Lawrence General's Community Benefits Program is accountable to the Hospital Trustees, who live and work in the communities we serve, and to the President and Chief Executive Officer. Last year, Lawrence General contributed over $3,200,000 in community benefits and net charity care to our region.
Community Health Needs Assessment
As a way to ensure that Lawrence General is achieving its vision and meeting the needs of the community, the Hospital undertook a comprehensive community health needs assessment (CHNA) in 2013. The CHNA utilized a participatory, collaborative approach to look at health in its broadest context to identify the perceived health needs, challenges to accessing services, current strengths and assets, and opportunities for action in the community.
Performing a Community Health Needs Assessment is the best way for the Hospital to understand how we can develop programs that best serve the needs of our patients. By conducting internal patient surveys and assessing interview data, as well as data available through sources such as MassCHIP, behavioral risk factor survey data, quality benchmarking data, special reports such as the DPH reports on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities or periodic Birth Statistics and market data, we keep informed on our communities' changing health needs. In addition, we solicit community input through mechanisms such as surveys, web site communication and a large network of nearly 30 community contacts as well as the development of the Hospital's first Patient-Family Advisory Council.
Current identified community health priorities include chronic diseases, such as asthma, cancer and obesity; mental health and substance abuse; as well as access to care.
Since 1875, Lawrence General Hospital has served the health care needs of the residents of the Merrimack Valley, and pledges to continue that tradition with services for the entire family. This pledge is built on our mission, vision and values, and is embodied today in the hospital’s commitment to its Community Benefits Program. This program is defined as the activities that enhance the quality of life and well-being of residents of our service area. It encompasses charity care for all in need, treatment of illness regardless of race, color or creed, and the implementation of wellness programs.
In support of our mission, our goal is to better meet the needs of the patients we serve and to improve the quality, safety and continuity of care delivered in a patient and family-centered care model.
The Goals of our Community Benefits are as follows:
- Improve the health of Merrimack Valley residents through programs including trauma prevention, heart disease and stroke prevention, diabetes control, cancer prevention and early detection, youth health education and advocacy for a safe and healthy environment.
- Maintain access to care for the urban poor and reduce health disparities through outreach efforts by working for the continued success of Health Reform, through interagency collaboration, and via advocacy for those in need.
- Increase access to primary care by supporting the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and the Lawrence Family Practice Residency Program, which trains family practice physicians who are committed to caring for under-served populations.
We measure short-term success in numbers effectively cared for, and longer term program effectiveness on achieving local health outcomes that meet or exceed state and/or national benchmarks.
To review Lawrence General's full report to the Attorney General for this past year, click here. The Hospital's community outreach and clinical staff members carry out program activities in collaboration and partnership with local organizations, and the report at the link above shows our many partnerships across the region.