Information on the VHHA Community Benefit Award and our Winners.
(VHHA member information on community benefit reporting is available here.)
Executive Summary (PDF)
To the Citizens of Virginia:
It’s hard to measure the full impact that Virginia’s hospitals and health systems have on their communities. Often they are the very lifeblood of the areas they serve, providing essential health care services, promoting community health and employing hundreds, even thousands, of the people who live there. In their roles as lifesavers, safety net providers, job creators, researchers and educators they truly are the hearts of their communities.
This report documents two aspects of their impact. One is community benefit and the other is economic activity. The numbers are impressive. The resources devoted to a wide range of community benefit activity last year was $2.4 billion. The economic impact of Virginia’s hospitals and health systems was $28 billion.
The $2.4 billion in community benefit represents an increase of more than four percent over last year. Hospitals and health systems upped their investment in their communities in fiscal year 2011 despite the challenges and uncertainties of a flat economy and many unknowns related to health care reform. Because of their continued commitment to the programs and services they support, newly unemployed (and therefore uninsured) persons could still get the health care they needed. Access to care was maintained through resources devoted to free clinics, mobile care-a-vans, free health screenings, and even, in some instances, free transportation. Without this array of services there’s no doubt that access to health care services would have declined.
The importance of hospitals and health systems as economic centers of their communities also has continued to grow. The number of jobs they provided increased from more than 193,000 to almost 215,000 in 2011. Job growth is good news for the economy at any time, but it has been especially good news during this extended period of high unemployment.
There are still major challenges on the horizon. The implementation of health care reform and efforts to address the federal deficit will affect hospitals significantly and the prospect for improvement in the national economic outlook remains modest at best. Regardless, Virginia’s hospitals and health systems will continue to support their communities.
This is the fifth year that the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association has published its community benefit and economic impact report. It would not be possible without the support of our members who voluntarily provide the information contained in this report. We thank them for the resources they invest in their communities and for making it possible for us to tell their stories.