For more than two decades, Dr. Mary Wirshup tirelessly served the countless medically underserved and uninsured patients that came through the doors of Community Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM) in West Chester, PA. The NAFC is sad to share that after 20 years of service, Dr. Mary Wirshup passed away on Sunday, February 6, 2022, surrounded by her family, friends, and loved ones.
The Life and Career of Dr. Mary Wirshup
Dr. Mary Wirshup served as the CVIM’s Medical Director in Pennsylvania, where she and her work has had a profound impact on the lives of countless patients. Her work has been responsible for inspiring hope and healing within the hearts and minds of everyone she came in contact with – from the patients she served to the colleagues around her.
For her work and dedication to her practice, Dr. Wirshup was celebrated with the 2019 RWJF Award for Health Equity by the NAFC, an accomplishment that honors exceptional health practitioners who have established “cultures of health” and achieved health equity within and throughout their communities.
As a physician, Dr. Wirshup worked tirelessly to promote a culture of health among low-income communities, primarily working to support Hispanic patients who have suffered from long-term medical neglect due to limited access to free or affordable healthcare. Dr. Wirshup supported the expansion of dynamic educational programs designed to help patients better understand their disease and which lifestyle changes could have a significant impact on their current and future health outcomes.
“We have no concept that, for most of us, that when you have no insurance, you live sicker and you die younger,” Dr. Wirshup said on the state of insurance and healthcare in the United States. “It’s a very scary place for all the 27.5 million people in our country that have no insurance.”
A Hero’s Legacy
The work of Dr. Wirshup has resulted in life-changing actions – not only for the patients served at CVIM, but also the facility as a whole. To the people closest to her, Dr. Wirshup is a shining example of a true medical professional, and it was her boundless excitement and passion for her work that her colleagues attribute to the success of the clinic.
All who came into contact with Dr. Wirshup left feeling inspired to live healthier, happier lives thanks to her understanding and dedication to providing critical healthcare support to each and every patient. Even as she navigated her personal battle with cancer, Dr. Wirshup remained committed to the community, the clinic, and patients as a volunteer.
Dr. Wirshup committed her life to not only her private patients but also to the millions of individuals living across the country without access to quality, affordable healthcare. Today, we remember Dr. Wirshup for her compassion, her understanding, and her dedication to caring for medically underserved individuals – a shining expert in her field and a passionate advocate for the nation’s sick and needy. She will be greatly and dearly missed.