Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and UPMC Health Plan team up for a successful fundraising campaign in response to COVID-19
The economic impact of COVID-19 has strained the resources of nearly all social service agencies—but food banks are some of the hardest hit organizations due to an urgent need from families who, for the first time, find themselves without a way to put food on the table. So when the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank approached us about working together on a matching fundraiser campaign over the summer, we jumped at the opportunity. UPMC Health Plan committed $150,000 in 1:1 matching dollars to this effort, which ran from June 1-30, 2020. Funds raised helped the Food Bank provide fresh, healthy food to families in its 12-county service area in southwestern Pennsylvania during this difficult time.
The public response to the summer campaign went above and beyond the Food Bank’s—and our—expectations.
- $120,000 donated in the first week of the campaign
- $611,000 total donations—the equivalent of more than 3 million meals
- More than 5,000 donors
We are thrilled with these results and we thank our UPMC Health Plan members and the community for joining us in support of the Food Bank!
Make a donation to the Food Bank.
Good Health, Better World
"Social determinants of health" is the focus of the first season of the Good Health, Better World podcast with PostIndustrial media. This eight-episode series convenes community leaders and UPMC Health Plan experts in conversation about how we can move forward together in addressing the social needs of our communities. Father Paul Abernathy from the Neighborhood Resilience Project was featured in Episode 1, which aired in early December.
Listen to the Good Health, Better World podcast.
After 30 years, an influential community leader retires from UPMC Health Plan
One of UPMC Health Plan’s most influential representatives in the greater Pittsburgh community will retire at the end of 2020.
Scott Lammie, Senior Vice President, Business Development, and Board Treasurer for the UPMC Insurance Services Division, was integral to the early formation of UPMC and helped facilitate its growth to become the second largest managed care organization in the U.S. Throughout his 30-year tenure at UPMC and UPMC Insurance Services Division, he generously dedicated his personal and professional talents to numerous nonprofit boards, offering expertise on fundraising, operations, and strategic planning matters.
Scott’s commitment to the community reflects his strong belief in doing the right thing and improving quality of life for UPMC Health Plan members and the most vulnerable populations in our service areas. He has always been an advocate for social service coordination and collaboration with community organizations in disadvantaged neighborhoods to ensure the most effective use of resources. Scott’s vision and his creative, thoughtful, strategic approach to innovation was welcomed by the nonprofit organizations he helped lead as a board member—including Manchester Bidwell Corporation, Duquesne University, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Little Sisters of the Poor, The Forbes Funds, Boy Scouts of America Laurel Highlands Council, and many more. He was a driving force to persuade his colleagues at UPMC and business leaders at other companies to embrace the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a basis for tackling societal challenges, and served as UPMC Health Plan’s executive representative for Sustainable Pittsburgh’s CEOs for Sustainability. As a steadfast supporter of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program, he was integral during an advocacy campaign to double the funding cap from $18M to $36M (to enable many more nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania to receive funding from corporate sponsors), and provided powerful testimony in Harrisburg that aided the passing of bipartisan legislation signed by Governor Tom Wolf in 2018.
Over the years, Scott earned recognition for his genuine ability to “walk the talk” in both his personal and professional life; he was honored by the Dignity & Respect Campaign in 2016, named a Health Care Hero by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2018, recognized by The Pittsburgh Project as A Servant Leader in 2019, and most recently in October of this year he was named a Grand Champion by UPMC Senior Services for his unwavering support of the senior citizen community. Scott also served as chair for several large fundraising campaigns in the nonprofit sector, such as the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s Great Night Gala and the Walk for Children’s, among others.
Conduct a simple internet search and you’ll find many more examples of Scott’s community involvement—and his commitment to the health and vitality of UPMC Health Plan members— that aren’t covered in this short newsletter. We thank Scott for his years of service to UPMC Health Plan and his powerful advocacy for the communities we serve. We congratulate him on his retirement!
Photo credit: UPMC Health Plan
Scott has been known to roll up his sleeves and personally get involved in community projects. In 2015, he helped to mobilize boxes and bags filled with backpacks containing school supplies at the UPMC Distribution Facility in the South Side of Pittsburgh, which were loaded onto buses and distributed to more than 20 sites on behalf of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund.
Community Spotlight: Neighborhood Resilience Project
Photo credit: Neighborhood Resilience Project/Facebook
The Neighborhood Resilience Project is rooted in the Gospel and teaching of the Orthodox Church and inspired by the American Civil Rights Movement. Led by Father Paul Abernathy, pastor of St. Moses the Black Orthodox Church in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh, its mission is to support the transformation of neighborhoods from trauma-affected communities to “resilient healing and healthy communities” so that families can sustain opportunities and realize their potential.
