Dr. Zane Gates was raised by a single mother in an Altoona housing project. During his childhood, he struggled with an attention disorder, but he didn’t let these obstacles stop him from achieving his dream of becoming a physician. Dr. Gates grew up to complete pharmacy school, and then medical school, at the University of Pittsburgh.
After medical school and a residency in internal medicine, he ultimately returned home to Altoona, opening his own free clinic in a van to provide care to the working poor – those who earn too much to qualify for a government health plan, but not enough to purchase private insurance. After partnering with Altoona Regional Health System, Dr. Gates’ van-based clinic evolved into Partnering for Health Services, which provides access to free health care to approximately 3,500 individuals in Altoona each year.
All the while, he was focused on inventing a new model for providing better healthcare at a lower cost. That model eventually became Empower³ Center for Health.
In addition to his work as a physician, Dr. Gates is also the founder of the Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation. Established in tribute to his mother, the Foundation provides mentoring and academic enrichment for children in Altoona housing projects, including the one where he grew up.
Dr. Gates was named a WebMD “Health Hero” in 2009, a “Community Health Leader” by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2010, and recognized with a “Community Service Award” by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2011.