Efforts to Aid Patients Without Insurance Get Spotlight at St. Catherine Laboure Medical Clinic 'Say AHH Ball'

Top Quote Say AHH Ball of St. Catherine Labouré Medical Clinic showcases the clinic's work providing medical care for patients without insurance. Independence Blue Cross President and CEO Daniel Hilferty to be honored at November 30 fundraiser. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) November 17, 2012 - Philadelphia, PA - The annual "Say AHH Ball" is one of the major fundraising efforts each year for St. Catherine Labouré Medical Clinic, but it also provides opportunity to salute those who support the clinic's work providing medical care for patients without insurance.

    This year, as it raises funds at the November 30 ball at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, the pioneering Germantown clinic will honor Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, for the assistance he and his company have provided area clinics that serve the uninsured.

    Hilferty will receive the G. Fred DiBona Jr. Commitment to Access to Health Care Award.

    Independence Blue Cross has provided approximately $18 million in financial support for St. Catherine's and 35 other region clinics since 2004. The Independence Blue Cross Foundation, launched last October, will continue to help care for the region's most vulnerable through the Blue Safety Net program.

    Hilferty, who became president and CEO of IBC in 2010, was instrumental in establishing the IBC Foundation and ensuring that clinics for the uninsured continued to receive support.

    "Mr. Hilferty's career has shown immense dedication to providing access to quality health care for those least likely to have access to it," said Sheila Davis, D.O., co-founder and Executive Medical Director of St. Catherine's. "In addition to providing funds for operating expenses, the IBC Foundation now provides grants for technology upgrades as well."

    Attractions of the Ball
    The "Say AHH Ball" - the AHH stands for "Access to Healthcare and Hope" - will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. November 30 and will be hosted by Philadelphia TV newsman Lou Tilley as master of ceremonies. This year's ball will feature a variety of activities and attractions, including food, dancing, music by the Reckless Amateurs, live art by artist William Butler, and a silent auction.

    Tickets cost $85 per person and may be reserved by calling 215-438-5799 or emailing TheBall ( @ ) clinicforuninsured dot org dot Payment may be made by cash or credit card dot The event will take place at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, located at 415 W dot Willow Grove Ave dot in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia dot

    "Our annual fundraising ball not only provides revenue needed to provide care to the uninsured, but also allows us to introduce new people to our work and the importance of providing access to care for those who otherwise could not find it," said Michele Palos-Samsi, PA, co-founder and Executive Director of the Clinic. "It also allows us to celebrate and honor those who champion our mission and to show our appreciation of their efforts on behalf of people who are so often forgotten."
    The ball is also an education effort.

    "It is our hope that recognizing and honoring these people will inspire others to see the importance of our mission and become regular supporters of the clinic themselves," Dr. Davis said.

    The Clinic's Mission
    Founded in 1999, St. Catherine's provides health care for uninsured adults who do not qualify for medical assistance. St. Catherine's provides services for both acute illnesses and chronic disease management. Clients are 99 percent low-income, 90 percent African American, 95 percent between the ages of 26 and 65, and 60 percent employed.

    In 2011, St. Catherine's provided 3,675 office visits for approximately 750 individual patients. New patient visits have increased 35 percent since 2009 and overall patient visits have risen 80 percent since 2008.

    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. Because St. Catherine's accepts no public funding, the balance of its budget must be raised through private donations, corporate gifts or grants.

    The Independence Blue Cross Foundation provides an annual grant in support of the Clinic. In addition to funding from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, St. Catherine's received support from the Edna G. Kynett Foundation, the First Hospital Foundation, the Connelly Foundation, the Greentree Community Health Foundation, the Patricia Kind Family Foundation and others.

    New Challenge Program
    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 Labouré 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 dot com dot

    Kathleen Welsh Beveridge
    Kathy ( @ ) sparknpc dot com

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