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Patty Gerrity Named Health Hero Semi-Finalist

September 25, 2014

Patty Gerrity, PhD, Associate Dean for Community Programs at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions and Director of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, has been named one of just sixteen semi-finalists out of the 535 health professionals who were nominated for Be Well Philly’s Health Hero Challenge. Back for its third year, the Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge honors local Philadelphia champions of health and wellness.

Gerrity was nominated for being the driving force behind the revolutionary nurse managed health center at the center of four North Philadelphia public housing developments, now called the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center of Drexel University. When Gerrity started working in the community in 1996, the neighborhood had the city’s highest rates of unemployment, poverty and diabetes– and no access to health care. For nearly two decades, Gerrity has worked with community members to turn things around. Doubling in size this year, the health center offers behavioral health services integrated into primary care. Patients can attend cooking and nutrition classes, buy produce grown by teens in the on-site community garden, attend parenting classes, receive dental care, exercise in the ground-floor fitness center, or take yoga classes for free, among many other programs and services.

Gerrity has led this growth in response to the community’s needs through tireless dedication and productive partnerships. She is personally responsible for bringing millions of dollars of grant funding for the center’s programs.

Voting for Be Well Philly’s Health Hero Challenge will begin on October 7. However, as Gerrity is assigned to the fourth round of semi-final voting, you will be able to vote for her once every 24 hours between October 28 and November 3, 2014. You will receive a reminder on October 28 with a direct link and instructions, reminding you to please place your vote for Gerrity!

The winner of the Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge will be honored with a celebration, featured in Philadelphia magazine, win a $3,000 donation to his or her charity of choice, and will be crowned the 2014 Health Hero. We sincerely hope that Gerrity walks away the winner of the Challenge! Please help us accomplish this by voting on October 28 and by spreading the word about Gerrity’s work and the Health Hero Challenge to your own networks.