BENEFITING: MUSLIM COUNCIL OF AMERICA FOUNDATION INC
Money raised here will be used to fund a yearly, locally-staffed position for medical record keeping. None of the doctors will receive a salary of any kind.
The WHAT and WHERE:
The Braddock Free Clinic is available to residents of the wider Braddock region, including all of the area previously served by UPMC Braddock Hospital. The clinic will operate on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the Braddock Municipal Building.
Volunteer doctors organized by the Muslim Council of America will operate the clinic.
After the closure of UPMC Braddock hospital, the surrounding communities were left without accessible health care; several of these communities have at least 40% of residents below the poverty line--without cars to make the long trek to another hospital feasible. Many of these residents are elderly and uninsured.
Riffat Chugtai, Executive Director of the Braddock Free Clinic, says: “We want to reach a wide geographic area. Patients are not limited to Braddock. We target the service to adults without health insurance who have incomes below 350% of the poverty level. This is not a publicly funded program. It is a commitment by the Muslim community to the healthcare needs of the region. Doctors and administrative staff are volunteers committed to community healthcare.”
Jesse Brown, Braddock Borough Council President, says: “We want the clinic to be successful and serve the widest area possible. We won’t turn anybody away because of where they live. This is the seed of a new healthcare network in the Mon Valley and surrounding areas. I think it can be a model for other communities as well.”
Tony Buba, nationally known filmmaker and spokesperson for SOCH, says: “This is a small step toward restoring healthcare in Braddock and working toward access to healthcare by everybody. What we truly need is a single payer health system. We thank Dr. Akhtar and the Muslim Council of America for taking notice of our two years of struggle against the closure of UPMC Braddock and helping bring healthcare back to those who are uninsured and need care the most.”