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Lamont Jefferson Named as Winner of the 2019 Hubsmith Safe Routes Champion Award

October 22, 2019

The Safe Routes Partnership is proud to announce Lamont Jefferson of Philadelphia as the winner of the 2019 Hubsmith Safe Routes Champion Award. This national award recognizes outstanding leadership and vision, impact on advancing Safe Routes to School, and skills in building coalitions and political will to ensure safe, healthy, and equitable outcomes for children and community members. The award is given in honor of Deb Hubsmith, founding director of the Safe Routes Partnership, who dedicated her life and career to building the Safe Routes to School movement.

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APM Mourns Passing of Medical Director Dr. Oscar Saldana

April 3, 2019

April 3, 2019, Philadelphia – Dr. Oscar Eduardo Saldana, medical director for Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM) passed away peacefully on March 18,2019. Dr. Saldana’s career as a psychiatrist spanned over 50 years.

Born and educated in Peru, Dr. Saldana came to the United States in 1965 for his first medical internship at Prince George’s Hospital in Maryland. He continued his education in psychiatry at Hahnemann University Hospital, where he later served as a senior clinical instructor. Dr. Saldana spent his career meeting the behavioral health needs of children, adolescents and families across Philadelphia.

Dr. Saldana came to APM as a part-time medical director in 2014. His unique experience working with persons in recovery (PIR) made him a valuable asset in the agency’s work to treat our community’s mental health issues. He provided critical education to APM’s behavioral health team that enabled them to provide efficient and effective care, with the appropriate use of medications and other interventions. Dr. Saldana understood the importance of engaging the family in any treatment plan, and he took a personal interest in the on-going care of his patients.

Outside his work with APM, Dr. Saldana explored interests ranging from photography to gymnastics, track and field, and fencing. His love of soccer remained throughout his life, and even afforded him the scholarship granted by the Governor of Peru that enabled him to move to the United States to pursue his career. Dr. Saldana leaves behind life partner, Gladys, children, Deborah and Raphael, and many more extended family members.

Four housing leaders honored during PHFA’s Housing Forum

May 12, 2017

Kuam News | Click here to view article

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
Awards applaud their exceptional work and inspire others to lead housing

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-­USNewswire/ ­­ The Pennsylvania
Housing Finance Agency today recognized four leaders in the affordable housing
field during its biennial Housing Forum at the Hilton Harrisburg.

Honored with the agency’s Housing Pioneer Award were:

  • Nilda Ruiz, president and CEO, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
  • Rose Gray, Senior Vice President, Community and Economic Development,
    Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
  • Keith B. Key, president and CEO, KBK Enterprises
  • Jeffrey Woda, principal, The Woda Group

“PHFA is grateful to these four housing leaders for all they’ve done to expand the
availability of housing in Pennsylvania and to be champions for affordable
housing,” said PHFA’s Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “They often
work tirelessly in the background, and today we wanted to take the time to
recognize their considerable contributions in our state. They are an inspiration to
the rest of us who work alongside them.”
PHFA’s biennial Housing Forum provides professional development opportunities
for people working in the housing field. Attendees participate in focused
educational sessions and hear from nationally recognized speakers. The 2017
program of events included 35 educational sessions, four keynote presentations, a
walking tour of a nearby affordable housing development, and a popular
networking event. The conference ran May 11­12 and drew more than 650

About PHFA
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable
home ownership and rental housing options for older adults, low­ and moderate income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully
managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing
developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since
its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated more than $13.1 billion of
funding for nearly 167,400 single­ family home mortgage loans, helped fund the
construction of 132,531 rental units, and saved the homes of more than 48,800
families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by
the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax
dollars. The agency is governed by a 14­member board.

Scott Elliott
717­649­6522 (cell)

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/newsreleases/four­housing­leaders­honored­during­phfas­housing­forum­300457017.html

©2017 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.


APM’s Bridget Palombo Receives First National Harkin AmeriCorps Award

September 21, 2015

Contact: Rick Olmos 267.296.7363


In a green cargo van, three people pull into a large warehouse in South Philadelphia with two hand carts and long list in hand.  This is a regular bi‐weekly visit for this group, and many of the vendors recognize

the young lady leading the pack.    Bridget Palombo has a presence that naturally earns respect and loyalty. With an expert eye, Bridget moves around the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market selecting the best fruit and vegetables to fill the list she carries. This week the team is there to choose over 1600 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to bring back to Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha’s (APM) Food Buying Club (FBC).

The APM Food Buying Club utilizes the Produce Market to distribute affordable, quality produce through its scalable bulk buying club model. Every two weeks, through the work of volunteers and paid Community Connectors, families are able to access fresh, quality food within their own neighborhood from one of our pop‐up Pick‐up/ Drop‐off Centers.

Thanks to all her hard work, Bridget Palombo, was recently selected as the first ever winner of Thomas Harkin Excellence in AmeriCorps Programming and Service Award in the category of most compelling member experience in building an ethic of civic responsibility from AmeriCorps State and National Corporation for National & Community Service.

