From left: Janet Rocchio, RN, MBA, Danielle Burkland, MD, Catherine Salva, MD, and Celeste Durnwald, MD, attend last week's first annual Wine and Dine for Women's Health event
On Tuesday, April 9, local residents, sponsors,and 16 of Philadelphia’s best-known restaurants joined forces in the city’sfirst ever Wine and Dine for Women’s Health event, hosted by Penn Medicine’sWomen’s Health Leadership Council. Proceeds from the event will support patientprograms at the Helen O. Dickens Center for Women’s Health and the Hospital ofthe University of Pennsylvania that are critical to the health and well beingof underserved women in the West Philadelphia community.
For over 40 years the Center has servedgenerations of women living in the West Philadelphia community. In 1999,the Center was named for Dr. Helen O. Dickens, a remarkable woman and a pioneerwho spent her career in academic medicine seeking to find ways to improve thelives of low-income women and their families. Dr. Dickens practiced obstetricsand gynecology in Philadelphia for over 50 years, joining the faculty at theUniversity of Pennsylvania in the late 1960s. In 1967 she established one ofthe first multidisciplinary Obstetrical Programs in the United States for teenmothers. She was a life-long advocate for women’s health especially among theunderserved, the youth, the vulnerable, and minorities in Philadelphia.
“Low incomewomen often believe they must choose between feeding their families and payingfor medical care that they personally need to help prevent and/or addresshealth issues,” said C. Neill Epperson, MD, director ofthe Penn Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness. “Recognizing the uniquebalance between the physical and psychosocial well being of underserved women,the Helen O. Dickens Center for Women’s Health is providing access tocomprehensive healthcare for these women throughout their lifespan. This Centeris a great example of Penn Medicine’s dedication to helping improve the livesof women and their families who live within the local community.”
Today, manyof the Center’s patients are either Medicaid insured, uninsured, and/orimmigrants living in low-income areas where there is limited access toobstetrical and gynecological education and care, and the stress of living ator below the poverty line is high. They come to the Dickens Center with complexmedical, obstetrical, psychosocial and educational needs that range frommedical care for high-risk pregnancies to domestic abuse counseling, help withhousing issues to referrals for support and education, to connecting patientswith Healthy Start, a community-based maternal and child health program. Each year the Center performs over 30,000visits and delivers 2,500 babies.
The first annual Wine and Dine eventinvited donors to purchase a table prior to the event. Donors and participatingrestaurants were then paired at random. On Tuesday, donors enjoyed an exclusivedinner for six generously provided by participating restaurants including AlmaDe Cuba, Buddakan, Butcher & Singer, Capital Grille, Davio’s, Del Frisco,Fountain Restaurant, Lacroix, Le Castgne, Mica, Osteria, R2L, Savona, Table 31,The Prime Rib and Tinto. In total, the event raised over $40,000 for theCenter.
“We are verypleased with the success of the event,” said Ashley Govberg, co-chair of the PennMedicine Women’s Health Leadership Council. “It’s great that so many people,restaurants, and sponsors showed support for such an important cause. We hopethat the event will grow with time."