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McKeesport Hospital Foundation distributes grant awards

| Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, 12:57 a.m.
McKeesport Hospital Foundation board president Irv Latterman presents a $5,000 check to McKeesport Healthier Communities Partnership leaders Betty Jean Marconi, Steve Hranics, Lorraine Starsky and Adolphine Birescik during a Friday luncheon. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
At Friday's Mon River Fleet luncheon to honor its member SHIPs, from left, are the Rev. Arlene Walker of Braddock's PartnerSHIP for a Caring Community, Mickey Bradley of Clairton Community PartnerSHIP, Alison Piccolino of Duquesne Healther Community PartnerSHIP, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, Mon River Fleet Leo Club president Samantha Luketic and UPMC McKeesport president Cynthia M. Dorundo. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News

McKeesport Healthier Communities PartnerSHIP received the SHIP of the Year award on Friday afternoon at a Mon River Fleet luncheon and ceremony at Riverside Care Center in McKeesport.

It received a $5,000 McKeesport Hospital Foundation grant for its Chronic Disease Management-Support Modules program.

“Chronic disease takes a major toll on the health and well being of the residents of the Mon Valley,” said Lorraine Starsky, SHIP member who leads the Chronic Diseases Logic Model. “This initiative is an attempt to help support those struggling with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic pain.”

“This is fantastic,” model co-chair Steve Hranics said. “We can do a big project.”

The acronym SHIP stands for State Health Improvement Plan.

The awards asked SHIPS to propose a program or service that they would like to sponsor in their community in 2013 either by themselves or through a partnership that would have an impact.

McKeesport's SHIP tentative program plan would have each module meet one hour a week for 14 weeks. An expert for each specific disease would facilitate a program every first and fourth week. The second and third week's programs would be led by an expert in a supporting field such as nutrition, exercise and depression.

A suggested setting for these program modules was Angora Gardens in White Oak.

“All the proposals were wonderful,” McKeesport Hospital Foundation president Irving J. Latterman said. “It was hard choosing just one.”

Clairton Community Partnership, DuquesneSHIP, and Partnership for a Caring Community received $3,000 McKeesport Hospital Foundation grants for the Mon River Fleet SHIP Alternate Awards.

Clairton SHIP's program would have the organization partner with Clairton City School District to bring the Carnegie Science Center health prevention education program for grades 5-12 in Clairton City School District.

DuquesneSHIP will use its funding to collaborate with the City of Duquesne, Duquesne Elementary School, Duquesne City School PTA, Duquesne Partnership and others to have the 2013 Future Fair and Conference for residents to learn about various aspects of the city and school district.

Partnership for a Caring Community, formerly The Braddock Healthier Communities PartnerSHIP, will use the grant money to sponsor a scholarship fund that encourages teens to pursue health-related fields of study after high school.

A $1,000 foundation grant was awarded to the Mon River Fleet's Leo Club — a youth extension of the Lions Clubs — to have 28 McKeesport Area Technology Center Allied Health students experience “Sim-Man” onsite training and then visit the Simulation Mannequin Training Facility at Hershey Medical Center.

“Our partners of Clairton, Duquesne, Braddock and McKeesport are some of the most vulnerable areas in Allegheny County,” Mon River Fleet facilitator Michele Matuch told the award luncheon attendees. “So the work that you do every day through your agency, through the hospital, through the community, through the partnership and for being now a member of the Mon River Fleet Lions Club and our Leos, you really make an impact in our community.”

She said the fleet was able to increase the amount of the award grants this year.

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or