Community Benefits Mission and Guiding Principles

Serving Our Community

The mission of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is to serve our patients compassionately and effectively, and to create a healthy future for them and their families.

Our mission is supported by our commitment to personalized, excellent care for our patients; a workforce committed to individual accountability, mutual respect and collaboration; and a commitment to maintaining our financial health. The Medical Center is committed to being active in our community as well. Service to community is at the core and an important part of our mission. We have a covenant to care for the underserved and to work to change disparities in access to care. We know that to be successful we need to learn from those we serve. 

This Community Benefits mission is fulfilled by:

  • Implementing programs and services in Greater Boston and Cape Cod to improve the current and future health status of medically underserved communities which are challenged by barriers in accessing and interacting effectively with the healthcare system, and impacted by other social determinants of health.
  • Ensuring that all patients receive equitable care that is respectful and culturally responsive and that the medical center is welcoming and inclusive.
  • Encouraging collaborative relationships with other providers and government entities to support and enhance rational and effective health policies and programs.


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.

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.