PHILADELPHIA – Feb. 2, 2023 – Today, Sen. Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) joined Sens. Jimmy Dillon (D-Philadelphia) and Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) for a check presentation and press conference at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in the Northeast Philadelphia. The senators presented a $1.1 million grant to Temple Health to fund mobile health services at four sites in Philadelphia.
With the support of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus, Sen. Haywood secured $10 million for statewide mobile and community clinics, including over $1 million for Temple Health, as part of the COVID-19 Public Health Equity Initiative (PHEI), made possible by State Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan.
In December 2022, Sen. Haywood announced this strategic investment, which helps medically underserved communities impacted by the pandemic to access to public health services. This PHEI funding benefits 45 awardees for services across the state, including $5 million for mobile health clinics to provide jobs, $3 million for health equity to improve accessibility, and $2 million for trauma-informed care to heal communities of color.
“Health equity is health access,” said Haywood. “Funding and expanding mobile health clinics and community health centers will help communities to obtain access to health care across the Commonwealth.”
The five grants for Temple Health include:
- Begin the Turn Mobile Suboxone Unit – Suboxone prescriptions – $250,000
- Begin the Turn Mobile Suboxone Unit – Trauma-informed counseling – $100,000
- Fox Chase Cancer Center Mobile Screening Van – Mammography and preventative care – $250,000
- Healthy Together Mobile Unit of the Temple Center for Population Health – Community engagement, screenings, vaccination, and education – $250,000
- Miriam Medical/Zion Baptist Church/Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine (MZT) Collaborative Mobile Clinic – COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccination, and chronic disease monitoring – $250,000
Sens. Haywood, Dillon, and Tartaglione displayed the check in front of the four mobile units facing the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Leadership from the health system, including Michael A. Young, MHA, FACHE, president and CEO of Temple Health, Amy J. Goldberg, MD, FACS, dean of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and Robert Uzzo, MD, MBA, FACS, president and CEO, Fox Chase Cancer Center, gladly accepted the funding. President Young welcomed guests to the event and thanked Senate delegation, including Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), for their partnership.
“Temple Health would like to thank Senators Dillon, Haywood, Street and Tartaglione for their dependable partnership over the past few years – including this support of our mobile screening units,” said Young. “Temple is the Commonwealth’s largest safety net provider servicing Pennsylvania’s most challenged communities and the ongoing support of Senators Dillon, Haywood, Street and Tartaglione has been critical to us achieving a stronger financial foundation that enables us to invest in our clinical programs, our facilities, technologies, employees – and most importantly, our patients.”
Sen. Haywood delivered opening remarks and outlined the process to launch this initiative. As Democratic Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Health and Human Services Committee and a former member of Governor Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, Haywood is a longtime advocate for health access. In 2021, he pushed for equity in the vaccine distribution in 66 counties across the state. He also increased access for Black and Brown Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities, non-English speakers, and residents in congregate care, jails, and long-term facilities.
Through his research on the task force, Sen. Haywood learned there was no formal registry for mobile and community clinics to show where services should be expanded. He successfully developed the first mobile clinic registry in the state.
In September 2022, Sen. Haywood co-hosted a virtual public hearing with Sen. Katie Muth (D-Berks/Chester/Montgomery) to discuss strategies to enhance statewide mobile health clinics and community health centers in Pennsylvania. During the hearing, he described the importance of securing mobile health funding. “The health system is broken,” said Haywood. “These grants make some repairs.”
Sen. Dillon proudly cohosted today’s event in his district. “Funding for mobile and community clinics can lower healthcare costs, improve access, and, hopefully, save lives,” said Dillon. “I am proud to stand with Senator Haywood and Temple Health to celebrate the good work the Mobile Screening Units will be able to do with this grant.”
The Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine Center for Urban Bioethics (CUB) received three of the grants, including the Begin the Turn Mobile Suboxone Unit and the MZT Collaborative Mobile Clinic. The school’s dean, Dr. Goldberg, expressed her gratitude to the senators.
“The Lewis Katz School of Medicine is incredibly thankful to Senators Dillon, Haywood, Street, and Tartaglione for their continued support of our programs, but more importantly, their dedication to improving the health of the community we serve, that provides the foundation for which we can continue to our work to address and eradicate the health disparities that plague our community,” said Goldberg.
Fox Chase Cancer Center’s president and CEO, Dr. Uzzo, was pleased to open the doors of the research facility and hospital for the event.
“Long before it became ‘best practice,’ Fox Chase Cancer Center recognized the need for cancer screening in the community and we have been providing this critical service for more than 38 years,” said Uzzo. “We are grateful to our partners in the Commonwealth whose support is helping us to advance our efforts with a next-generation Mobile Screening Unit and the ability to reach more people with screenings for more types of cancers, including breast, cervical, skin, and head & neck cancers; screening for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a key risk factor for liver cancer; bilingual cancer education; and collection of biospecimens to help us learn more about cancer health disparities.”
Sen. Tartaglione expressed the significance of the mobile health grants. “Quality healthcare without boundaries and barriers is one of the surest ways to increase the quality of living for Pennsylvanians,” said Tartaglione. “It means nothing to build hospitals without ensuring everyone that needs access has access to the care provided.” Tartaglione continued: “These funds will allow the work of ensuring access to continue expanding into neighborhoods that are traditionally underserved and underinvested.”
A representative from Sen. Street’s office, Lateefah Shakir, stood at the event in support of the health equity funding. “In the beginning of the pandemic, it was critical to marshal resources to meet the medical needs of underserved communities,” said Street. “I’m thankful for the leadership and partnership of Senator Haywood to secure $10 million for health equity, mobile clinics, and trauma-informed care.”
Following the press conference, the group participated in a roundtable to discuss healthcare priorities of the Commonwealth in their collective efforts to increase access to equitable, high quality health care, including screenings and treatments for patients in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus will announce additional recipients of public health equity funding this year. Video of event will be available at senatorhaywood.com/video.