats to take home, and more! Visit www.pittsburghkids.org for more information.

*Regular admission fees apply. UPMC Health Plan members must show their member ID card at the admissions desk to receive the discount. Ticket availability is subject to venue capacity.

Find Summer Food Service Program sites in your neighborhood

No child should go hungry, ever — but summertime can be an especially difficult time for kids whose families are struggling to put food on the table. With school out of session, these children do not receive free breakfast and lunch provided by the National School Lunch Program. Some children must fend for themselves at home while their parents work during the day.

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s (GPCFB) Southwestern Pennsylvania Food Security Partnership promotes the Summer Food Service Program — a service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) — to families living in all communities within its 11-county service area. This program provides free meals to children during summer months. Local organizations like churches and community centers serve as site sponsors to serve the meals to children age 18 and under, regardless of family income. In 2017, more than 6,000 organizations in GPCFB’s service area served more than 1 million meals to hungry children.

To find a Summer Food Service Program site in your neighborhood, click here.

Supporting women in recovery for addiction

POWER is an agency an agency in Pittsburgh that helps women reclaim their lives from the throes of addiction to alcohol and drugs, and works to reduce the incidence of addiction in future generations. With our region's opioid epidemic increasing, UPMC Health Plan recognizes that POWER's work is more important now than ever. Diane Holder, President and CEO, UPMC Health Plan, will chair the POWER PROMISES gala on Wednesday, June 13 — the organization's largest fundraiser event. We are dedicated to working with organizations such as POWER to bring hope to women, men, and children who feel the effects of addiction throughout the family unit.

Winter 2018

It’s back! FREE GOOD FRIDAYS at The Warhol, presented by UPMC Health Plan

Free Good Fridays at The Warhol Warhol lobby

Photo credit: Abby Warhola

Kick the winter blues with free public admission* to The Andy Warhol Museum from 5 to 10 p.m., every Friday in January and on Friday, February 2. While there you can mingle with friends, take in the funky artwork of Andy Warhol and other artists, groove to hip vibes from a DJ, and sip tempting libations at the bar. And if you’re one of many people who would love to take a photo of Warhol’s collection of iconic Campbell’s Soup artwork (or other pieces) and share with your friends — you’re in luck! Photography is now permitted in the galleries.

Enter UPMC Health Plan’s FREE GOOD FRIDAYS at The Warhol Social Media Sweepstakes for a chance to win a year-long membership to the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, a Warhol prize pack, and UPMC Health Plan swag! An active Twitter and/or Instagram account are required to enter. Sweepstakes opens on January 26 at 5 p.m. and ends on February 2 at 11:59 p.m. For details, visit www.upmcmyhealthmatters.com/event-warhol-free-fridays.

*UPMC Health Plan members may be asked to sign in upon admission for attendance tracking. Free admission does not include paid programs, seminars, and special events that may occur at The Andy Warhol Museum on these dates. Admission is subject to venue capacity.

Galentine’s Day Yoga at the Senator John Heinz History Center

Galentines yoga

Ladies, “Galentine’s Day” was made for you! Come to the Senator John Heinz History Center on Tuesday, February 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for an evening of relaxation, mindfulness, and spiritual calm. During this UPMC Health Plan-sponsored event, a certified vinyasa yoga instructor will guide you through 60 minutes of all-levels flow, with a special emphasis on heart-opening poses. Please bring your own yoga mat, a towel, and a water bottle. Cost of admission is $25 and includes warm chocolate chip cookies, after-hours access to the brand new American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibition, and more! This event sold out in 2017 with more than 200 women in attendance, so register today!

Visit the partner highlights section of UPMC Health Plan’s community engagement website to learn about the other exhibits and programs we support at the History Center.

Upcoming UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center events

Heading to your local mall this winter? Stop by one of our Connect Service and Sales Centers to participate in these fun health-inspired events. Be sure to check our events page often for the latest updates about these events and others.

Show Your Heart Some Love

Date: Saturday, February 10
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where: UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Centers at Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall, and South Hills Village

Stop by for a FREE heart health check-up. UPMC Health Plan health coaches will be on hand to talk one-on-one and provide helpful heart-healthy advice to lower your heart disease risk, better manage heart conditions, decrease stress, eat healthier, and get more active. Enjoy free giveaways, tips, tools, and more. Blood pressure screenings will be offered at all locations, and the Monroeville Mall location will also offer cholesterol screening.

