Jefferson Collaborative for Health Equity


Opportunities for Supporting Vulnerable Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Give to the COVID-19 Response Fund to support local nonprofits and community agencies as they build their capacity to respond to COVID-19-related needs during this unprecedented time. This could include upgrades to their technical capabilities as they pivot their programs and services to a virtual environment, as well as helping to secure additional basic needs such as food, clothing, diapers, and formula. Organizations are experiencing a spike in the demand for services and supplies due to growing unemployment.

Help us address food insecurity among vulnerable individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to providing a diagnosis for COVID-19 cases, Jefferson’s clinical departments have been screening these individuals for the social determinants of health. They have found that a great number of these individuals are food insecure as a residual effect of COVID-19 because they are unable to grocery shop in isolation (to mitigate spread), and also do not have the means to afford food delivery services. We have launched a program to provide two-week supplies of food to address these issues upon discharge from clinical care.

Cover the cost of telehealth visits for underserved community members in Frankford, one of the Philadelphia neighborhoods with the highest rate of infection, and also one of the poorest and hungriest neighborhoods in the country.

Support continued treatment for substance abuse disorder during the pandemic. Officials worry we could see a spike in overdose deaths due to the depression and hopelessness exacerbated by the isolation of social distancing. The Maternal Addiction Treatment, Education, and Research (MATER) continues to treat pregnant women and recent mothers who suffer from substance abuse disorder to address their illness and improve their lives through medical assisted treatment, counseling, case management, and mindfulness and parenting skills.

Today, the life expectancy of a baby born in Center City is more than a decade longer than one born in South Philadelphia, and 20 years longer than a baby born in North Philadelphia.

A Leader In Community Care

Philadelphia’s Challenge

At a time when more than a quarter of all Philadelphians live in poverty, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the Philadelphia Challenge. It will take targeted efforts addressing the multiple social determinants of health impacting each Philadelphia community. Learn more about our initiatives.

Campaign Priorities

Philanthropy is central to our mission—a catalyst for real change in the community. It allows us to support programmatic needs, launch new endeavors, and give all Philadelphians the resources they need to achieve the best quality of life. Together, we can eliminate the health inequities that have plagued Philadelphians for far too long, paving the way for other communities to follow.

The Hansjörg Wyss South Philadelphia Wellness Center will serve as the hub of Jefferson’s clinical and educational outreach activities for the city’s southern neighborhoods, particularly targeting the area’s significant immigrant and refugee populations. Located in the Bok Building—an anchor for the surrounding community—the Wyss Center will be a one-stop-shop offering primary and preventive care, outreach, and educational offerings to this overlooked patient population, regardless of health insurance or citizenship status.

Philanthropy is a core part of the Wyss Center’s mission. Thanks to a leadership gift from the center’s namesake, we have recently broken ground on the clinic and launched a $5 million fundraising initiative to enact our ultimate vision for the space. Your philanthropic support will enable us to create the only medical practice in Philadelphia providing comprehensive, integrated medical care and health education for immigrants, refugees, and the surrounding South Philadelphia community. 

Despite an influx of new jobs in recent years, Philadelphia’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at six percent. This is the paradox of poverty—while education and employment opportunities are plentiful, they remain largely unattainable for the city’s impoverished citizens. This, in turn, further diminishes the health and well-being of this vulnerable population.

Jefferson is working to break the cycle of poverty by developing a continuum of hands-on, low-to-no-cost education and workforce development programs tailored to Philadelphia’s vulnerable communities. As we look to the future, philanthropic support is vital to expanding the reach, scope, and impact of these life-changing programs.

The Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic, operated in close partnership with Puentes de Salud, aims to improve community and individual health and wellness not only by providing immediate medical services, but also by acknowledging and challenging embedded social inequalities and injustices affecting Philadelphia’s underserved populations, particularly in the Latino community.

Our dedicated team works in partnership with community members, local public schools, universities, governmental institutions, and other nonprofit organizations to address the adverse structural, economic, and social conditions that profoundly affect the prosperity of this community. Philanthropy is central to our mission, ensuring that we can provide these vital services at little to no cost to our patients.    

The Steven H. Korman Center for Community Engagement helps disadvantaged and underemployed Philadelphians secure in-demand jobs in healthcare, providing career training and support for GED attainment, comprehensive case management, and job placement. The center currently offers a community health worker certification with peer support specialist training, certified nursing assistant training, and certified medical assistant programs.

Philanthropic support will strengthen our efforts to provide educational and career opportunities for our most vulnerable neighbors, helping us achieve our mission to improve lives by placing more individuals on the path to success.

Philadelphia is truly a tale of two cities. While some neighborhoods are experiencing unprecedented commercial and residential development, large swaths of the city are being left behind, succumbing to ever-worsening blight and neglect.

At this time, the city is home to more than 40,000 vacant lots. Approximately 12 percent of Philadelphians lack access to green space. These conditions fuel rates of depression and feelings of stress and hopelessness among residents. Unfortunately, the city lacks full funding to help reinvigorate these neighborhoods in need.

Jefferson’s Community Health Worker Training program helps disadvantaged and underemployed Philadelphians secure in-demand jobs in healthcare by providing career training and support for GED attainment, comprehensive case management, and job placement.

We currently offer a community health worker certification with peer support specialist training, certified nursing assistant training, and certified medical assistant programs. Your generous support empowers us to assist more hardworking Philadelphians in their quest for a fulfilling career in healthcare.

A growing body of research has found that many of the traumatic life experiences faced by the poor, particularly in their childhood and young adult years, help perpetuate the conditions of poverty. As a trusted safety net provider covering more than two-thirds of Philadelphians, Jefferson is committed to helping individuals better cope with these experiences and break free of the negative feedback loop these traumas perpetuate.

The Jefferson Trauma Education Network (J-TEN) is designed to grow and nurture well-trained, healthy, and sustainable human service workforces; to provide resources and support for families, communities, and leaders; and to reduce barriers and support equitable access to services.

hungry children

children go hungry


of the population is obese


of children are living in poverty

These aren’t statistics from the developing world. This is happening right here, right now, in Philadelphia.

Make a Gift

You Make the Difference

With a gift to support the Jefferson Collaborative for Health Equity, you can help ensure that every Philadelphian has access to the resources and programs that will help create opportunities for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances. You can create a legacy that will touch the lives of countless individuals. You can give people hope.


Name: Molly Gerber
Position: Vice President, Principal Gifts & Chief Strategy Officer, Office of Institutional Advancement
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