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Campus & Community - Health

Bill Cosby Performs Benefit for 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University

October 3, 2012

Bill Cosby interacts with 11th Street patients during his visit to a cooking class
Bill Cosby interacts with 11th Street patients during his visit to a cooking class

Bill Cosby performs Oct. 5 to benefit the Expansion Fund for 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University (11th Street), a health center located in the heart of the Richard Allen Homes in North Philadelphia. Cosby spent several years during his youth living in that area, then known as the Richard Allen Housing Project.

Cosby visited 11th Street in April 2012 to tour the facility and talk with patients and staff. He learned first-hand why 11th Street, which is entirely nurse-managed, has been nationally recognized as an innovative university-community partnership model of care.

“I met people at 11th Street learning to cook healthy food that also tastes great, exercising in the gym and going to the dentist, right in the same building where they get their healthcare,” Cosby said. “This isn’t just some doctor’s office where they hand out medicine when you’re sick and send you on your way. It’s about helping people help themselves to live their whole lives healthier.” 

The center offers primary care by nurse practitioners and comprehensive services by health professionals in dental, behavioral health, social work, creative arts and physical therapies, complementary and integrative health, fitness, health and nutrition education and more—in a single location within the community. If the center had additional space, it could offer more education and outreach programs and respond to the health needs of more people including more programming for wellness and education for younger community members.

The 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University was established in 1996 and opened its present facility at 850 North 11th Street in 2002. Since then, the number of patient visits to the center has increased significantly.

“We thought this was going to be everything we’d ever need and never anticipated the success and the growth that was going to take place. Now, ten years later, we are caring for over 7,000 people,” said Dr. Patricia Gerrity, the center’s director and a professor and Associate Dean for Community Programs at Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. “We want to continue to meet the needs the community but are out of space.”

Drexel recently purchased land adjacent to the center’s current building and is working with the Philadelphia Housing Authority and other local agencies to expand the facility.

An Evening with Bill Cosby will take place at 8 p.m. on October 5, in Drexel University’s Mandell Theater, located at 3201 Chestnut Street. For more information:

Media Contact:

Rachel Ewing