Brush Up on Your Child’s Smile

Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where: UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Centers at Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall, and South Hills Village

Join us at a participating UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center near you to talk one-on-one with a UPMC Health Plan health coach and celebrate Pediatric Dental Awareness Month. Enjoy FREE giveaways, tips, tools, face painting, and balloon art!

Cancel Out Cancer

Date: Saturday, March 17, 2018
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (stop by anytime)
Where: UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Centers at Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall, and South Hills Village

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among women and men in the United States, but some simple lifestyle changes can significantly lower your risk. Join us at participating UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center near you to speak to a UPMC Health Plan health coach about how to lower your colorectal cancer risk. Enjoy FREE giveaways, tips, tools, and more!

We’re Karing for Kids

The Holiday Project of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services provides gifts for children in need during the holiday season. UPMC Health Plan’s Karing for Kids campaign collects gifts for the Allegheny Health Department, the Best of the Batch Foundation, and Brashear Association. In December 2017, 148 children received gifts generously donated by UPMC Insurance Services Division employees, with a total value of more than $3,700.

Community Spotlight: Best of the Batch Foundation

Volunteers at the gift-wrapping party The volunteers get to work

(L): UPMC Insurance Services Division employees pose with Charlie Batch at the Batch-A-Toys wrapping party in December 2017.

(R): Tis the season for giving – and for wrapping gifts! UPMC Insurance Services Division employees give their time and talent to Best of the Batch Foundation during the holiday season.

If you live in southwestern Pennsylvania, you’ve probably heard of Charlie Batch even if you’re not a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. The former Steelers quarterback was a star on the field, and he still has close ties with the team as KDKA-TV’s pre-game analyst and commentator for preseason games. (And if for some reason you still can’t place him, you may have seen him a few years ago on UPMC Health Plan’s television commercials, when he served as spokesman for UPMC Health Plan’s Marketplace plans.) But Charlie is building an even bigger legacy off the field with his Best of the Batch Foundation and ongoing work as a community leader.

Based in Homestead, Pa. (a suburb of Pittsburgh and Charlie’s hometown), Best of the Batch Foundation serves hundreds of local children with the goal of helping them and their families create a better future. The organization operates on the principles of education, choice, and motivation to facilitate core programs that give kids a safe, nurturing place to do homework, develop life skills and leadership skills, and yes — even play recreational sports.

UPMC Health Plan is pleased to support several Best of the Batch programs, including:

  • Batch-A-Toys – An annual holiday toy drive that collects new, unwrapped toys for local kids in need. Our office building in downtown Pittsburgh serves as a central location for toy drop-off. In 2017, 5,000 toys were collected! On December 17, 2017, about 80 employees from UPMC joined volunteers from other organizations to help Best of the Batch wrap these gifts.
  • Batchpacks for Kids – A back-to-school initiative that fills backpacks with school supplies and distributes them to hundreds of local children.
  • Project C.H.U.C.K. – An intramural basketball league for boys and girls serves as a lesson in teamwork and sportsmanship.
  • In the Pocket – An annual event gathering celebrity sports figures to play rounds of pool, ping pong, and poker to raise money for Best of the Batch.

Plus, Best of the Batch is expanding! A new, 15,000 square foot Clubhouse will serve as a community center and allow even more families to take advantage of key educational resources. The new facility will have K-12 classrooms, plus a STEAM lab, café, dance studio, and a full-sized gym with a walk-around track. Services will include alternative education programs that occur during school hours, and after-school continuing education programs. Elements of the construction of this building are being supported by UPMC Health Plan through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program.

We are proud to be part of Charlie’s team!

Ideas shared from around the “World” (Café, that is) at Let’s Move Pittsburgh Symposium

Roundtable discussions Dr. Parkinson speaks

(L): Attendees participated in roundtable discussions to establish relationships and further refine the focus of Let’s Move Pittsburgh for the next two years.

(R): Dr. Michael Parkinson, Senior Medical Director, Health and Productivity, UPMC Health Plan, opened the symposium with an overview about the state of childhood health in the United States.

Let’s Move Pittsburgh’s fourth symposium was held on November 16, 2017. This bi-annual gathering of more than 100 educators, health care professionals, parents, and leaders from community organizations is one way that Let’s Move Pittsburgh delivers consistent messaging about healthy behaviors to stakeholders. The symposium also aims to gather valuable feedback from participants, which is folded into Let’s Move Pittsburgh’s strategy over the next two years.

