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ABIM Celebrates 75 Years by Giving Back

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Philadelphia, PA, October 4, 2011 – As it celebrates its 75th anniversary, the American Board of Internal Medicine has made contributions to St. Catherine Labouré Medical Clinic and Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc., two Philadelphia-based charities providing primary medical care to underserved populations in the area.

Established in 1936, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has worked to ensure the quality of our nation's health care by certifying physicians who practice internal medicine and one or more of its 19 subspecialties. ABIM's Certification and Maintenance of Certification programs provide internists and its subspecialists, including cardiologists, rheumatologists, nephrologists and others, with a relevant, useful and continually improving means of demonstrating their professional competence and development. A growing body of research (pdf) suggests that board certified physicians deliver higher quality care than their non-certified colleagues.

The exams and other assessment tools used by ABIM to assess a physician's competency are developed by physician experts in academic medicine and in practice. These tools incorporate the latest advances in medicine with a practical focus on how medical care is delivered in physicians' offices.

“ABIM Certification is recognized as a marker of a physician's professionalism, knowledge and skill,” explained Christine K. Cassel, MD, President and CEO of ABIM. “As we celebrate our rich history and the more than 200,000 physicians who have been certified by ABIM, what better way to honor their commitment to lifelong learning than by giving back to the community.”

St. Catherine Labouré Medical Clinic began in a church parish hall with two medical practitioners offering health care services to the underserved parish population. St. Catherine's has grown into an independent, non-profit clinic providing compassionate, high quality, comprehensive, primary medical care in a dignified manner solely to those without health insurance, regardless of ability to pay. Located in Germantown, the clinic serves people throughout Philadelphia County.

“We at St. Catherine Labouré are pleased to be a part of ABIM's proud history and are grateful for its support of our work,” said Sheila Davis, DO, the clinic's Executive Medical Director. “This donation will be used to help offset the costs of the care delivered to our patients.”

Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc. (DVCH) has provided primary care since 1969 and has been a Bureau of Primary Health Care 330(b) grantee since 1980. Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc. is a private, non-profit healthcare organization that provides affordable, high quality, accessible primary medical, prenatal, dental, behavioral, podiatry and other support services in the Greater Philadelphia metropolitan area through four Federally Qualified Health Centers: Fairmount Primary Care Center (along with two satellite centers), Maria de los Santos Health (MDLS) and Parkview Health Centers in North Philadelphia; and the Norristown Regional Health Center (NRHC) in Norristown, Pennsylvania. All services are provided in a fiscally responsible manner to all patients regardless of their ability to pay in both Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties.

“Delaware Valley Community Health has four clinics and two satellite offices in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area which served over 42,000 individuals with over 157,000 medical visits in 2010. Many of these patients are underserved, low income patients from minority communities who have major health disparities. Most of these patients are also in need of assistance in addressing some of their chronic care issues including obesity, asthma and diabetes,” explains Patti Deitch, DVCH's President & CEO. “ABIM's generosity will support some of these important and critical health care and education programs which are much needed in the communities that we serve.”

ABIM Board Certified Doctors Make a Difference
Internists and subspecialists who earn and maintain board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) differentiate themselves every day through their specialized knowledge and commitment to continual learning in service of their patients. Established as an independent nonprofit more than 80 years ago, ABIM continues to be driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world. Visit ABIM's blog to learn more and follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.