March 25, 2009

Groundbreaking roundup: special guests

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Northwest Center groundbreaking ceremony this morning! It was great to see such a large group of friends, colleagues, donors, clients, and community leaders gathered in support of our expansion project. We'll have pictures and more to share here soon, but first I wanted to relay some of the highlights from the speakers we had:

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

No matter what happens in the economy, Bread for the City’s doors will be open for people. Long before you have to go to the emergency room, you’ve got a place here. Bread for the City does it all for those for whom there is a constant recession. Thank you for the work that you do, and thank you for expanding.

City Councilmember David Catania, Chair of the Committee on Health
[Speaking of the Tobacco Trust Fund, from which the initial funding for our expansion was procured]: Other states never did anything with that money, but the District is different. We securitized $250 million and every nickel has been reinvested in health care infrastructure. I am proud to be part of a city that even in these times refuses to be knocked down. We’re not just going to have a good health care safety net in DC, not just a great one – we’re going to have the best in the country. The money is there, the projects have been promised, and the projects will be delivered.

Sharon Baskerville, CEO of the DC Primary Care Association
Health care is a right, not a privilege. And in these times, which are so tough that Bread for the City’s staff are even taking salary cuts, this project is a leap of faith. It represents a major step toward the elimination of the huge disparity of health access in the city. If you’ve seen where we’ve come from in the last 30 years, you know what a momentous day this is.

Michael Blue, Bread for the City patient
When we first started coming here, my wife was sick, and we didn’t know what was wrong. She weighed just 98 pounds, going to the hospital almost every week, and GW had her on all kinds of medications. Then we met Dr. Randi--who is an incredible woman. She worked with her, focused on her diet, on her mental state. Took her off of all that medication, and gave her hope instead. That did more good than all the prescriptions. Now she’s back to her normal weight (laughs) – she's a new woman! And I’m loving every inch.

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