Centers and Institutes

Institute of Catholics Bioethics

Mercy Health Promoter


Mercy health promoters: A paradigm for implementing third world practices for resource-poor conditions of the developed world

Article Published: Med Sci Monit, 2007; 13(3): PH1-8  http//WWW.MEDSCIMONIT.COM

Peter A. Clark1AEF, Luke Surry2AEF
1 St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.
2 Institute of Catholic Bioethics, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.


Mercy Hospital: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The health promoter model incorporates the successful and applicable aspects of three Third World models and then adapted them to the resource-poor conditions in the developed world, and particularly the city of Philadelphia.  The hope is that this "health promoter" program could serve as a paradigm for other United States hospitals to adapt to the challenges of reducing health care costs, particularly, in light of immigration.  The main focus of the Mercy model is designed for the prevention of complex diseases and management of chronic conditions through education and observation.  The "Mercy Health Promoter" model was created with the following goals and objectives:

1. Create a community-based program involving a high degree of community participation.

2. Provide quality healthcare services by partnerships with other already established organizations in the area.

3. Reduce the costs of healthcare for uninsured or underinsured individuals and demonstrate cost-effectiveness for all members of the partnership (hospitals, healthcare providers, sponsors of the program, and the members of the community).

4. Improve the health of the poor and marginalized individuals of the immigrant and impoverished communities of Philadelphia using education and increased access to primary healthcare services in the prevention and/or management of illness.

The primary role of the Mercy Health Promoters will be providing health and nutrition education at particular sites or in the individual homes, monitoring patient health and compliance with a prescribed medical course of treatment, and referring patients to a clinic or hospital when needed.


Institute Program Description

The staff of the Institute will assist the clinical staff at Mercy Hospital of Philadelphia in training the health promoters both clinically and ethically. The staff will also assist in collecting data from the health promoters to assist in grant writing, curriculum changes, etc. In addition, the staff of the Institute will also help coordinate service-learning students from Saint Joseph’s University working at the various clinical sites.

The Institute was awarded grant from the Office of Mission at Saint Joseph’s University in 2009 and Michael J. Morris Grant for Scholary Research in 2012 to help implement the Mercy Health promoter model.

The Institute also received 3 laptop computers from Saint Joseph’s University to assist in the Mercy Health Promoters in maintaining health records, etc.

This project is currently in progress.