Community outreach is an integral component of Penn Medicine’s three-part mission of research, patient care, and education. Many faculty, staff, and students not only provide free health care at community-based clinics but also serve as a wellness resource. Beyond those efforts, though, countless members of the Health System family reach out on an individual basis. They find time in their busy schedules—after working all week and meeting the needs of families—to give back to those less fortunate.
“Our employees who volunteer in the community are the best-hearted people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting,” says Laura Lombardo, manager of Penn Medicine Community Relations. “Many volunteer for the same event every month simply to promote good. Their generosity and selflessness continue to amaze and encourage me.”
Ginny McGill’s and her husband, Timothy, have deep roots in their West Philadelphia community. Her son, Aiden, even attends the same elementary school she went to. But McGill, who works in HUP’s Labor and Delivery unit, worried that Aiden, who has autism, was not getting all the help he needed to succeed at school. McGill didn’t want to leave the neighborhood she loved so she found a way to bring the support to his school—by creating Aiden’s “A” Team, a non-profit that seeks to educate and empower parents and caregivers of children with autism. Her first order of business: create a “sensory room” in Aiden’s school, for all of the school’s many other special education students, which include around 30 others with autism.
Read about more community volunteers in Lancaster, at Princeton Health, and PPMC, who work with children, homeless populations, and community members in addiction recovery programs, at Penn Medicine News.