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Bouquet of Kisses

The concept of “me and we” was the inspiration for this multi-part sculptural installation. It was developed from thinking about the role a hospital holds within its community. A hospital is an institution of care and healing where the act of touching has multiple meanings — literally and metaphorically. The artwork is a visual articulation of a series of two places embracing each other. We hope the patients at UPMC Hamot, their caretakers, family members, and friends, as well as the employees that walk through this corridor can experience the beautiful effects when two objects that represent two places touch each other and become one.

Each sculpture encases two architectural models — the first model is based on the floor plan of a section from a UPMC Hamot building, and the second model is based on the floor plan of buildings from institutions within Erie County who have been identified as great partners of our hospital. These institutions are “Places to Embrace”; they are socially, culturally, and historically significant institutions whose objective is to practice and foster equity, diversity, and inclusion. They represent a variety of ethnically and socio-economically specific areas within the city.

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Mercy Center for Women

Mercy Center for Women founded in 1994 has impacted the lives of women, men, and children in the community. At Mercy Center for Women, we educate women on how to step outside of their comfort zone. These women and children are survivors of homelessness, domestic violence, and addiction. MCW provides a program where reunification is not only a possibility, but a reality. We serve women and children from many backgrounds. We are varied in population, and we teach the core values of social justice.

The Sisters of Mercy recognized the need to help women with children in the mid-80’s. One did not need to meet a certain criterion to find a safe home to rest or escape a life-threatening situation. The doors were open to all, long before social justice, equity, and diversity. Over the years, the population increased, and a larger facility was purchased.

As we provide a world of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we must never judge one with addiction problems who becomes clean, a homeless person who seeks shelter, or an individual who courageously fights their battle in living in a hostile environment. The door which embraces the families we welcome is the same door they one day will exit, with their heads held high and dreams a reality.

The relationship UPMC Hamot and Mercy Center for Women share is career growth. Clients and graduates of the Mercy Center have secured part-time and full-time employment with benefits. The belief UPMC Hamot invests in with the demographic we serve has impacted their journey in becoming self-sufficient on their journey.

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Gannon University

Gannon University’s “Old Main” building is where many of the university’s administrators have their offices today.

The Gannon College of Arts and Sciences, founded as Cathedral College under the 1925 charter of Villa Maria College, was established by Archbishop John Mark Gannon, who in 1941 purchased one of the most elegant buildings in downtown Erie — the Strong Mansion – to become a central site for the school. That building is now known as Gannon’s “Old Main” and was where classes were taught for many years. The school was renamed Gannon College in 1944 and received its own charter as a four-year men’s college. In 1964, Gannon became co-educational and established a graduate school. In 1979, the college attained university status.

Gannon is a Catholic, Diocesan university dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. We prepare students to be global citizens through programs grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and professional specializations. Inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, we offer a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.

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The Erie Community Foundation

The Erie Community Foundation traces its history back to 1935 when Elisha H. Mack, co-founder of the Boston Store, created a charitable endowment fund. From 1935 to 1969, that single fund fueled regional philanthropic efforts at the time. After the tax reform act of 1969 created important distinctions between private foundations and public charities, Mr. Mack's fund was transformed into a public charity, The Erie Community Foundation, a process finalized in 1971 by Ed Doll and Attorney Enoch Filer.

Today, The Erie Community Foundation consistently helps donors by establishing 850+ endowments to benefit the community forever.

The mission of The Erie Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life for all in our region by evaluating and addressing community issues, by building permanent charitable endowments and by promoting philanthropic and community leadership. The Foundation does this work through three grant programs: Helping Today, Shaping Tomorrow and Transformational Philanthropy. Thanks to unprecedented donor support, the Foundation introduced its Transformational Grants initiative, seeking to partner with others to create significant, sustainable change.

