I am so proud of the incredible ways Lee Health and our team members across the health system have shown up to support our patients, each other and our community in the weeks following Hurricane Ian. Responding to our community’s needs is nothing new and has been a key characteristic of Lee Health for more than 100 years.
In fact, each year, we invest significant time, talent and resources toward community benefit, which are specific programs or activities that provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs. Programs or activities must meet at least one of the following criteria to qualify as community benefit:
¦ Improve access to health care services.
¦ Enhance the health of the community.
¦ Advance medical or health knowledge.
¦ Or relieve or reduce the burden of government or other community efforts.
2020 and 2021 were marked with significant challenges related to the COVID- 19 pandemic. Even still, Lee Health was able to contribute more than $209.3 million in community benefit in 2020 and $242.9+ million in 2021.
We created a full Community Benefit Report, which can be found online at www.tinyurl.com/2021LHCBR, and you can visit www.LeeHealth.org and search ‘Community Benefit’ to see reports dating back to 2011. But, to give an idea of the ways Lee Health cares for and works to improve the health of our community, here are some examples of the community benefit efforts from 2021:
¦ There were 5,532 staff hours of Community Care Outreach, through which our team provided eligible patients with free support and guidance, including navigating the health system and managing health needs like chronic diseases, behavioral health and food security. The community benefit value of this work equals $191,573.
¦ Lee Community Healthcare has 23 facilities throughout Lee and Charlotte counties that provide primary medical care to medically uninsured and economically distressed communities. These offices provide a medical home to those individuals who have historically used local emergency departments to meet their primary care needs. In 2021, Lee Community Healthcare:
¦ Added eight pediatric and two specialty care practices.
¦ Served 53,382 patients .
¦ Managed 175,775 office visits.
¦ Contributed $29,936,116 in community benefit.
¦ Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s Child Advocacy Program provided education on child passenger safety, medicine safety, drowning prevention, bike/pedestrian safety and more. Child advocates also taught Safe Sitter and parenting classes. In 2021, child advocacy accounted for $139,083 in community benefit and served 121,084 people.
¦ Lee Health partners with regional colleges and universities to help train nurses, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), pharmacists, physicians, social workers, radiologists, lab technologists and more future health care professionals. In 2021, we served 8,691 people with 124,052.75 staff hours.
These are just a few examples, part of the story of how Lee Health works to improve the health of our community. I hope you will take the time to read the full report.
On behalf of all of us at Lee Health, we recognize that our Southwest Florida community (including so many on our team) has many challenges ahead as we rebuild and recover from Hurricane Ian. I hope the Community Benefit Report helps you understand and appreciate the commitment and dedication we have to serving, caring for and impacting the health and well-being of our community. ¦
Leave a Reply