This time, the symposium followed a World Café format, which relies on the power of dialogue in small groups to create energy around a topic, cultivate ideas, and discover best practices. After several rounds of discussion, participants “harvested” the most compelling themes gleaned from their conversations. Let’s Move Pittsburgh is now developing a report with the results of the symposium, which will be shared publicly.

Click here to learn more about the symposium and UPMC Health Plan’s involvement with Let’s Move Pittsburgh.

Fall 2017

Enjoy Free Sundays at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History

Free Sundays and Flu Shots

UPMC Health Plan is pleased to support free public admission* to Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 17. Come see all the exhibits these museums offer, including dinosaur skeletons and famous artwork from international and local artists. While you’re there, you can get a free flu shot** to protect yourself against the virus this season. Flu shots will be offered to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take advantage of this quick and convenient way to prevent the flu.

The museums are located at 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Parking is available for a fee at the garage adjacent to the museums.

*UPMC Health Plan members may be asked to sign in upon admission for attendance tracking. Free admission does not include paid programs, seminars, and special events that may occur at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History on these dates.

**Flu shot availability is limited; first come, first served. Must be 18 years or older. UPMC Health Plan membership is not required to receive a flu shot, but UPMC Health Plan members should bring their ID card.

Family Volunteer Days with Global Links

Global Links has always valued children as capable members of society and welcomed them as volunteers. UPMC Health Plan and UPMC support Family Volunteer Days at Global Links, an event where families with children of all ages can work together in a supportive and educational environment. We invite you and your family to experience this for yourselves by participating in an upcoming Family Volunteer Day. When you do something to contribute to society beyond yourself, you feel good. And you want to do more … and that is good for everyone.

Click here to learn more and to register.

UPMC Health Plan members get a discount to the Pittsburgh Pet Expo

UPMC Health Plan members receive $2 off admission on up to four tickets* to the Pittsburgh Pet Expo on Sunday, November 5. (The Expo runs from November 3 to 5, 2017.) Head over to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to see the latest and greatest in healthy pet food, toys, carriers, clothing, accessories, and more. Plus, enjoy the National Daschund Race, a sting-ray encounter, a grooming competition, and a cat show. Be sure to pick up a UPMC Health Plan reflective pet collar tag and hand sanitizer, too!

Click here for more information and to view regulations on bringing your pet to the Expo.

*To be eligible for the discount, UPMC Health Plan members must show their health insurance member ID card upon admission to the Pittsburgh Pet Expo.

For 11 days only: Get a 25% discount to Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts

This holiday season, get in the spirit by attending one of these Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) concerts — and take advantage of a special discount, just for being a UPMC Health Plan member!

Light Up Night mini-concerts

Friday, November 17, at 7 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

UPMC Health Plan is pleased to be presenting sponsor of these mini concerts, which are free and open to the public in celebration of Light Up Night in downtown Pittsburgh. Each mini-concert will be held at Heinz Hall and will feature a different selection of holiday-themed music – but all will end with Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. Come for one, or stay for all three!

Free children’s admission to Thanksgiving concerts

Friday, November 24, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 26, at 2:30 p.m.

Each year during Thanksgiving weekend, PSO Music Director, Manfred Honeck, leads a program of light-Viennese favorites such as waltzes and polkas by Johann Strauss. This year, joining the PSO on stage as a soloist will be 16-year-old Dutch violinist Noa Wildschut. UPMC Health Plan is pleased to support free children’s admission to this year’s Thanksgiving concerts. For each adult admission ticket purchased, you can receive up to 2 free admission tickets for children ages 6 to 18. This offer is open to the public.

25% off PSO tickets through rest of 2017-18 concert season

For 11 days only, UPMC Health Plan members will receive an exclusive discount on the purchase of PSO tickets, good for most concerts through the rest of the 2017-18 season. Purchases must be made between Monday, November 20, and Thursday, November 30. UPMC Health Plan membership required.

Follow these instructions to redeem the discount:

  1. Visit www.pittsburghsymphony.com.
  2. Click "Promo Code" in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Enter PSOUPMC25 into the box and click "Apply" to proceed with purchasing your tickets.

Note: Discount will only be applied once your seat is selected and placed into your cart.

Building a model of community collaboration at the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership Summit


Hundreds of representatives from more than 450 nonprofit organizations, foundations, government, and business sectors in the 12-county southwestern Pennsylvania region gathered at the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership’s (GPNP) 2017 Summit on October 4-5, 2017. The Summit gave these organizations the opportunity to learn best practices in philanthropic and nonprofit management, and connect more strongly with each other to make the greatest impact in our region. UPMC Health Plan’s president and CEO, Diane Holder, co-chaired the event and delivered a keynote address.

