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Community benefit at Via Christi Health

Caring for the communities we serve

Ascension Via Christi, a part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and not-for-profit healthcare system, provided $68.8 million in community benefit in the 2018 fiscal year, providing free medical care to those in need, educating healthcare professionals and supporting community health efforts in Wichita, Pittsburg, Manhattan and Wamego.

Via Christi’s total of $68.8 million in community benefit includes $27.9 million in charity care. It also includes $16.8 million in unpaid costs of Medicaid services. 

In addition to charity care for patients with inadequate financial means and unpaid costs of Medicaid services, Via Christi’s overall fiscal year 2016 community benefit included: 

  • More than $750,000 in subsidized health services provided by our specialty and family practice clinics, and other subsidized health services.
  • More than $21 million in training for physicians.
  • Nearly $2.4 million in other services, such as support of community clinics, health education and safety classes, health screenings, research, community building activities and donations of space to community organizations.

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 $52.3 million, including $21.7 million in charity care.

Examples of Via Christi's community benefit in the Wichita area include:

  • Dispensary of Hope: The outpatient pharmacies at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis and Ascension Medical Group Via Christi on Murdock both serve as a Dispensary of Hope, providing surplus medications from manufacturers, distributors and physicians to uninsured patients as part of a national safety net. More than 2,533 patients were helped in fiscal year 2018.
  • Transitional Care Clinic: Established in 2014, the clinic helps patients who do not have a primary care provider or cannot be seen by their provider within seven days after they are discharged from the hospital. These patients are referred to the clinic, which helps them transition from the hospital to home or other facility for ongoing care using a multi-disciplinary team to provide primary medical care, support and encouragement. The goal is to ensure a safe and smooth transition to a primary care provider as well as to help patients access the community resources they need to follow their plan of care and avoid unnecessary readmissions to the hospital. Since the clinic’s opening, it has helped reduce inpatient admissions and Emergency Room visits among these patients by 91 percent.
  • Heart Failure Clinic: The Via Christi Heart Failure Clinic serves patients with a new heart failure diagnosis, those with risk factors for hospital admission, those suffering from medical conditions in addition to heart failure, have poor social networks, or are advanced in age. The program teaches symptom control, maximizes medical and device therapy and prevents avoidable hospital admissions or ER visits.
  • NewLife Center: Provides educational classes for moms, dads, siblings and grandparents ranging from labor and delivery, baby care, baby talk, car seat safety, safe sleep, breastfeeding, boot camp for dads, infant massage and CPR. In fiscal year 2018, more than 2,100 persons participated in child birth and baby wellness classes.

Community benefit in Manhattan and Wamego

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan and Wamego Health Center provided $7.0 million in community benefit in the 2018 fiscal year, providing free medical care to those in need, educating health care professionals and supporting community health efforts in Manhattan and Wamego. The total includes nearly $2.1 million in charity care and $4.7 million in unpaid costs of Medicaid services.

Examples of Via Christi's community benefit in the Manhattan and Wamego areas include:

  • Security Transports: In fiscal year 2018, VCH-M and WHC spent $114.3 thousand transporting more than 300 patients to area hospitals who were in need of specialized services. Most of these secured transports are for patients brought into the Emergency Department but who were uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid recipients or were unable to arrange for personal transportation to mental health facilities for appropriate psychological treatment.
  • Flint Hills Community Clinic: Via Christi provided nearly $40,000 in financial and in-kind contributions for 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.
  • Community Health Ministries: Wamego Health Center clinicians and lab services department provided medical treatment and lab tests for 85 CHM patients at a cost of nearly $18.6 thousand. These patients met the qualifications for financial assistance due to their household income and lack of insurance coverage.

Community benefit in Pittsburg

In Pittsburg, Via Christi provided $8.5 million in community benefit, including nearly $3.4 million in charity care, and $5.0 million in unpaid costs of Medicaid services.

Examples of Via Christi’s community benefit in the Pittsburg area include: 

  • CareVan: Pittsburg-area patients who can’t drive themselves to a doctor or therapy appointment can turn to the Via Christi CareVan for help. CareVans serve a 30-mile radius around Pittsburg, providing Kansans who are elderly, have physical challenges or are in need of transportation with free scheduled rides to and from Via Christi facilities for non-emergency hospital, doctor and therapy visits. In fiscal year 2018, VCH-P provided 4,308 rides at a cost of nearly $90.2 thousand to the poor and vulnerable living in the Pittsburg area
  • Specialty Care: In fiscal year 2018, VCH-P provided 325 persons with cardiac care treatment to patients of the Crawford County Community Health Clinic in living in the areas of Pittsburg or Baxter Springs Clinics.