PHILADELPHIA, PA, December 07, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- With feasting, fun and fanfare, St. Catherine Laboure Medical Clinic celebrated 13 years of providing service to the community November 30 at its annual "Say AHH Ball" at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill.
At the fund-raising gala, the pioneering Germantown medical clinic received tributes and testimonials from patients, volunteers and the leader of Independence Blue Cross for its efforts providing medical care for patients who do not have insurance.
Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, received the G. Fred DiBona Jr. Commitment to Access to Health Care Award and praised St. Catherine's for its assistance to uninsured patients.
"At IBC, we strongly believe in the value of community health clinics," said Hilferty, whose company and charitable foundation have provided nearly $18 million in financial support for St. Catherine's and 38 other regional clinics since 2004. "The care and service they provide are essential to building and maintaining a thriving and healthy community. We've been inspired by St. Catherine's since day one, and have supported this clinic for many years to help them grow to serve an increasing number of patients.Our belief in St. Catherine's makes this recognition so special for me, and I am honored to receive this award."
Maxine Calhoun, a retired hospital worker who has brought her blood pressure under control through the clinic, said "one of her happiest moments was when she was called in for her first consultation and the nurse informed her that 'we will help you and it does not matter how you got here. We will work on moving forward.' I am truly blessed to have found St. Catherine's."
"The clinic has enabled me to live," said Charles Matthews, a retired gardener who has been able to control his diabetes through care received at the clinic. "...Every person who walks through this door comes out happy."
Jean McConnell, who started at St. Catherine's as a volunteer and is now nurse supervisor, was honored with the James H. Gallagher Service and Dedication Award for her commitment "to our patients and the mission of the clinic ... on a daily basis" and for a focus on patient care that "never wavers, no matter what the obstacles."
"It's hard to believe St. Catherine's has passed its 13th anniversary this month," clinic co-founders Sheila E. Davis, D.O. and Michele Palos-Samsi, PA-C, told the 180 ball guests in their welcome message. "So many lives have been positively affected by our care in those years. ... We are so very grateful for the steadfast and generous support of you, our benefactors and supporters, for your financial support, your prayers and your belief in our mission."
New Challenge Program
With an annual budget of $451,000 for fiscal year 2013, the clinic only covers 15 percent of its costs through the nominal $15 per office visit fee it charges. The rest must be raised through private donations, corporate gifts or grants.
New to clinic fundraising this year is a matching challenge program that has the potential to raise an additional $100,000 for the clinic's operations.
"A friend of the clinic has promised to provide a one-to-one match for unrestricted donations to the clinic of $500 or more, up to a total contribution of $50,000," Palos-Samsi said. "If we can secure $50,000 in donations and secure the complete match, we will have raised a total of $100,000."
The matching challenge campaign will run through May 31, 2013 or until the $50,000 in matching funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
Donations may be sent to: St. Catherine Laboure Medical Clinic, c/o Matching Challenge Opportunity, 5838 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144.
Questions about the matching opportunity may be directed to Kathleen Welsh Beveridge at 215-262-1372; email Kathy@sparknpc.com.
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