Focused on health and economic and educational equity, the Summit asked thought-provoking questions of attendees: How can our region ensure every resident lives a healthy, productive life? How can we bring family-sustaining jobs to urban, suburban and rural locales? How can we provide every learner with the knowledge, skills, and creativity needed to thrive in a changing world?

Diane Holder highlighted the significant role that nonprofits play in addressing these issues. She noted that only 10 percent of a person’s total health and well-being is a result of their health care. The other 90 percent is a result of socioeconomic factors such as housing, transportation, job availability, air quality, built environment, and access to healthy food. “Nonprofit organizations are central to paving the way to better health outcomes in our urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods,” she said. “Their creation of powerful strategic partnerships in the private and public sector positively impacts community health exponentially.”

Community Spotlight: Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Hunger in southwestern Pennsylvania looks like a dad skipping breakfast and lunch so his children can eat three meals a day — or like Bobbie, who has medical issues and at times struggles to feed her family. Hunger in southwestern Pennsylvania is not always visible. But it almost always means that people are making trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods. Those tradeoffs lead to poor health outcomes – including undernourishment, obesity, diabetes, and stress.

Bobbie is one of the thousands in southwestern Pennsylvania who need help every month to feed their families. Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has been helping individuals and families like Bonnie’s since 1980.

Bobbie has lived with her two daughters for many years. Although she used to work long hours as a factory manager to provide for her family, she now lives on a small disability income. Bobbie suffers from seizures and other health issues that have left her unable to work or drive. She is very budget-conscious and uses her disability check to pay her bills and stretches the food stamps she gets as far as she can. Unfortunately, the price of fruits and vegetables varies widely and are difficult to afford. What you buy one month, you can’t always afford to buy the next.

Bobbie’s friend and neighbor brought her to a Food Bank Produce to People distribution where they received fresh produce and other foods to help her and her girls get through the month. Despite her quiet demeanor, Bobbie wanted to say thank you to those who support the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. “Thank you. The food is a big support to people, and we appreciate it,” she said.

UPMC Health Plan is a longtime supporter of the Food Bank and its tireless effort to address food insecurity in our region. The Food Bank serves 110,000 people each month and distributes nearly 33 million meals annually. It is often the first place that people turn when financial hardship results in not having enough food for their family.

More than half of the people who are food-insecure in our region are senior citizens and children. In many cases, families who are food-insecure rely on high-calorie, processed food because it is cheaper and has a longer shelf-life than fresh produce and other healthy options. However, eating a diet comprised mostly of processed foods can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity (including childhood obesity), and diabetes. There is also a link between hunger and school performance: children facing hunger often have poorer test scores and a higher rate of illness and absenteeism. These are socio-economic factors that negatively influence the overall health and well-being of future generations. The Food Bank counters these issues by providing fresh, nutritious foods to families so that they can have better health outcomes and have a better chance of succeeding in other areas of life.

The Food Bank relies on support from UPMC Health Plan and other businesses and individuals to carry out its mission every day. UPMC Health Plan’s annual funding assists with general operation of the Food Bank in its procurement and distribution of food items, and specific Food Bank programs such as Green Grocer, Produce to People, Community Table, and the Food Security Partnership.

Employees of the UPMC Insurance Services Division host an annual food drive through the Boy Scouts of America’s Scouting for Food campaign, which supports 29 food-distribution organizations in the region. Through Scouting for Food in 2017, our employees generously donated 1 million units of food to the Food Bank alone. UPMC Health Plan also partnered with the Food Bank to create the Recipe Rainbow mobile app (you can download it on Google Play or iTunes). Aimed at reducing food waste and educating people on how to cook, Recipe Rainbow takes whatever you have in your fridge or pantry and provides recipe options for those foods.

The Food Bank wants to make southwestern Pennsylvania 100 percent hunger-free by 2025. While this is a lofty goal, at UPMC Health Plan we believe that with the right level support and partnership, it can become a reality.

With Thanksgiving coming up soon, there is no better time to help food-insecure families. Please consider donating to, or volunteering at, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank this season. Assistance is always needed to pack boxes of food for senior citizens and partner food-distribution organizations, serve as help for Produce to People, and more. You could also hold a food drive in your community that benefits the Food Bank.

To learn how you can help, visit pittsburghfoodbank.org.

UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center Event: Let’s deal with diabetes!

