In 2004, state-endorsed SHIPS (State Health Improvement Plans) from neighboring McKeesport, Duquesne, Braddock and Hazelwood met to discuss ways to create collaborative, far-reaching health initiatives beyond their individual catchment areas. What resulted was the Mon River Fleet, (FLEET) an alliance of four SHIPS dedicated to seeking innovative ways to spread health care education and solutions throughout their communities. The Mon River Fleet philosophy is to centralize best practice programming, and outcomes data collection, and to decentralize the dissemination of health care information motivating healthy change at the community level.

 

By virtue of age, income, education, employment and minority status the cities of McKeesport, Duquesne, Braddock, and Hazelwood are recognized as medically underserved communities. Combined, the cities have a startling 30% of its residents living below poverty level (State level is 12.4%). Moreover, these cities have a high percentage of African Americans living in these conditions: McKeesport (24.5%), Braddock (66.5%), Duquesne (47.7%), and Hazelwood (41%) (US Census Bureau, 2000).

 

 

The Mon River Fleet's PartnerSHIP Mission is to increase quality and years of healthy living for all concerned in the Mon Valley through its ongoing focus on prevention and intervention of new and enhancement of existing programs that address the health, educational, social, spiritual, recreational, and safety and security needs of the McKeesport, Duquesne, Braddock, Hazelwood, and Clairton Communities.