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Spirit of Health Mobile Wellness Initiative Expands

The Sisters of St. Francis of Millvale and the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s Parish/Congregational Nurse and Health Ministries Program will announce a new partner and enhanced outreach services in the Spirit of Health initiative—a mobile wellness and disease prevention outreach program that helps underserved neighborhoods throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The addition of Duquesne University’s Mylan School of Pharmacy makes the Spirit of Health the first local outreach initiative involving a Catholic congregation of women religious, a Catholic health care system, and a Catholic educational institution.

A special kick-off event celebrating the partnership and expanded initiative will be held on Monday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. the Millvale Community Center at 416-418 Lincoln Avenue. The event will include a dedication, followed by a reception and free health screenings for the public that will include cholesterol, bone density and blood pressure screenings.

Designed to bring much-needed preventative care and health education to communities, the Spirit of Health began in 2003 as a partnership between the Sisters of St. Francis of Millvale and Mercy’s Parish/Congregational Nurse and Health Ministries Program. The addition of Duquesne University allows for more comprehensive outreach and a greater community presence. Targeted populations for the enhanced initiative include communities that either have limited preventative care services or that have been greatly impacted by recent flooding, such as Millvale, Carnegie, Green Meadows and the South Side Hilltop. A high priority will be the care of underserved women and children.

Students and faculty from the Mylan School of Pharmacy will provide clinical care, screenings and health education utilizing the mobile health care unit provided by the Sisters of St. Francis. Mercy Parish Nurses will maintain a continuous presence within the community following the visits, offering health and wellness assistance and referral services.

In addition to serving those in need, the unique partnership will provide Duquesne pharmacy students with hands-on experience in what is considered to be an emerging focus on the role of pharmacists—proactive community involvement in wellness, prevention and education.

The Spirit of Health mobile health unit stemmed from a 2003 partnership between the Sisters of St. Francis of Millvale and the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System. The Spirit of Health is supported by grants, including a tobacco settlement grant, monies from contracts and through the in-kind services of Mercy Parish Nurses, the Sisters of St. Francis of Millvale, and Duquesne University pharmacy students and faculty.

For more information about the dedication and open house, call 412-821-2200, ext. 0.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.