The FBC began as an idea of the Community and Economic Development Department (CED) of APM.  This idea sat for many years, but like any non profit; timing, financial limitations and lack of available staff always kept it on the back burner.  This past year, an opportunity was presented that allowed the FBC to finally get its chance to shine.    The Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Organization (LISC) approached APM with the opportunity to have an AmeriCorps service member be placed for the summer.

Bridget was interning at APM for a few months through Bryn Mawr College, and was about to leave when it was suggested she take on the AmeriCorps position.  As a first step, several objectives that were critical to the project’s success in the first three months of implementation were decided on. This proof of concept phase had Bridget implementing a small food buying club pilot program.  Little did anyone know how fast this project would take hold and blossom.  In the last 48 weeks, the APM pop‐up food distribution system has now served over 440 households, with savings to those households in excess of $81,000 and distributed over 32,000 lbs. of affordable, quality produce.

“For decades AmeriCorps members, like Bridget, have made an impact on some of the toughest challenges in their communities,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “I applaud Bridget for her dedication to improve access to affordable, healthy foods for Philadelphia residents and families and thank her for her leadership in service with the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha.”

According to the AmeriCorps website, the award is presented to an outstanding AmeriCorps member, or alumnus, to encourage the development and expansion of best practices in national service programming, improved project development, and increase the value of the AmeriCorps member experience to help tackle the country’s most pressing human and environmental needs through service.

With emphases on engaging individuals with disabilities in service, best program innovation and enhancements, and compelling AmeriCorps member experience, the awards reflect the depth of impact of the national service field on the communities served and the individuals serving.

“I am very proud.    This award is thanks to some great mentors at APM,” Palombo stated. “They introduced the project idea to me, and really let me take the reins.  I was surprised to be nominated by two separate individuals in the community that I respect and cherish.    I recently was shown their nomination letters and both were very passionate and moving.”

The APM FBC was designed as a model that could be duplicated in other neighborhoods.  When asked what the future of the Food Buying Club, Palombo was quick to bring up two projects that are designed to raise funds to continue the FBC.    “APM has created a Kickstarter campaign to help fund our next stage, which is to create a toolkit for other organizations interested in starting their own food buying club,” stated Bridget. “We are also working with our current FBC members to create a cookbook of local recipes that were made possible due to the great fresh foods available thanks to the FBC. We also hope that some local chefs will consider adding some recipes as well.”

“Bridget is a strong leader with exceptional skills and intelligence; her drive made her stand out from the first day she walked through our doors,” said Nilda Ruiz, President & CEO of APM. She is a strong advocate for a sustainable community, and has shown that AmeriCorps members can use their knowledge, skills and initiative to improve the landscape of our community.”

In addition to the AmeriCorps recognition, the APM Food Buying Club has been recognized by other awards including a Philly Stake award and Social Innovations Lab scholarship.

“AmeriCorps has provided me with the tools I need to be successful, and APM has helped me in moreways than I can count,” Bridget said. “They have guided me, challenged me, and provided opportunities to me that most people could only get in a lifetime of work.”

For more information, please contact us at info@apmphila.org or visit the APM website at www.apmphila.org.  And be sure and Like Us at the APM Food Buying Club on Facebook.


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APM is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia area. APM’s vision is “A community where all families are self reliant; where children are protected and nurtured to become future leaders, and where residents are engaged in their community.”

APM’s mission and vision are as multifaceted and diverse as the people we serve. Through a comprehensive array of life-improving social services, APM quickly assess and institute meaningful remedies for societal problems prevalent in today’s world. We create job opportunities, aid people with debilitating illnesses, revitalize neighborhoods and support families and individuals with our caring and compassion.

Paseo Verde Wins ULI Philadelphia Inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence

June 19, 2014

PRESS ADVISORY | Contact: Rick Olmos 267.296.7363



Philadelphia, PA. – (June 19, 2014) – Urban Land Institute Philadelphia (ULI Philadelphia) recently granted Paseo Verde, administrative headquarters of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) its inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence. APM’s CEO and President Nilda Ruiz accepted the award at a reception at the Ballroom at the Ben in Philadelphia.

Paseo Verde is one of nine awardees selected from a pool of 57 nominated sustainable projects in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. The award recognizes Paseo Verde as a 21st century community leader in creating affordable mixed use development with contextual site planning, transit accessibility and green infrastructure.

Paseo Verde is the nation’s first platinum LEED-Neighborhood Development project, having completed construction in September 2013. Paseo Verde received project support from Wallace Roberts & Todd; civil engineering by Urban Engineers; structural engineering by David Chou & Associates; MEP by CSA Group; environmental engineering by MaGrann Associates; consulting by Metropolitan Acoustics; general contracting by Domus.


# # #


APM is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia area. APM’s vision is “A community where all families are self reliant; where children are protected and nurtured to become future leaders, and where residents are engaged in their community.”

APM’s mission and vision are as multifaceted and diverse as the people we serve. Through a comprehensive array of life-improving social services, APM quickly assess and institute meaningful remedies for societal problems prevalent in today’s world. We create job opportunities, aid people with debilitating illnesses, revitalize neighborhoods and support families and individuals with our caring and compassion.

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