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January 6, 2020

Health is a Human Right - Providence St. Joseph Health Community Benefit

Health is a Human Right for everyone, but it requires resources, commitment, and funding. I'm partnering with Providence St. Joseph Health to shine a spotlight not only on the need but to raise awareness about the programs and work that they and their partner organizations are doing to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
For a lot of us it would be hard to imagine a scenario in which we would find ourselves homeless, without medical or dental insurance, having no access to mental health resources, or a nutritious meal. As a mom, it pains me to think of not having what seems the most basic care for my family. That's where Providence St. Joseph Health Community Benefit comes in.

Providence St. Joseph Health Community benefit provides, partners on, and supports programs and services with the goal to improve the health and quality of life of the people in the communities they serve.
“Go into the neighborhoods, find out what disorders exist and try to remedy them through your own efforts if you can, or through others who have some influence over those involved…” – Father Jean-Pierre Medaille, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 1650.
With 51 hospitals across their family of organizations, Providence St. Joseph Health supports patients with expert clinical care but also with a range of community-based care, programs, interventions and services. By partnering with new and existing local and national organizations to affect change, the impact was huge. Providence reported $1.6 billion invested in communities across seven states in 2018.
This post was created in partnership with Providence St. Joseph Health. All opinions are my own.
Through their community health needs assessment, Providence St. Joseph Health identifies and prioritizes the most pressing needs in the communities they serve.
Recognizing that many factors – biological, social, economic and environmental – affect an individual’s, and a community’s, health and wellbeing. Providence St. Joseph Health Community Benefit programs take many forms:

Free or deeply discounted medical care for those who lack insurance or can’t afford to pay
Comprehensive support and care management services to low-income and uninsured/underinsured individuals living with chronic health problems
Education efforts aimed at reducing the stigma of mental health conditions in the community.

With programs like: 

Grace Clinic: For nearly 17 years, Grace Clinic, operating almost exclusively through community donations and volunteers has provided the uninsured in the community with access to comprehensive primary care including medical treatment, urgent dental care, mental health counseling and spiritual care.

Providence Community Care Center: A central hub for people who are street dependent to gain access to mental health, substance use, housing and primary care services—all under one roof, in a compassionate and safe environment.

GoNoodle: This decision was a direct result of a Community Health Needs Assessment which identified childhood obesity as an area of unmet need in the region. The mission is to empower kids to be the best version of themselves by providing engaging content that helps them get much needed physical activity, while building the social/emotional skills necessary to make good decisions later in life.
Making Healthy eating accessible: In 2018, 673 pounds of fresh produce was provided to the community from the garden, and another 257 pounds were donated to the Missoula Food Bank. There is even a mobile market that takes fresh vegetables to affordable housing complexes.

Health for a Better World centers on the belief that health is a human right. Providence St. Joseph health believes everyone deserves a chance to lead the healthiest life possible. And that it is important to understand and address the root causes of poor health such as food and housing insecurity, isolation, access to education and nutrition, and find holistic ways for communities to improve overall well-being. I couldn’t agree more!
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