Our community benefits program is designed to ensure that:
• Beth Israel Deaconess is a good corporate citizen and, as a not-for-profit organization, fulfills its special obligation to serve the community.
• as a healthcare provider, our services improve the health status of the community.
• we remain true to the histories of Beth Israel and Deaconess, each of which were particularly committed to the community service component of their multiple missions (clinical, research/teaching, community).
• the experiences of staff and providers at Beth Israel Deaconess are enriched through opportunities to work with diverse patients, colleagues, and organizations.
II. What and For Whom?
• Community benefits calls for a particular focus on underserved populations. Individuals may be underserved due to the many factors that influence if and how one is able to access and interact effectively with the healthcare system, including income level, insurance status, health status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, etc.
• A major focus is to ensure that Beth Israel Deaconess is a welcoming and culturally competent organization for all patients and employees, including minorities and other populations traditionally underserved.
• Our efforts focus primarily, but not exclusively on health care, so that our financial resources are leveraged with our clinical, academic, and administrative strengths. The health care arena is where Beth Israel Deaconess can have the greatest impact on the community.
• We partner with community leaders and community-based organizations; they serve as links to the community and teachers of how we can better serve the populations they represent. In addition, we collaborate with a wide variety of organizations because healthcare services by themselves are not adequate to maximize improvement of health status.
• Improving the community's health requires more than clinical services. We look to public health, prevention, and other health-related approaches not traditionally provided by many acute care hospitals.
• Our commitment to the community benefits mission is as fundamental as our commitment to our patient care and academic missions. That is, rather than abandon any of these fundamental missions when budget restraints tempt us, we will constantly seek ways to fulfill all of them in as effective and efficient a manner as possible.
• Community benefits programs are most successful when implemented organization-wide, just as are quality and respect. Community benefits cannot succeed as a stand-alone activity. The importance of these principles and the efforts that result must be embraced by trustees, senior management and providers alike, as well as by the communities served.