Boston Hospitals Give Back: Member Institutions of the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals Provided $175M in Community Benefits in 2010

Posted by erik devaney

Boston area teaching hospitals were not only busy saving lives and making medical breakthroughs last year; they were also busy giving back to their local communities.

A new report from the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals (COBTH) shows that in 2010, hospitals that are part of the multi-institution coalition contributed a combined total of over $175 million in community benefits. If you factor in community service, corporate sponsorships and net charity care, total community expenditures for COBTH institutions reached nearly $300 million.

The COBTH coalition is made up of 14 Boston area teaching hospitals, which include Massachusetts General Hospital, Children’s Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center. In addition to advocating for research and medical education, the COBTH partners with over 400 local agencies in order to develop and support community programs.

“COBTH member hospitals’ roots are grounded in public service to communities in and around Boston,” Mass. Eye and Ear President and CEO — and COBTH Chair — John Fernandez said in a recent statement.

Fernandez continued, “The community benefit programs have a real impact on people’s lives that go beyond the four walls of the hospital. These programs offer support groups, free clinics, earlier detection of disease, and services that help promote healthier children and families, safer environments, and enhanced access to basic health care services.”

In addition to detailing the monetary contributions of COBTH institutions, the coalition’s new report explains how these institutions interacted with their local communities in 2010.

Beth Israel’s Bowdoin Street Health Center in Dorchester, for example, launched a community garden project in April of 2010. As the health center’s community suffers from high rates of asthma, diabetes and obesity, the goal of the program was to educate local children about nutrition and healthy eating habits.

Over a dozen children between the ages of 5 and 12 participated in the Bowdoin Street Health Center’s project. Participants planted tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and other vegetables at the Stonehurst/Norton Community Garden and then sold the resulting produce at the Bowdoin Street Farmers Market.

While the Bowdoin Street Health Center was focused on nutritional health in 2010, the Cambridge Health Alliance was focused on mental health.

Founded in 2003, Cambridge Health Alliance’s Reaching Out About Depression (ROAD) program helps low-income women achieve emotional as well as economic health. Last year, the program offered several services, including a 13-week interactive workshop and leadership trainings.

According to John Erwin, Executive Director of COBTH, the examples that the new report provides “illustrate the ongoing commitment of COBTH hospitals to meet well-identified and specific community needs that, without hospital support, would likely require public funding or simply go unmet.”

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Posted by erik devaney on Oct 14 2011. Filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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