Puentes de Salud co-founders Steve Larson, MD, associate professor, Emergency Medicine, and Matthew O'Brien MD, MSc, were recently selected for an Emerging Leaders Fund grant from the Claneil Foundation to support Puentes de Salud, a nonprofit free health clinic for Latino immigrants in Philadelphia.

The Emerging Leaders Fund provides founders and leaders of young organizations who show great potential for strong positive impact with $200,000 of unrestricted funding over four years and a peer group of other leaders for guidance. The organization turns to more than 80 sources to pool prospective recipients and then selects up to four annually.

Puentes de Salud was founded on the belief that community health and wellness are not the domain of merely one group or discipline, but rather a collaborative community effort. The organization partners with community leaders, local government, educational, and nonprofit institutions to address the detrimental economic and social attributes impacting the health of South Philadelphia's Latino population. In doing so, Puentes de Salud promotes health and wellness in this population and educates future generations of community advocates, health care providers, educators and leaders by offering opportunities for responsible and respectful community engagement.

"It is a tremendous honor for Puentes de Salud to receive this award from the Claneil Foundation and acknowledges the passion, patience, and perseverance that has defined the dedicated efforts of countless Puentes volunteers to ensure the health and wellness of South Philadelphia's vibrant, yet vulnerable Latino immigrant population," said Larson.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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