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UPMC donates $250,000 to community organizations

Greg Larry, The Cumberland Times News

UPMC Western Maryland officials announced Friday the donation of $250,000 to five community organizations.

The funding was made possible through the support of Maryland Physicians Care, which administers Maryland Medicaid in communities across the state. UPMC has a 25% ownership stake in MPC, said Michele Martz, UPMC Western Maryland president.

“We are really excited to be able to distribute these funds into our community through our partnership with Maryland Physicians Care,” Martz said during a ceremony held at the hospital. “We are thrilled to be able to help these organizations.”

According to a press release, the organizations chosen for the donations were based on a longstanding history of collaboration and teamwork with UPMC.

The donations included $120,588 to the Western Maryland Food Bank; $50,000 for the Western Maryland Health System Foundation; $30,000 to the Salvation Army Cumberland Corps; $25,000 to the Union Rescue Mission; and $25,000 for Allegany County Department of Social Services.

“We are here to celebrate the incredible work that these organizations are doing and offer some funding to help you in your efforts,” said Jason Rottman, chief financial officer for MPC.

“For the last dedicate or more we have really started to understand the impact that socioeconomic issues and behavioral health have on physical health,” he said. “It is a huge driver of the ultimate outcome of the individual’s health.”

“We appreciate the partnerships we have with each of (the organizations) because without your contribution what we do (at UPMC) wouldn’t work and we thank you,” said Elizabeth David, UPMC director of population health.

Pastor David Ziler and wife Andrea of the Union Rescue Mission were on hand to receive the funding.

“The money that you have given us allows us to continue to feed people while having access to our health partners,” said Ziler. “It allows us to offer hot meals three times a day, 365 days a year. When they eat a hot meal we have the opportunity to get to know and understand them.”

Amy Moyer, executive director of the Western Maryland Food Bank, said the donation has come at a good time. She said the food bank warehouse and offices at 816 Frederick St. recently required a major roof repair that cost $160,000.

Greg Larry is a reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. To reach him, call 304-639-4951, email glarry@times-news.com and follow him on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.

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