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Community benefit at Via Christi Health

Caring for the communities we serve

Via Christi Health provided $91.4 million in community benefit in the 2014 fiscal year, providing free medical care to those in need, educating health care professionals and supporting community health efforts in Wichita, Pittsburg, Manhattan and Wamego.

Via Christi’s community benefit is based on community health assessments conducted in Manhattan and Wamego, Pittsburg and Wichita to guide our work in addressing gaps in services, barriers to care and educating the public on better ways to protect themselves and their families from diseases.

Community benefit in Wichita

In Wichita, Via Christi provided community benefit of $76.9 million including $34.2 million in charity care.

Dispensary of Hope: The outpatient pharmacies at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis and Via Christi Clinic on Murdock both serve as a Dispensary of Hope, providing unused medications from manufacturers, distributors and physicians to uninsured patients as part of a national safety net. Since January 2014, more than 200 patients in need have received prescription medications free of charge, improving their treatment and quality of life.

Project Oasis: Via Christi Health, GraceMed and the Greater Wichita YMCA are working together to meet the need for affordable, close-to-home care in south Wichita. The collaboration is called Project Oasis because the area it will serve in south Wichita has been historically a “health care desert” where residents lack ready access to health care providers and services.

Plans have been developed for a hub clinic to be built on the grounds of the South YMCA along with three school-based satellite clinics. The hub clinic, which will provide routine and urgent care visits to more than 17,000 underserved area patients a year, will include exam and counseling rooms; dental and optical exam space; and a pharmacy and optical dispensary.

The new clinic also will offer extended hours, services and programs designed to target population health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and behavioral health.

A major driving force behind this collaborative is the commitment of seven physician graduates of the Via Christi Family Medicine Residency Program to live and provide care in this underserved area of the community.

Milk Bank: The Milk Bank Depot in Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph’s NewLife Center is a collection site for Mother’s Milk Bank in Denver, which pasteurizes and distributes donor milk for use by vulnerable infants receiving specialized treatment in NICUs across the country.

Community benefit in Manhattan and Wamego

Mercy Regional Health Center and Wamego Health Center provided $6.3 million in community benefit in 2014, including $2.5 million in charity care.

Mercy and Wamego provided another $883,000 in community benefit through a variety of collaborative partnerships.

Mercy provided financial and in-kind contributions and community health improvement services as part of its commitment to the Flint Hills Community Clinic, which opened in 2005 to serve the growing number of uninsured in Riley County.

Wamego gave in-kind support to Community Health Ministries, a medical and dental clinic for low-income or uninsured residents. The clinic also provides prescription assistance, family counseling and other needed services.

As part of its community benefit, Mercy’s pre-professional program provided educational shadowing experiences to 74 students to help them narrow their field of study in health care.

Mercy also provided clinical rotations to regional nursing, radiology, Emergency Medical Services, dietetics, spiritual/pastoral care and social work students.

Community benefit in Pittsburg

Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg provided community benefit of $7.5 million in 2014 including $4.1 million in charity care.

As part of its community benefit, the hospital operates the only diabetes self-management program in southeast Kansas that is certified by the American Diabetes Association.

Via Christi Outreach also provides immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing at no cost to Crawford County high school students, conducting more than 700 tests over the past three years.

The Pittsburg hospital also prepared more than 18,200 meals for delivery by Pittsburg Meals on Wheels to elderly and homebound residents over the age of 60.

Behind the numbers: 2014 community benefit

Via Christi’s contributions to the overall benefit of the communities it serves included $40.9 million in charity care and $27.1 million in unpaid costs of Medicaid services.

Via Christi provided another $23.4 million worth of community benefit through such initiatives as:

  • Nearly $500,000 in subsidized health services provided by our specialty and family medicine clinics, behavioral health facilities and other subsidized health services.
  • More than $17.4 million to train physicians, nurses and other health professionals.
  • More than $5 million in other services such as support of community clinics, health screenings, research, community building activities and donations