The official opening and dedication of the Braddock Free Health Clinic will take place on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM at the Braddock Municipal Building, 415 Sixth Street, Braddock, PA 15104. Dr. Mohammad Akhtar, president of the Muslim Council of America, which is sponsoring the clinic, will host the event. Dr. Akhtar said, “We are delighted to be located in Braddock and to serve the greater Braddock community which needs help with its healthcare. We have been made to feel welcomed by this community and look forward to be a partner in striving to provide the quality of healthcare every human deserves.” The purpose of the Braddock Free Clinic is to fill a void in healthcare that has been left with the closing of UPMC Braddock.
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. It is hosted by Braddock Borough Council and supported by SOCH. The open house will give everybody a chance to see the beginnings of a new medical care model in the Braddock area and meet the people who will be providing the services. New patients can also sign up at the open house.
Riffat Chugtai, Executive Director of the Braddock Free Clinic, said, “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, said, “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, who is the spokesperson for SOCH said, “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.”
For more information, contact:
Dr. Mohammad Akhtar, 724-538-3858, CEO, Muslim Council of America
Riffat Chugtai, 412-612-6381, Clinic Executive Director
SOCH: Tony Buba, 412-351-4808