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What Is Community Benefit?
Community benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs in such a way as to improve residents’ access to health care services, enhance the health of the community, advance medical or health knowledge, or relieve/reduce the burden on government or other community efforts. Southwest Health System’s community benefits include education, charity care, subsidized health services, community health improvement activities and more. For 2013, the Community Benefit figures are being reported in accordance with IRS Form 990 Schedule H requirements.
Through a community needs assessment conducted every three years, we gain a better view of the health needs and resources in the communities we serve. In partnership with families and community-based organizations, we are using what we learn to collaboratively address the most urgent needs. An assessment in collaboration with Axis Health System was conducted in 2012.
2013 Community Benefits
The mission of Southwest Health System, Inc. (SHS) is to provide the highest quality health care to our community by bringing excellence and service together to promote, improve and restore health. We envision a health system in which all providers work together to make excellent, patient-centered health services available to our community. Consistent with this mission and vision, the organization has worked throughout the years to improve community health by developing and sponsoring programs, creating educational opportunities, organizing events, and investing in our community. This report details just some of the ways that SHS served residents of Montezuma County and the surrounding area in 2013.
Financial and In-Kind Contributions: $25,650
Community Building Activities: $487,664
Uncompensated (Financial Assistance/Charity Care):$420,100
Means Tested Shortfall:$3,580,211
During 2013, SHS provided $420,100 in care to 4,433 individuals and families who were unable to pay for their healthcare expenses.
Government-Sponsored Mean-Tested Healthcare:
In 2013, SHS delivered care to thousands of patients who were eligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Programs, Colorado Indigent Care Program and other public programs. The shortfall incurred by providing services under these programs was $3,580,211.
Community Health Improvement Services:
In 2013 SHS hosted five public health education events. Topics included healthy pregnancy and delivery, women’s GI issues, irritable bowl, Celiac disease, healthy aging for women, gastric bypass surgery, gynecological procedures, and surviving cancer. To improve communication and provide additional healthcare education Southwest Memorial Hospital published twelve educational columns, “Southwest Health Notes,” in the Cortez Journal. The hospital also communicates with all county residents through a quarterly newsletter which provides education, information on upcoming events, and updates about the hospital.
Diabetes and Nutrition Education:
Our Diabetes and Nutrition Education Program provides education to patients and healthcare providers at little or no cost. In 2013 the Diabetes and Nutrition Program participated in and organized presentations and food preparation courses at local schools. They also sponsored educational shopping trips to local grocery stores. At these events community members, patients, and their families learned about reading food labels and shopping for healthy food on a limited budget. SHS hosts a monthly Diabetes Support Group for individuals and their care partners coping with diabetes management. Our Nutrition Educators have partnered with the City of Cortez, and Empire Electric to offer education opportunities for employees of local business. In partnership with Livewell and local restaurants, SHS has helped to support an Eat Healthy, Eat Local campaign. We hope to continue to grow and better connect with the community by providing free or reduced cost education opportunities to area residents.
Many of our staff members are employed solely or in part to support the community and health of patients. Some of these positions include Patient Advocate, Patient Financial Counselor, Diabetes Educator, Dieticians, Social Worker and Discharge Planner, Education Coordinator, Patient Experience Coordinator, and Family Birthing Educator.
Health Professions Education:
SHS is host to many students throughout the year. We have the opportunity to educate and train tomorrow’s healthcare professionals. Each year we open our doors to student in nursing, laboratory sciences, nutrition, pharmacy, and other health professions. In 2013 we expanded opportunities for local high school students to visit and volunteer in our facility. This program gives the students a window into the healthcare industry and helps them to focus their career aspirations and prepare for their future.
Cash and In-Kind Contributions:
SHS made contributions of $25,650 in 2013 to support a variety of organizations in Montezuma County. We entertain a variety of requests from across the Four Corners region and support many of them to varying degrees.
Community Building Activities:
Our staff’s commitment to improving the health of our community shines through in their volunteer efforts. Our staff volunteer to coordinate and manage the 9 Health Fair in Dove Creek, Mancos and Cortez, participate in health fairs and the local schools, assist with the annual Teen Maze event, volunteer at local sporting events, as camp counselors and organize blood drives. This year our staff also organized a food drive to benefit the local food bank and gathered over 4,300 pounds of food for our community. Southwest Health System, Inc. is also a proud supporter of area Chambers of Commerce: Cortez, Mancos and Dolores.
In 2013, SHS made physician recruitment a priority and invested more $351,540 in attracting new physicians to our community.
Southwest Health System considers requests for donations from area non-profit organizations. To submit a donation request please download this form.