On Saturday, November 11, visit one of the UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center locations listed below anytime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to receive the latest for preventing and managing diabetes. What you learn could help you live a healthier life with diabetes — or lower your risk of getting it. You can also get a free glucose screening!

Speak to a knowledgeable UPMC Health Plan health coach about:

  • Which risk factors you can control.
  • Steps to take if you’re diagnosed with prediabetes.
  • The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
  • Healthy habits that can help control your blood sugar.
  • Simple ways to lower your risk of getting diabetes.

Visit us at any of these participating locations:

  • Monroeville Mall (second floor near JCPenney)
  • Ross Park Mall (first floor near Starbucks) – This location will offer blood pressure screenings only.
  • South Hills Village (first floor near Target) – This location will offer blood pressure screenings only.
  • The Mall at Robinson (first floor near Macy’s)

Diane Holder honored with Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania award

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf recognized Diane Holder, executive vice president of UPMC, president of UPMC Insurance Services Division, and president and CEO of UPMC Health Plan, as a Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania award recipient on October 4, 2017. According to the award nomination submitted by the Senator John Heinz History Center, Ms. Holder was recognized for her commitment to community health and public service across a wide variety of non-profit and charitable organizations.

Summer 2017

UPMC Insurance Services Division employees donate more than 1 million units of food to 29 organizations

Employees of the UPMC Insurance Services Division — including UPMC Health Plan, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, and Askesis Development Group Inc. — raised a total of $106,614.50 for the 2017 Scouting for Food/Chow Wagon campaign, an annual fundraiser spearheaded by Boy Scouts of America, Laurel Highlands Council to help low-income, food-insecure people and pets. The money is distributed to 29 organizations across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania such as the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Animal Friends, Salvation Army, and others, all of which purchase food to help those in need. The money raised this year by UPMC Insurance Services division employees equates to an astounding 1,051,145 units of food!

What does a runner look like? We learned at the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon.

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  • On Sunday, May 7, UPMC Health Plan celebrated its eighth anniversary as the title sponsor of the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon. Nearly 40,000 participants enjoyed Marathon-themed festivities that took place throughout the entire weekend. Special events included the UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine 5K, the Toyota of Pittsburgh Kids’ Marathon, the FedEx Ground Relay, the UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon, and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. Plus, UPMC Health Plan’s booth at the GNC Live Well Health and Fitness Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center included wellness screenings by UPMC Health Plan’s expert health coaches and on-site T-shirt screen printing from Commonwealth Press.

    Spectators were also able to get in on the action by participating in UPMC Health Plan’s Steel City Spirit Challenge. This contest allowed those who attended the Marathon but didn’t run to support runners while representing their neighborhood using special hashtags on Twitter throughout the race — the neighborhood with the most tweets would be declared the winner. We congratulate the North Side for having the most spirit (aka the most tweets)! The neighborhood was rewarded with a celebration on June 17, complete with a free yoga class at Nova Place’s new plaza, a DJ, and smoothies, courtesy of Fitt Co.

    In the weeks leading up to the Half Marathon, UPMC Health Plan’s “What a runner looks like” social media campaign showcased real people who represent the Marathon’s ever-growing and diverse community. Pittsburghers who hail from all walks of life, families, and backgrounds shared what makes running special to them, whether this was their first race or a lifelong passion, and motivational advice for others who may want to participate in the Marathon in the future.

    UPMC Health Plan’s CFO is a natural community leader

    An article written by Next Pittsburgh in late May 2017 summed up the community leadership efforts of UPMC Health Plan’s Chief Financial Officer, Scott Lammie. As a native Pittsburgher and a strong believer in community development and philanthropy, Scott always seems to find time during his busy workday to help nonprofit organizations and other community leaders create healthy neighborhoods, workplaces, and educational environments for families — and even a healthy bottom line.

    Scott and his wife, Sue, frequently chair successful fundraising events for local nonprofit organizations like Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Children’s Hospital Foundation, and others. He also is an active member of the board of directors for organizations like Manchester Bidwell Corporation, Hill House Association, Urban Innovation 21, and Duquesne University. His financial expertise and vision are welcome attributes for many smaller nonprofit organizations, who rely on him to guide them in sound financial decision making.

    Click here to read the Next Pittsburgh article.

    Community Spotlight: Hilltop Alliance

    (L): Next 3 Days is a block party-style event in Allentown that features live performances by local musicians and a festival on Grandview Avenue. In June 2016, this event drew more than 300 attendees from the Hilltop and surrounding neighborhoods. Photo taken by Hilltop Alliance staff.