The Neighborhood Resilience Project began in 2011 (then known as “FOCUS Pittsburgh”) as a ministry that offered food, clothing, transportation assistance, document recovery, and emergency relief to families living in the Hill District. Often, a conversation with the family uncovered other harsh realities of life—for instance, a time they were evicted, a time they lost someone to gun violence, or a time they were abused. If they did not directly experience such a trauma, they likely knew someone who did. In response to this, the organization formed a partnership between Duquesne University, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, members of the Orthodox Church, and local community leaders. From the partnership came an advanced Trauma Informed Community Development model for evaluating the health, well-being, and resilience of the community.
One pillar of this model is a trauma response team which is deployed to families of gun homicide victims in Allegheny County to immediately care for their physical, mental, and spiritual health needs. A unique and trusted resource in the community, the trauma response team reduces the chance of retaliation and provides wraparound services to help families coping with fear and the pain of loss.
The Neighborhood Resilience Project also operates a free health center and dental clinic in the Hill District, serving the neighborhood’s most vulnerable population. UPMC Health Plan has supported the operation and expansion of the Free Health Center for nearly a decade. In 2020, we provided funding to help the organization move its clinic to the former Hill House Association building in the Hill District. The new Free Health Center will feature state of the art equipment and multiple exam rooms for physical health and dental services (the former clinic had only one exam room), which will enable multiple patients be seen at one time, thereby expanding necessary health services to more families in the community.
Earlier this year, UPMC Center for Engagement and Inclusion helped the Neighborhood Resilience Project identify volunteers for a new initiative. The Neighborhood Resilience Project trained and deployed more than 100 of these volunteers to serve as Community Health Deputies, provide mental health support, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in medically underserved communities—an effort which was highlighted in the New York Times.
With Pittsburgh as the epicenter for its work, the Neighborhood Resilience Project has trained more than a dozen cohorts from other cities in the implementation of the Trauma Informed Community Development model. UPMC Health Plan is grateful to the Neighborhood Resilience Project for developing innovative health programs to help some of the most disadvantaged families in our region, all while continuing its mission-critical support work of offering food, clothing, counseling, and social services to communities in need.
Celebrate "Halfway to Earth Day"
2020 Pittsburgh Earth Day events were canceled in the spring, then postponed until October, and then finally went virtual in late October to commemorate the halfway point to 2021 Earth Day. A series of free podcasts, videos, and interviews are now available online—including a look back at previous years’ Earth Day Ecolution fashion shows, an Electric Vehicle Showcase, and a panel discussion with local corporate leaders about sustainable business practices. UPMC Health Plan is proud to support Pittsburgh Earth Day and these virtual events.
Access the Pittsburgh Earth Day events.
Front Row: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Virtual Experience
UPMC Health Plan is pleased to support Front Row: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Virtual Experience, to be released throughout November and December 2020. This five-episode series will feature live musical performances aligned to unique themes, and exclusive interviews with PSO musicians and music director Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh leaders and dignitaries, and friends of the PSO. Episodes will be available on the PSO website and on On-Demand for Comcast Xfinity customers. All episodes will be available to view through April 2021. You can watch the first episode, Our Love for Pittsburgh.
Protect yourself, your family, and your community this flu season
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that everyone 6 months old and older should get the flu vaccine each year. The shot is especially important for:
- Pregnant women.
- Children under 5 (they are more likely to have flu-related complications).
- Anyone living with a child who is younger than 6 months old.
- People at high risk of developing flu-related complications.
How to get a flu shot
The flu vaccine is free and easy to get. Get it at your doctor’s office or local pharmacy. Children younger than 3 must go to their doctor’ office to for the vaccine.
The flu shot is more important than ever
COVID-19 and the flu are different viruses, but they have similar symptoms. These include a fever and chills, a sore throat, a cough, nasal congestion, headaches, muscle pain, and fatigue.
Getting the flu vaccine and taking your child to get his or hers will reduce the severity of your illness if you catch the flu. It will also reduce the number of flu cases in our community. This will make it easier for health care providers to focus on patients who need critical care for COVID-19.
Don’t delay—schedule you and your child’s flu shot today.
To learn more about getting a flu shot or to find a pharmacy near you, visit upmchp.us/flu-2020.
For tips on staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit upmchealthplan.com/COVID-19.