The “Miracle on Ninth Street,” as CCFHCC has come to be known, is a comprehensive medical and dental home for these patients and coordinates services in a continuum of care that promotes wellbeing while focusing on disease prevention and management. CCFHCC was developed using the Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) model, emphasizes placing retired medical and lay volunteers on the front line to care for individuals who are uninsured in the local community. Six full-time and three part-time employees oversee the day-to-day operations and provide an effective environment in which more than 150 highly skilled medical and dental volunteers can practice efficiently. CCFHCC serves a broad area including Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Butler, Beaver, Lawrence, Greene and Fayette Counties in Pennsylvania.
Who do we serve?
CCFHCC serves patients who cannot afford private health insurance, who do not qualify for government assistance, and whose income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Since opening its doors in November 2007, CCFHCC has provided more than 23,000 medical and dental visits to more than 9,000 patients. Here are some of the patients helped and their stories:
John’s story: “I never would have known how sick I was if not for the volunteer health professionals at Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center. They saved my life.”
John first came to the Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center three years ago for what he thought was a routine visit for dental services—to take care of a bad tooth. Before seeing one of the volunteer dentists, a medical volunteer gave John a general examination of his vital signs and detected his blood pressure was above the normal range. He was immediately referred to one of the volunteer doctors who ordered lab work and diagnostic tests. The results indicated that John not only had high blood pressure, but was a diabetic.
John admitted he couldn’t remember the last time he saw a doctor or dentist. He had to have his tooth extracted and now gets regular annual checkups with a dental volunteer. John was also treated for his high blood pressure and diabetes. And, the Center’s ongoing medical monitoring program has allowed him to live a stable lifestyle.
Alverna's Story: Alverna came to Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center (CCFHCC) in October 2009. She had lost her voice and had to have her sister speak on her behalf. She had been working at a local supermarket at the time, making only minimum wage. Although health benefits were offered, she couldn’t afford to have the cost deducted from her pay. Our volunteer throat specialist who saw Alverna at CCFHCC noted that in addition to Alverna’s inability to speak, she had a large mass on her larnyx. Very concerned, the physician called another specialist at UPMC Montefiore who agreed to see Alverna at no cost. The specialist at UPMC detected the large growth on Alverna’s voice box and diagnosed her with stage-4 throat cancer. A biopsy was ordered, but couldn’t be done because the tumor was too large, Alverna’s only hope was radiation and chemotherapy. But before she could undergo treatment, she needed to have dental work done. She returned to Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center where she received the necessary dental care at no cost to her.
Following a year of cancer treatment, Alverna was declared “cancer free” and is letting everyone know. Silent no more; her voice has returned.
Read more stories about patients and view our video at www.ccpgh.org
How do donations help?
CCFHCC’s operating budget is just over $920,000 annually with an additional $1.5 million in in-kind volunteer hours from volunteer providers. CCFHCC is not supported by federal financial assistance, is not reimbursed by insurance plans, and does not charge fees for service. All care is provided free, inclusive of medical, dental and medications.
Did you know that it takes...
- $3,000 to cover the cost of medical lab tests and analyses for one month?
- $2,500 to cover the cost of dental supplies for one month?
- $2,000 to cover the cost of medical supplies for one month?
- $1,000 to cover the cost of crowns to bring a new smile to 5 patients?
- $500 to cover the cost of dental cleanings for 20 patients?
- $100 to cover the cost of a complete eye examination for 15 patients?
With your donation, we are able to offer quality medical and dental care to those without heath insurance in our region. Every dollar helps!
Board of Directors of CCFHCC
- President - Michael Blackwood
- Immediate Past President - John D. Goetz
- Vice President - Richard Kidwell
- Secretary - Concetta (Connie) Cibrone
- Treasurer - John Meegan
- Thomas Antos, MD
- Douglas Bricker, Ph.D.
- The Honorable Joy Flowers Conti
- Senator Jay Costa Jr.
- Richard J. DeFilippo, DMD
- Anne Boland Docimo, MD, MBA
- Dwight Keating
- Sandy Loughren
- Susan Rauscher
- S. Clayton Saftner
- Diane Wilberger, CRNP
- David A. Winsko
- James S. Withers, MD