Mary Washington Healthcare has been serving its communities since 1889 by providing health promotion and prevention services to help people stay healthy and medical care for them when they are sick. Mary Washington Healthcare’s commitment and leadership in investing in the health of the communities it serves are focused around an overall Community Benefit Strategy. Community Benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified needs in the communities served by Mary Washington Healthcare. They increase access to healthcare and improve community health. They are not provided for marketing purposes. A Community Benefit must respond to an identified community need and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Improve access to healthcare services,
- Enhance health of the community,
- Advance medical or health knowledge, or
- Relieve or reduce the burden of government or other nonprofit community efforts.
Community Benefits are an integral part of Mary Washington Healthcare’s mission and are the basis for its tax exempt status. Through community programs, services, and partnerships, Mary Washington Healthcare is effectively addressing the health needs of its communities, including the most vulnerable amongst us.
Mary Washington Hospital opened as an eight-room hospital more than 110 years ago, since then Mary Washington Healthcare has grown with the region to become a 537-bed, two hospital tertiary health system. Mary Washington Healthcare provides an unmatched scope of advanced clinical services not replicated in the region, including open-heart surgery, neurosurgery, complex thoracic surgery, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, state-of-the-art imaging, a da Vinci surgical robot and an electrophysiology lab. Mary Washington Hospital is designated as a Level II Trauma Center along with a Level III designated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. With two hospitals, three Emergency Departments, six urgent care centers, and many outpatient facilities, Mary Washington Healthcare provides access to the full continuum of care which provides a great level of benefit to our community.
Examples of Mary Washington Healthcare’s commitment to Community Benefit includes health screenings for early diagnosis and referral, preventive health education, patient and family counseling, direct and indirect support to safety-net providers, and a commitment to foster volunteerism opportunities for Mary Washington Healthcare’s Associates and employed and affiliated physicians with non-profit community groups.
Since 1993, the Community Services Fund (soon to be renamed the Community Benefits Fund) of the Mary Washington Hospital and Stafford Hospital Foundations has allocated more than $11 million to over 400 programs that address the areas of access, prevention and screenings, and education and lifestyle.
The following information will provide more detail to Mary Washington Healthcare’s commitment to Community Benefit.
Patient Financial Assistance Programs recognizes Mary Washington Healthcare’s role in providing access to medically necessary and emergency healthcare services for all persons regardless of their ability pay. Mary Washington Healthcare commits to ensure the equitable delivery of treatment regardless of insurance status in a professional and compassionate manner that respects each individual’s dignity and privacy. Therefore, Mary Washington Healthcare provides free or discounted care for medically necessary, emergency healthcare services to persons who demonstrate financial need and meet other eligibility criteria. In 2011, Mary Washington Healthcare provided $36.5 million dollars in financial assistance and unreimbursed Medicaid.
Mary Washington Healthcare wants to recognize and encourage Physician, Leader, and Associate participation in Community Benefit programs and other community service endeavors. Volunteerism is an inherent trait amongst the Mary Washington Healthcare family and MWHC iVolunteer program promotes collaboration with our community nonprofit groups, supports creative volunteerism projects, enhances the culture of addressing community needs, and establishes both formal and informal recognition of Associates and Physicians for volunteering. Key components of this program includes mini-grants for Community Benefit programs, annual iVolunteer Days to provide opportunities for both external and internal groups to raise awareness about their community service efforts and iVolunteer Awards.
2013 Community Benefit Programs
Beginning in 2013 thru 2016, Mary Washington Healthcare will focus the majority of Community Benefit resources towards addressing the Top 10 Health Priorities identified in the Healthy Communities Partnerships’ Community Health Needs Assessment. Those Top 10 Health Priorities are:
- Cancer (Colorectal, Lung, Breast)
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Mental Health Issues
- Access, Awareness & Affordability of Healthcare
- Tobacco Use
- Substance Abuse
- Dental Health
- Senior Health Issues
Community Benefit Programs will directly impact our community as well as improve the overall health of our patients and Associates. In addition, every opportunity will be made to partner with existing programs in the community to maximize resources and reduce unnecessary duplication.
The Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) is a working committee to actively engage citizen participation in the development and implementation of the Community Benefit Strategy at Mary Washington Healthcare. Since 2010, more than 120 Citizen Advisors are invited to interactive quarterly meetings as well as to serve on Community Benefit Workgroups.
Mary Washington Healthcare and the Rappahannock Area Health District launched the Healthy Communities Partnership in May 2011. The Healthy Communities Partnership was charged with completing a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify high priority healthcare needs within the regional Mary Washington Healthcare service area. The Healthy Communities Partnership established three committees: Advisory, Steering, and Communications Committee. The Healthy Communities Partnership’s Advisory Committee is comprised of 40 community volunteers representing regional hospitals, health departments and insurers, private businesses, community-based organizations, and healthcare and mental health services providers. The Healthy Communities Partnership’s Advisory Committee’s chief responsibilities are to:
- provide input on all aspects of the Partnership, and
- provide input to the Steering Committee on priority needs, resources, and healthcare goals for the community.
Washington Healthcare will continue to host the web-based information system providing access to high-quality data related to improving the health of the communities it serves. CHIR played a significant role in the Healthy Communities Partnership with health indicator tracking and best practice sharing. CHIR will play a pivotal role in the continuous assessment of need and the implementation of Community Benefit Programs.