Hilltop Health Ministries recipient of Benjamin Rush service award
March 4, 2008
Hilltop Health Ministries Consortium is this year's recipient of the 2007 Benjamin Rush Community Orgainzation Health Service Award. Established in 1947, this award honors a lay organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the public health of the citizens of Allegheny County.
The consortium's vision statement is "By 2010, Hilltop Health Ministries Consortium will be the premier model of faith communities collaborating to improve the health of their community." So far, the consortium is well on its way to achieving this vision.
Organized in 2000, the consortium consists of pastors and volunteers from six religious congregations providing services that include elder outreach, parish nurse services, young adult outreach and health ministry to the South Pittsburgh communities of Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beltzhoover, Carrick, Knoxville, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver and Saint Clair Village.
The Elder Outreach Volunteer Program provides home visits, referrals and transportation to the elderly in the area, as well as a low vision support group.
The Parish Nurse Services provide the community with referral services, blood pressure screenings and fitness, support and health education programs.
The Young Adult Outreach consists of several programs:
• Pampering Day is a semi-annual event providing young mothers and pregnant women ages 14-22 with complimentary haircuts, styles, a healthy meal, free childcare and a program on stress management.
• Parenting in Our Community is a resource guide for families with small children and is provided in collaboration with the South Pittsburgh Partners for Kids.
• Teen Girl Squad is a leadership program for girls ages 12-18 focusing on community service.
• Teen Girl Squad Walks is a health education and fitness program for girls ages 12-18.
• The Teen Women and Violence Dialogue Project focuses on the relationship between teen girls and violence. It is provided in collaboration with the South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace.
Each church is provided with resources and training to implement health education programs through Health Ministry Teams. Currently there are four participating churches.
Hilltop Health Ministries Consortium has done a good job of listening to the needs of the community and implementing programs. Joy Burt Conti, manager of Mercy Parish/Congregational Nurse and Health Ministry Program, states, "Their development of a low vision support group is a demonstration of their assessment skill and sensitive response to the needs of the community. Health education and health promotion for all ages have been provided through their ministries. Not only have they been creative in finding volunteers for the elder outreach program, they have also been successful this summer in assessing need and recruiting support for young mothers in these communities."
Allegheny Count Medical Society President Adam J. Gordon, MD, MPH, will present the award at Hilltop Health Ministries Consortium's board meeting today, March 4.
The Allegheny County Medical Society has 3,200 physician members from all specialties and is dedicated to providing expert advice and guidance to its membership and the community. The organization has been serving Allegheny County since 1865.