Put People First! PA members have been out in our Regional Healthcare Rights Committees in different areas across the state almost every week since March! Members go out together and knock on doors to meet people at their homes or set up in public places like food pantries or at community events. Everywhere we look to connect with people about their healthcare experiences, and talk with one another about what it would take to change this system. At People’s Clinics we meet basic needs like helping people sign up for state benefits and provide basic medical services like blood pressure screenings. We ask people to share their healthcare stories to help us break our isolation and to join us to get organized.

Here are some highlights from Spring-Summer 2024 Base-building across the Pennsylvania!

June 11th Southeast PA (SEPA): People’s Clinic at Murphy’s Market. The SEPA Healthcare Rights Committee (HRC) comes out to Murphy’s Market, a local food pantry in Upper Darby, twice a month to hold a People’s Clinic. 

June 8th Southwest PA (SWPA): The Southwest PA Healthcare Rights Committee (SWPA HRC) held a People’s Clinic at the Swissvale Farmer’s Market at the STEAM academy on Saturday June 8th. Melanie, Benita, Rica, Barbara & Briann volunteered and offered blood pressure screening, Medicaid/SNAP signup, and listened to healthcare stories from those who visited us. We build our base to build our power!

June 8th South Central PA (SCPA): Put People First! PA South Central Healthcare Rights Committee joined the “Peace in the Streets Block Party” at Culliton Park in Lancaster, PA organized by the Kendall Movement, dedicated to Kendall Cook and all those who lost their lives due to gun violence, Paying it Forward, an organization that offers food boxes and SOWE, a Lancaster City neighborhood group.  Click here to read more!

May 26 Southwest PA (SWPA): Scouting today in Lawrence County with Steph, who is currently going through the New Member Enlistment process in SWPA.

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May 25th Central / Appalachia PA (CAPA): Scouting today in Mifflin county – public housing developments and laundromats!

May 25th Southeast PA (SEPA): We had an amazing people’s clinic in Pottstown today! We met a lot of people we will follow up with in the coming week! We’re a month out from Mission of Mercy and that will be an exciting time to develop leaders here in SEPA!

May 19th Northeast PA (NEPA): NEPA Healthcare Rights Committee (HRC) held a People’s Clinic yesterday in Newberry Estates public housing in Williamsport. We did door knocking there a month ago with fliers for the clinic. Such a great community. 

May 11 Southwest PA (SWPA): The Southwest PA Healthcare Rights Committee hit up 3 laundromats in Washington, PA today! Had some powerful conversations, definitely met some gold and witnessed firsthand the consequences of someone being denied their medication as we had to call an ambulance for a young woman who had a seizure.

May 11 South Central PA (SCPA): Door knocking in South Central PA!

April 28 Southeast PA (SEPA):  First time door knocking in our new member, Robin’s, neighborhood in Pottstown!

April 27 Central / Appalachia PA (CAPA): CAPA’s first door knocking of the season in Oakhurst (a public housing development in Johnstown) today! We met up with a contact that we previously met door knocking in Oakhurst and who got involved for a bit, including coming to a legislative visit with Senator Langerholc, but we lost touch when his number changed. Today, we went to his house and reconnected, and he came out to door knock with us! 

April 20 Noutheast PA (NEPA): Yesterday was our first community event of the year: a Doorknocking at Newberry Estates in Williamsport. We heard devastating stories of the effects of poverty. 

????️ S who had to fight an uphill battle in order to get home health aid.

????️ T whose mother can barely scrap together the money for her copays every month.

????️ C who worries since she started working part time, she might lose her access to healthcare.

????️ J who lost her husband 3 years ago and suffers from high copays for her lifesaving meds.

????️ R who reapplied to Medicaid five times before the state allowed her to have healthcare.

????️ C who has healthcare for her kids, but struggles to access it for herself.

????️ K whose brother died far too young. We won’t stand by as poverty kills our people anymore!

Sharing our stories is how we break our isolation, how we let other folks know that they are not alone in laboring under this death-dealing system. We must shift the narratives around poverty, by shifting the narrator to the voices of those most oppressed. 

We won’t be silent anymore!!

We are determined to band together to change what’s politically possible in Pennsylvania. That’s why we’re holding a People’s Clinic at the same location next month, to get our community ORGANIZED, to get their needs met, and to become a political center of gravity.

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