Penn Medicine’s new center to improve surgical equity for vulnerable patients

Penn Medicine has established a new center to directly connect vulnerable patients to surgical care, a pathway that is often out of reach for this population. The Center for Surgical Health (CSH) is a first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary center, housed in the department of Surgery, provides a new access point into sustainable, high-value surgical care for patients who typically rely on the emergency room for treatment.

“Many uninsured patients from marginalized groups—particularly immigrant communities in Philadelphia—use the ER for their surgical needs, regardless of the condition, which can lead to costly care and worse outcomes,” says CSH director Jon B. Morris, the Ernest F. Rosato-William Maul Measey Professor in Surgical Education in the department of Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine. “We believe in caring for all of our neighbors. This starts with an infrastructure through which patients can access high-quality, elective surgeries, from gallbladder surgery to hernia repair, that eliminates the ER as a preoperative clinic.”

CSH expects to support and provide surgical services to approximately 175 patients in 2021, many referred through Puentes de Salud and the University City Hospitality Coalition, with that number expected to grow in 2022 and beyond as the CSH expands. With Penn Medicine now managing the inpatient clinical services at the newly formed PHMC Public Health Campus on Cedar, patients from West and Southwest Philadelphia will have an additional access point at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP)—Cedar Avenue to receive care through CSH. So far, CSH has treated 154 patients.

 

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