Development in areas of the Northside encouraged executives of two health care organizations to relocate their offices from Downtown to East Ohio Street.

The Consumer Health Coalition is a health care advocacy organization that helps individuals access insurance programs and other tools necessary for receiving optimal care. One of the programs offered is the CHC Helpline, a free service that helps individuals apply for public health programs.

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project is a nonprofit, public interest law firm providing essentially free legal services for accessing health insurance. They also assist insured individuals with receiving the necessary care to meet their particular needs.

CHC and PHLP made the move to the Northside in August in the hopes of being part of a community, CHC Executive Director Beth Heeb said.

“We have great neighbors,” Heeb said. “Everyone has been friendly. It is convenient for our consumers. East Ohio Street is a great location.”

Fran Chervenak, a senior attorney at PHLP, described their new offices in the Hollander building as having a charming atmosphere, unlike the hectic downtown business district. Being near Allegheny Commons Park and in an older building with character were reasons Chervenak prefers the Northside location.

On Nov. 3, the two organizations held an open house to show off their new space and explain some of the programs and services they provide to new and familiar visitors. Bistro To Go, a restaurant located below the CHC and PHLP’s new offices, catered the event without charge. More than 50 people attended the event, and both Heeb and Chervenak said it was a success.

The two organizations were neighbors in their downtown offices, so when CHC decided to relocate, PHLP moved with them. Because of the similar work they do, occasionally CHC will refer individuals to PHLP’s services.

Anyone in need of health services can call CHC Helpline at 412-456-1877. For more information about PHLP visit

Matthew Cichowicz is a senior studying nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh. He is interning with The Northside Chronicle during the fall semester.