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Mayor Peduto Issues Dr. Jim Withers Key to City

PITTSBURGH, PA (October 21, 2019) Mayor William Peduto today issued the Key to the City, Pittsburgh government's highest civilian honor, to Dr. Jim Withers for his decades of work caring for people experiencing homelessness.

Mayor Peduto has issued the honor to: 

  • Jack Shea
  • Father Jack O' Malley
  • Alma Speed Fox
  • Bill Strickland
  • Al Condeluci
  • Mayor Tom Murphy
  • Leo Gerard

The text of Mayor Peduto's proclamation naming today Dr. Jim Withers Day – which he announced at the International Street Medicine Institute Symposium – is below:

WHEREAS, Dr. Jim Withers began a life of compassion by making house-calls with his father, a family practitioner in rural Pennsylvania; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Withers went on to earn his undergraduate degree at Haverford College and later completed his medical school training at the University of Pittsburgh in 1984; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Withers finished his training with a residency at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh and later joined the full-time faculty by teaching in the Department of Internal Medicine; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Withers began to provide care for Pittsburgh’s neighbors in need in 1992 as the founding force behind Operation Safety Net. Now operated through the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, it is dedicated to providing people who are homeless with critical medical services wherever they are; and,

WHEREAS, Operation Safety Net has built relationships with, and provided care to over ten thousand people and is working to transition thousands more into safe homes; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Withers has established the International Street Medicine Institute, which is part of a global movement of giving people suffering from homelessness direct access to medical care. The program has been a remarkable success, launching programs on four continents; and,

WHEREAS, each year, the organization gathers to focus on spreading medicine to people and communities in need and encouraging the next generation of medical professionals to focus on assisting our vulnerable neighbors; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. Withers has been recognized across our city, nation, and world for his unflagging compassion and improving the lives of those with unmet needs. Notably, being named “Hero of the Year” by CNN in 2015.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that I, William Peduto, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, do thank Dr. Jim Withers for his decades of dedication, sacrifice, and service to Pittsburgh and its vulnerable neighbors. Awarding him with our City’s highest civilian honor, the Key to the City. Furthermore, declaring Monday, October 21, 2019 as “Dr. Jim Withers Day” here in our most livable City of Pittsburgh.



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