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"The center could make the difference between life and death for us here. I am so grateful,” said Phyllis.
For Phyllis, John and the residents of Braddock: Urgent care nearby
When the community hospital serving Braddock, Pennsylvania, for more than a century closed in 2010, the struggling steel town lost its business anchor, its largest employer and its primary health care provider.
Allegheny Health Network (AHN), with the support of Highmark Inc., stepped in to fill that void, opening an urgent care center in Braddock in January of 2015. The 4,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility has 12 patient exam rooms, and offers X-ray imaging, electrocardiogram tests and blood work.
Most importantly, the center offers walk-in care for those who wouldn't have it otherwise.
"It has literally saved lives. I saw that first-hand," said Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. A friend of his, Phyllis Greathouse-Brown, in her 70s, "seemed kind of disoriented" while volunteering at a nearby store, so the mayor convinced her to visit AHN’s new clinic.
"Her blood pressure was through the roof," John said. "Everybody there realized she was having a serious issue." Concerned that extreme hypertension could lead to a stroke, clinicians at the AHN Urgent Care Center immediately arranged for an ambulance to take Phyllis to Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, where she was successfully treated.
"The fact that the center is nearby," the mayor said, "has been a real godsend to this community."
Phyllis agreed. "The center could make the difference between life and death for us here. I am so grateful," she said.
Opening the AHN Urgent Care Center was much more than an economic decision. It was the right decisiona charitable, "humane response," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazetteand one that is helping to combat the health disparities experienced by the people of Braddock and the underserved communities nearby. The center served more than 4,000 patients in 2015.
Acting in the interest of our neighbors is nothing new to the companies of Highmark Health, some of which have been working for as long as 150 years to expand access to health care and help build stronger communities of healthier people.
Our support of the Urgent Care Center in Braddock represents a prime example of where doing the right thing intersects with getting health care rightsolid ground for a better future for health care for all.