In 1989 the groundbreaking AGH Northside Partnership Agreement provided a context in which a mutually beneficial relationship could grow between Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) and the Northside community establishing a framework for a series of initiatives. Every two years since, Allegheny General Hospital and the 15 neighborhood groups organized through the Northside Leadership Conference have reaffirmed their commitment in a manner that responds to a changing environment. Central to this series of agreements is a commitment to communication, consultation and cooperation between AGH and the Northside Community.
The first of its kind in the region, the Agreement outlines six initiatives which allow the Partners to work together in good faith to realize their common goals for housing, education and employment, economic development and health of the communities.
Allegheny General Hospital lends its support and technical assistance to neighborhood groups involved in the development of projects that address concerns affecting the physical landscapes near the Hospital proper. These neighborhood projects include purchase and infill of vacant or blighted properties and façade and streetscape improvements. Most recent improvements include the renovation of the Aeberlie building at the corner of North Avenue and Sandusky Street, and the Parkhurst Street Improvements.
Over 20 AGH employees serve as mentors to Northside Public High School students through its partnership with the Pittsburgh Public School's Start on Success program. Students work with their mentors daily to receive job readiness training and hands on experience in a modern workforce setting. Other initiatives include the Stranger Danger Awareness program in which high school students teach Northside elementary students about stranger awareness, the Allegheny Women's Biotechnology Workforce Collaborative which provides tuition and resources for Northside women interested in earning a degree in medical science, and other health career ladders available to both Northside residents and current AGH employees.
Mortgage and Marketing
AGH sponsors yearly neighborhood tours for hospital employees to visit cultural and neighborhood attractions on the Northside. The Partnership also promotes Northside neighborhood events through the use of its newsletters, communications, and displays. Homebuyer education is provided through the Workforce Home Benefit Program.
Health Improvement Initiatives
Established in 2001 by AGH and the NSLC, the Northside Health Improvement Partnership (NSHIP), whose members include AGH, NSLC and its member organizations, and other healthcare and social service providers, views its mission as measurably improving the overall health status and quality of life of Northside residents. Programming includes Access to Healthcare initiatives, the Northside Youth Summer Guide and the Northside STRIDE Walking Program.
AGH is committed to providing residents of the Northside community priority in hiring for new positions provided all other qualifications are equal. The goal of this prioritization is to promote the economic vitality of the Northside by increasing the number of Northside residents at work in the hospital. AGH also provides job listings to the Employment Center located at the NSLC in order to assist them in reaching qualified applicants from the Northside area.
Local Purchasing Initiatives
AGH purchases products and services from Northside businesses whenever possible. In addition, vendor fairs are held bi-annually for Northside merchants to showcase and sell their products at AGH.
2013 Summer Update on AGH-Northside Partnership
Summer has come to an end and it’s beginning to look like fall on the Northside. As the Allegheny General Hospital-Northside Partnership prepares for another busy season, we would like to thank and recognize everyone who participated in Partnership activities this summer.
Over the summer the Partnership took part in a series of community health fairs. Early in the season, staff from AGH’s Nursing, Dental, Sports Medicine and Food and Nutrition departments provided free health screenings and information to the visitors at the Riverview Park Heritage Day. AGH staff also provided blood pressure screenings at health fairs organized by the Northside Christian Health Center and State Representative Jake Wheatley. Liz Vincent DNP, RN, Infection Prevention, participated in Allegheny Elementary School’s open house. She taught students the best way to help prevent spreading germs. And members of the Emergency Department and STAR Center provided and helped fit over 40 Northside children with bicycle helmets. In total, AGH’s staff provided health screenings and information to around 400 Northsiders this summer.
The Partnership was also very busy in the Hospital. Continuing with its recognition that education maintains a health community, AGH provided local high school students the opportunity to intern at the Hospital. Youth from the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board’s WorkReady program and the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Start on Success program worked 30 hours a week at AGH. The students not only gained work experience, but also had the opportunity to explore various careers available in the field of healthcare. Special thanks to the following departments and staff for hosting the student: including Pharmacy, Club Allegheny, Psychiatry, Dental, Continuing Medical Education, Parking, Nursing, Patient Transport, and the Grand Grounds Coffee Cart.
In keeping with the mission to showcase the health and vibrancy of the local neighborhoods, the AGH-Northside Partnership was pleased to provide hospital employees and their guests with tours of the community. One tour included bicycling through the Manchester, Allegheny City Central and Allegheny West communities, stopping at local attractions and restaurants. Another group took a tour of Allegheny Commons Park and the Historic Deutschtown neighborhood. Based on the success of these tours, the Partnership hopes to offer more in the near future.
Debra Caplan, Sr. Vice President at AGH and liaison for the AGH-Northside Partnership, expressed her appreciation to the AGH staff for their ongoing commitment to the Northside, “Thank you again to all who participated in Partnership activities this summer and for your work to benefit our wonderful Northside community.”
For more information on the AGH-Northside Partnership and opportunities to get involved in the local community, please contact Lindsey Blocki, AGH Partnership Director at 412-330-2535 or Lindsey@pittsburghnorthside.com.