Our semi-annual newsletter, The Keystone, is a great introduction to Put People First! PA, our work, and our community. It’s all written by our members for our own communication and education, and for supporters and new relationships to get to know us better. Each issue features reports from our work, news about our victories, stories about the health care system and the other issues affecting our communities, and poetry and artwork.

Just released last weekend at the 7th Annual Put People First! PA Membership Assembly in Pittsburgh. Check it out here or in the Media section of our website.

Fall 2019/Winter 2020

Keystone 2019/2020 Cover page with photos of members

Join us for our 7th Annual Membership Assembly in Pittsburgh!

Unase a nuestra septima Asamblea Anual de Membresia en Pittsburgh!

Oct 11 – 13 register here / Inscribase aqui

Our 7th annual Membership Assembly will be held the 2nd weekend of October in Allegheny County at the Pittsburgh Project, 2801 N. Charles St., Pittsburgh, PA 15214. Arrival is the evening of Friday October 11th, and the assembly ends at 1:30 pm on Sunday October 13th. This year’s Assembly will be hosted by the Pittsburgh Healthcare Rights Committee. Transportation (within PA), accommodations, meals, interpretation, and childcare are provided at no cost to participants. Registration Deadline: Friday September 27th!:

Nuestra séptima Asamblea Anual de Miembros del Pueblo Primero! Pennsylvania (Put People First! PA) se llevará a cabo el segundo fin de semana de octubre en el condado de Allegheny en el Proyecto Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh Project), 2801 N. Charles St., Pittsburgh, PA 15214. La llegada a la asamblea será durante la tarde del viernes, 11 de octubre y la asamblea acabará el domingo, 13 de octubre a la 1:30 p.m. Fecha límite de inscripción: ¡viernes, 27 de septiembre!

Register here! 
Inscribase aqui! 

Thank you! $1.6 MILLION in Medical Debt abolished!

Put People First! PA fundraised $16,000 to abolish medical debt for thousands in Western PA

Over the summer, Put People First! PA worked with RIP Medical Debt and Mark Fichman of Pittsburgh to absolve over $1,600,000 of medical debt from families struggling in Western PA. RIP Medical Debt is a non profit that buys medical debt from third party debt collectors at the cost of $1 to $100 of debt and absolves it. By fundraising $16,000, Put People First! PA freed over 1000 families in 18 counties – Allegheny, Washington, Greene, Butler, Westmoreland, Indiana, Armstrong, Beaver, Fayette, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Crawford, Erie, Clarion, Venango, Warren, and Forest – from the stress and harm of healthcare debt. Thank you to everyone who donated!

At Put People First! PA, we don’t believe that anyone should go broke paying for medical care. The US is the richest nation in the world, and we have more than enough to take care of everyone who lives here. Working people should get the same care as the rich. We should never have to choose between getting the care we need and having a roof over our head, transportation or food to eat. Medical bills are a leading cause of homelessness. To solve this problem, we need a universal healthcare system that puts people over profit and abolishes insurance companies that currently ration our care and have power over our lives. We are taking care of our people in the here and now by working to free ourselves from the crushing burden of medical debt. 

Families whose debt is absolved will receive information about Put People First! PA and be invited to join us in fighting for healthcare as a human right. Thank you to everyone who donated!

Speak out on Hahnemann! Will you write a Letter to the Editor into Philly newspapers?

Hahnemann is one of Philadelphia’s oldest hospitals and sees over 50,000 patients every year. Hahnemann’s patient population is largely poor Philadelphians. More than any other, this is the hospital that serves people on Medicaid, the uninsured, patients of color and homeless Philadelphians. It was bought by a group called Paladin Healthcare, a California corporation owned by a hedge fund that buys up hospitals across the country to close them to profit off the real estate. 

Since Paladin announced that they were going to be closing this hospital, unions, medical students and community groups, including PPF-PA and our PA Poor Peoples’ Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival partners have been taking action to raise our voices against it. Check out news coverage and photos from the Philadelphia Healthcare Rights Committee (HRC) action during the July Base-Building Exchange here

The Philadelphia HRC is asking for PPF-PA members and friends from across the state to flood Philadelphia area newspapers, connecting the immoral closure of Hahnemann to the statewide fight for healthcare as a human right. Letters should be 150 words or less. Members did this from across the state for the closing of St. Joseph’s in Lancaster, will you write a Letter to the Editor (LTE) for Hahnemann?

Here are some guiding questions to get you thinking about your LTE:

  1. Why do you care that Hahnemann is closing?
  2. Why is this IMMORAL?
  3. Who does this hit the hardest?
  4. What else like this is happening around the state?
  5. Have you waited in an overcrowded waiting/emergency room?
  6. What does it say about our city/state/society’s priorities?
  7. Who benefits from this closure?
  8. How will this closing affect your loved ones?
  9. What direction is healthcare headed?

If you’re thinking about writing one or once you have a draft, reach out to Iaan for support, edits and submission: email iaan.reynolds@gmail.com