PITTSBURGH, December 11-Supporters of the House of Hope, a unique shelter and counseling center for chemically-dependent, pregnant woman, rallied today at UPMC Braddock, calling on UPMC, the largest hospital corporation in Western Pennsylvania, to keep the facility open, to expand its services in Braddock, and to replicate these services in other low-income communities throughout the UPMC service territory.
UPMC has announced its intention to close House of Hope on January 2. In 2005, UPMC “challenged its community partners to develop new ways to address health care disparities in the localities served by [UPMC Braddock].” One of those new ways was supporting the House of Hope, which led to a dramatic decrease in the percentage of low birth weight babies. In 2007, UMPC boasted that “a robust and sustainable program that brings together UPMC, local clinics, government agencies, and other organizations is in place [in Braddock] to improve the care in the community.”
Ed Grystar, Vice President of the Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Single Payer Healthcare noted, “The tragedy surrounding the cut in funding for the House of Hope amplifies the crying need for a total reordering of the nation’s health care delivery system away from the current insurance run profit first approach. Under a single payer plan embodied in [US House of Representatives bill] HR 676, citizens would receive heath care services based on their need and funding would be earmarked based upon the needs of the communities, not on the whims of profiteering health care corporations.”