Pittsburgh Mercy Health System

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

With winter weather approaching, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)  have teamed up to provide a cold-weather shelter for the region's homeless.

The Severe Weather Emergency Shelter (SWES), part of Pittsburgh Mercy's Operation Safety Net program, will provide a warm place to stay with clinical and behavioral health care services, beds and assistance finding permanent housing, according to the DHS.

Pittsburgh’s Mercy Health System (PMHS) is the latest healthcare organization to expand its no-smoking policy by implementing tobacco-free work shifts.

Starting today, PMHS employees, volunteers and visitors are prohibited from smoking on property owned or rented by the nonprofit.

“The buildings have already been smoke free, but now the grounds are going to be smoke and tobacco-free,” Mark Rogalsky, manager of prevention services, said. “And also, we’re instituting a smoke-free work shift policy, so they will be unable to smoke during their work shift.”

A doctor’s office on wheels, which looks just like an RV on the outside, is taking to the streets Monday.

Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s (PMHS) new mobile medical unit features: three private examine rooms, one for therapy and psychiatric evaluation, and the other two are physical exam rooms, one of which can double as a dental clinic.

“For all practical purposes, the luxury on the inside is as good as any physician’s office in town, but it offers that level of care to people who don’t normally get it,” said PMHS CEO Ray Wolfe.

Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration at Allegheny County Jail

Oct 8, 2014
Reid Carter / 90.5WESA

Breaking the cycle of jail and prison re-entry is not an easy process, especially for repeat offenders. There are lifestyle choices that need to be considered and often times avoided. 

But that requires the right behavioral coaching and support. The Allegheny County Jail runs a collaborative program with Pittsburgh Mercy Health System which was recently evaluated by the Urban Institute in Washington D.C. and found to successfully reduce recidivism.

We’ll talk about how the collaborative works with Karen Cordaro Team Leader Prevention/Intervention Services for PMHS. We’ll also talk with Darrell Robinson, from the Point Breeze area of Pittsburgh. He’s a repeat offender currently on work-release and going through the collaborative program. He’s also enrolled in the Mechatronics Program at CCAC.

Operation Safety Net’s Severe Weather Emergency Shelter opened two days early this year with more than four times the expected turnout.

When the temperature drops down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s Operation Safety Net opens a Severe Weather Emergency Shelter at the Smithfield United Church of Christ in downtown Pittsburgh to protect homeless people from the cold.

The shelter has overnight accommodations, social services and medical care.