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ACMS Foundation Vision

We Envision a Healthy & Safe Community

ACMS Foundation Mission

Advancing Wellness by confronting Social Determinants & Health Disparities

ACMS Foundation History

Founded in 1960, the Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation has extended the reach of physicians into the community.  Many of the remarkable medical achievements are undergirded by a network of organizations supported over the years by the ACMS Foundation’s charitable grants, with the common goal of improving the health and well-being of Allegheny County residents.
In addition to contribution substantially to medical student scholarships, ongoing contribution to the Western Pennsylvania Preceptorship Program (1977), the Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program (2012), and others enabled students to serve the community in innovative ways.  

A diverse range of organizations throughout the county trace their growth in part to the generosity of the Foundation’s community grant making.  The Foundation’s funding was behind the Thyroid Irradiation Project (1978), the International Year of the Child programming (1979), the University of Pittsburgh Health Policy Institute (1980) the Community Health Challenge (1993), and the United Way’s Community-based Chronic Care Self-Management Program (2014).

Foundation funding helped tackle public health issues like substance abuse through the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation Coalition for Addictive Diseased (1982), Chemical People project (1993), and Prevention Point Pittsburgh needle exchange (2009).  Support for helplines such as the Health Education Center’s Tele-Med and Tele-Aid (1980) and the Warmline for parents and Contact Pittsburgh’s Kidline (1994) put a helpful, listening ear or recorded information on hundreds of topics at the community’s fingertips.

As teen pregnancy and childhood obesity began to impact the well-being of children, the Foundation funded the Adolescent Resource Network’s Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (1993), the YMCA’s Healthy Start for Young Fathers (1999), and the Pittsburgh Pediatric Society’s obesity prevention education program (2006). 
Health care and housing disparities were addressed by funding Miryam’s House for Women (1987), Bethlehem Haven Women’s Shelter (1994) and Rx Council of Western Pennsylvania (1986), Operating Safety Net and the Women’s Center and Shelter (1996), Holy Family Manor-Nazareth Housing Services low-income housing assistance (2008), Shepherd’s Heart Drop-in Center for the homeless (2015) and Jeremiah’s Place crisis nursery (2016). 

Programs for children and youth have always been the focus of the ACMS Foundation – from adoption to special needs to education. Among Foundation beneficiary organization are Three Rivers Adoption Council (1992), the YMCA Youth Employment Program (1994), and East Liberty Health Care Center Pediatric Care/Home Outreach (1996), and the Allegheny County Respited Care Coalition program for families with children with special needs and the Woodlands Foundation’s year-round enrichment program for children with special needs (2003). Carnegie Science Center’s Body Tech program (1991); the Children’s Museum’s interactive exhibits Stuffie, Heartworks, and Corporate Corpuscle (1990-92); and Anchorpoint Counseling summer tutoring (2-16) helped children succeed in school. 

(Excerpt from the Foreword of A Tradition of Leadership, Innovation and Caring: A history of medicine in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, page 137. Published in cooperation with the Allegheny County Medical Society and John G. Krah, Executive Director, © 2018 Legacy Publishing)

In 2020, ACMS and its Foundation were instrumental in launching the COVID Front Line Relief Fund to distributed personal protective equipment, including N95 masks, face shields and nitrile gloves to fire departments, medical practices, children’s homes, hospitals, ambulance services, nursing homes and more.  This drive also conducted two days of drive-through N-95 mask distribution and fit testing that equipped medical professionals with PPE and ensured its proper use and a vaccine clinic.  
Continuing its good work in 2021, the So a Child Can Breathe campaign was recipient of the Foundation Gala’s sponsorships and donations, supporting a pediatric asthma clinic in the Mon Valley. 

In 2022, the United States faced a infant formula shortage. The ACMS Foundation stepped in to purchase 1200 containers of formula that would be distributed to several organizations across Allegheny County.

Beyond the dollars, the impact of the ACMS Foundation continues to make Pittsburgh the vibrant, health region it is today.

2023 Foundation Board of Trustees 

Matthew B. Straka, MD

Chair of ACMS Foundation | ACMS Board President 

ACMS Ex-officio Voting
Peter G. Ellis, MD

Raymond E. Pontzer, MD

Keith Kanel, MD

William Coppula, MD


Community Members and Officers-Voting

Kevin Miko (Term Ends Dec. 31, 2023)

Alma Lucas (Term Ends Dec. 31, 2024)

David Deitrick, DO, Secretary (Term Ends Dec. 31, 2023)

Lawrence John, MD, Secretary (Term Ends Dec. 31, 2024)

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