In 2019, The Erie Community Foundation announced a $6M transformational grant to Hamot Health Foundation, the largest in its 84-year history, to expand the Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) to Erie and to create a new biomedical commercialization and translational research lab at Penn State Behrend’s Knowledge Park. The hub for clinical research attracts funding from federal agencies, national foundations, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and venture capitalists. Together, we are directly improving the health of generations of women, attracting top physicians to Erie and stimulating the region’s economy with new family-sustaining careers.

The Erie Community Foundation’s partnership with Hamot Health Foundation and MWRI truly transforms Erie.


United Way of Erie County

From fundraiser to game changer since 1914, United Way of Erie County has been here in the community, when and how people need us most.

A local social impact organization on a mission to CRUSH POVERTY in our community, United Way envisions a collaborative community where ALL students succeed, and ALL families thrive.

At United Way, we believe education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in our community. We are committed to leveling the playing field for students and their families in Erie County, no matter their zip code.

United Way is changing the way people and organizations work together to fix social problems. We start by building partnerships with a shared vision of what's possible. Together, with YOU and many other community partners, we are creating an Erie County that is vibrant and welcoming for everyone!

That’s LIVING UNITED. And we invite YOU to join us.

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Eagle's Nest Leadership Corporation

The Eagle's Nest Leadership Corporation (ENLC) has a specific vision and purpose of providing educational programming, life skills training, career development, visionary development, and community civility for Erie’s at-risk youth. It is a collaborative effort from a multitude of solutions. The Eagle's Nest instills hope for a future by providing a concrete plan for a pathway to a career, stimulating the economy, transforming the mind for life-readiness instead of the "just getting by" mentality, strengthening education, and partnering with major corporate institutions such as UPMC Hamot and Hamot Health Foundation who continuously invest in the lives of Erie's youth.

ENLC programming includes the Employability Initiative (began August, 2015) which provides life skills training and employment for young adults; the School of Financial Literacy (began September, 2016) that teaches financial independence and responsibility to middle and high school students; the African-American Boys Academy (began June, 2017) designed to help train young elementary school-aged boys to become respectable, goal-oriented young men; the Eagle’s Nest Group Daycare (began August, 2018) provides affective childcare services for the surrounding community; the Eagle’s Nest School of Academic Distinction (began, September 2019) created to offer a new, Afro-centric infused, unique, and transformational public school for students in the Erie School District; the Eagle's Nest Auditorium (built in 2020); food pantry, homeless prevention, and COVID-19 awareness services (began 2020); and the new Eagle's Nest Athletic Center set to begin construction in early 2022.

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Erie Homes for Children and Adults

Since EHCA’s (Erie Homes for Children and Adults) founding in 1912, our mission can best be described as helping those that can so very often least help themselves. Assisting people with disabilities to live rich and fulfilling lives while exceeding expectations has become our hallmark.

Today, EHCA makes a difference in the lives of over 400 people and their families each day in Erie, Crawford, and Venango counties. EHCA firmly believes that each person with a disability should have the opportunity to make choices, to contribute to their own daily lifestyle, obtain the best education/ training available, and to enjoy a homelike atmosphere with quality caregivers. EHCA’s focus is to create a community that embraces and celebrates the unique differences that each of us have and recognizing how these differences are what makes us stronger. Diversity and Inclusion has been a cornerstone of EHCA’s mission as well as our deliberate efforts to create a community that supports and embraces the differences in each of us.

EHCA and UPMC Hamot share a commitment in creating and fostering a more inclusive community that not only recognizes and appreciates diversity, but also celebrates and embraces the gifts that it has to offer. EHCA and UPMC Hamot also share the same values that recognize the importance of community involvement, and our long-standing commitment to providing excellent and extraordinary care to our community and those we serve.

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Booker T. Washington Center

The Booker T. Washington Center, located at 1720 Holland Street in Erie, Pennsylvania, is a community based human service organization which was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania in the year 1923 as a Non-Profit Corporation.