    (R): Open in Allentown is a happy hour that is hosted in vacant spaces throughout the Hilltop community. It showcases the space to residents and proprietors, and highlights the community as a viable place to live and work. Photo taken by Zosxavius Photography.

    The “hilltop” neighborhoods of Pittsburgh — those located immediately south of downtown including Allentown, Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Mt. Oliver, and South Side Slopes — are served by the Hilltop Alliance. This organization improves the quality of life for residents of these areas by focusing on residential and business development and partnering with other organizations to create opportunities for family growth and stability in the region.

    UPMC Health Plan has funded a Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) in Allentown since 2014, with a commitment of funding every year through 2020. This program is overseen by the Hilltop Alliance, and its effects extend beyond the Allentown neighborhood and into the greater Hilltop community.

    “The Allentown NPP, and the support from UPMC Health Plan and others, has meant everything … everything to the growth and sustainability of the Hilltop Alliance as an organization, and everything to the continuing reinvestment in Allentown,” said Aaron Sukenik, Executive Director, Hilltop Alliance.

    Because of the Allentown NPP, 66 residential properties have been renovated and residential property vacancy has decreased from 20 to 15 percent. Through direct grants, loans, and technical assistance, Hilltop Alliance has leveraged more than $5 million in private investment to renovate 18 commercial properties. Commercial property vacancy has decreased from 40 to 17 percent. To increase foot traffic to these businesses, Hilltop Alliance hosts special events throughout the year that bring existing residents and new visitors to the business district. One example is the annual Taste of Allentown event. Held this year on May 20, the event sold out one week in advance and brought 100 people to the district to taste food specialties from six restaurants on East Warrington Avenue.

    To address food insecurity in Allentown and surrounding communities, the Fresh Fridays program distributes about 80,000 pounds of produce to residents each year, thereby ensuring that families have enough to eat over the weekend. Brashear Association’s Allentown Learning and Engagement Center (ALEC) is a central hub for families who desire educational after-school programming with a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) curricula. Check out some videos the ALEC kids made using iPad minis donated by UPMC Health Plan!

    Hilltop Alliance’s 2016 Community Impact Report explains in greater detail what the Allentown NPP has done for the communities it serves. UPMC Health Plan is proud to support the Hilltop Alliance to help the Allentown and hilltop neighborhoods thrive!

    Healthy Family Day: Celebrate your family and community!

    UPMC Health Plan believes that healthy families are an important part of strong communities. Please join us at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on Saturday, July 29, for a fun day with a multigenerational twist, and celebrate the things that make your family and community unique! UPMC Health Plan members will receive 50 percent off admission* to this event, up to four tickets per ID card.

    See Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit, Hands-On Harley-Davidson™, featuring a kid-sized motorcycle dealership and engineering lab. Plus, enjoy a community lemonade stand, a family dance party, KidsKardio activities, and more!

    Click here to learn more about this event.

    *Regular admission fees apply. Must show UPMC Health Plan member ID card to be eligible for the discount. Ticket availability is subject to venue capacity.

    Head back 2 school in GR8 health

    What are two of the most important back-to-school items for your child? How about a healthy mind and body? To help make that happen, let’s talk about gearing up your child for another school year.

    Join us on Saturday, August 12, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at our UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Centers in Monroeville Mall (second floor near JCPenney) for information about:

    • General health and wellness visits.
    • Immunizations, the why and when.
    • Maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
    • Staying active and fit with sports and safe play.
    • Eating well on the go.

    While there, enjoy free giveaways, face painting, balloon art, refreshments, and activities! Plus, enter to win* one of five $100 gift certificates to Macy’s and a $50 gift certificates to Target — just in time for back-to-school shopping!

    *Official sweepstakes rules and regulations available at www.upmchealthplan.com/pdf/2017-back2school.pdf.

    Celebrating “Pride” for all in Pittsburgh


    On Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, UPMC Health Plan participated in the Pittsburgh Pride Festival and Equality March, hosted by the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh. As the second largest charitable sponsor of the weekend, UPMC had a huge presence at both the festival and march. UPMC Health Plan was one of several UPMC departments and business units represented at the Pride festival, including The UPMC Center for Engagement and Inclusion, Talent Acquisition, Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic of UPMC, UPMC Center for Care of Infectious Diseases – Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment, Disabilities Resource Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute. More than 90 UPMC employees and their family members marched in the Pride parade to show support for the LGBTQ community.