The mission of the Booker T. Washington Center is to improve the conditions of work, play, study, health, and living conditions for the Erie Community through effective programs of social service and action. The BTWC seeks to develop programs of social service, recreation, education, community organization, employment, referrals, and housing that is affordable to low-income persons and to work with other agencies whose goals and objectives are consistent with those of our corporation.

Booker T. Washington Center understands strategies designed to eliminate oppressive structural barriers to ensure that social goods, rights, and responsibilities are distributed equitably, and that civil, political, environmental, economic, social, and cultural human rights are protected.

UPMC Hamot and the Booker T. Washington have been working exclusively on the Covid-19 pandemic for our community. Our relationship is important because we are providing a service and resources that otherwise wouldn’t be given to our constituents in the urban core. UPMC has stepped up to the plate and realizes the importance of Diversity. Equity, and Inclusion to all people in this community. We value the vision, collaboration, and leadership of UPMC.

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Voices for Independence

Voices for Independence (VFI) was established nearly 30 years ago by a group of individuals with disabilities who wanted to create an alternative to the existing service and advocacy options available at the time. Their mission has been, and continues to be, to empower people with disabilities and promote independent living. VFI provides advocacy, peer support, skills training, information and referral, home modifications, and transition services. In the past five years alone, they have transitioned nearly 600 individuals out of nursing facilities and back into the community where they can live more independently. Additionally, VFI provides in-home care through their personal assistance services program.

Since 1993, VFI has advocated for people with disabilities in the Erie region, and are now serving more individuals than ever before, covering 27 counties throughout Western PA. VFI has also worked with several contractors and landlords regarding accessible housing, increased awareness of the need for accessible public transit, and were responsible for implementing curb cuts in Erie and surrounding communities.

VFI is proud to have collaborated with UPMC Hamot and the Hamot Health Foundation, establishing a disability sensitivity training program, which led to dedicated trainings with staff. They also worked together to address accessibility concerns regarding patient rooms, exam tables, and more. VFI and UPMC Hamot have also partnered to explore employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Voices for Independence, UPMC Hamot, and the Hamot Health Foundation will continue to work together to ensure that all individuals with disabilities receive exceptional services and supports, vital to living independently.

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Erie Center for Arts and Technology

The Erie Center for Arts & Technology (ECAT) is a non-profit organization that provides teen arts and certified adult job training programs at no cost to residents of Erie County. ECAT is modeled after the Manchester Bidwell Education Model, which seeks to provide a two-generational approach to poverty by empowering people through world-class educational programs. In 2019, ECAT purchased the former Wayne School building from the Erie School District. Wayne was built in 1913 and served as an elementary and middle school for over 100 years before it was closed by the district in 2017. After a $12M renovation, ECAT re-opened Wayne 2021 as a multi-use community hub in the heart of Erie’s Eastside.

In addition to housing ECAT’s youth and adult programs, Wayne is also home to the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing at UPMC Hamot; Wayne Primary Care (a primary care office of Primary Health Network); United Way of Erie County; Darling’s Pharmacy; ShanPull Sports, LLC; Creative Community Connectors (operating the Blue Coats initiative); Erie’s Black Wall Street and BirthRoot Community Doula Alliance. With these partners and services now co-located in a fully renovated space that served as an educational center for over a century, the ECAT Wayne building has become a hub for healthcare, education and social service on Erie’s Eastside. More than that, it is a symbol of hope and re-birth in the center of a neighborhood that represents Erie’s diverse, hard-working and creative spirit.

Hamot Health Foundation has taken an imperative role in the development of the Wayne Building and ECAT with well over a million dollars invested into this life changing project. Additionally, HHF funded the Jameson School of Nursing at UPMC Hamot which occupies the entire 3rd floor. As an anchor tenant, we have established this historic landmark as a place to educate a diverse group of future leaders at UPMC Hamot.

Special thanks to Erie Arts and Culture for Leading us through this journey.