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'community partnership' posts

Specialty Dental Services now available for the uninsured at Swedish

What do you do if you don’t have insurance and need healthcare? The Swedish Community Specialty Clinic is here to help – and it is designed exclusively to treat low-income uninsured or underinsured patients.  We provide advanced medical care at no cost by volunteer specialists from Swedish and several other physician groups.

At Swedish Community Specialty Clinic, we:

  • Provide another resource for those who have no other options for specialized care.
  • Combine several existing and new services under one roof and improve care through innovations such as electronic health records.
  • Server as a dedicated space for volunteer physicians to meet with patients.
  • Include a support staff to help maintain physician schedules and set initial visits and follow-ups.

“The Specialty Clinic is a testament to Swedish’s commitment to serve the entire community,” says Swedish CEO  Dr. Rod Hochman. “We want to set a new standard in community health and clearly demonstrate that charity care is a core part of our non-profit mission, which continues even in a down economy.”

The clinic, which cares for patients with appointments on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., is located near advanced medical imaging facilities and other specialty-care professionals. We estimate more than 2,000 patients will be seen at the facility each year for dermatology, general surgery, hand surgery, orthopedics and podiatric surgery services.

Patients likely to use the new clinic:

We talk the talk - let's start walking

Today (April 6) is National Start! Walking Day. Swedish is partnering with the American Heart Association to mobilize walkers from Cherry Hill, First Hill, Ballard, and Met Park (some of our campuses) to participate in National Start! Walking Day. We're coordinating this effort to encourage and motivate Swedish employees to walk one mile at noon.

Perspectives on Healthcare - Spring 2011

Whenever I talk to people about Swedish, they are often surprised to learn we’re a nonprofit organization. Many people, even those who’ve lived here all their lives, just assume Swedish is a for-profit healthcare system. But the truth is Swedish was founded as a nonprofit institution 101 years ago, and we have remained true to those roots ever since.

The Puget Sound region is fortunate that most of the hospitals in our local area are either private nonprofits like Swedish, state or county hospitals like Harborview or public- district hospitals like Evergreen. The for-profits have not yet made significant inroads into our local community.

That’s not the case in other parts of the country. Of the 5,000 hospitals in the United States, about 18 percent, or 889 hospitals, are for-profit. And that number is growing. Most of these investor-owned hospitals are located in the South and Rocky Mountain region. Here in Washington, only six of the state’s 95 hospitals are for-profit.

The issue of nonprofit vs. for-profit is one I am very passionate about. I’m a big proponent for nonprofit health care and believe it plays a vital role in the fabric of society. That’s why I decided to focus this issue of Perspectives on what nonprofit health-care providers do for the community. I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to talk specifically about Swedish’s nonprofit mission and share some of the innovative new ways we are working to address the community’s health needs.

For-Profit vs. Nonprofit

What’s the difference between for-profit and nonprofit hospitals? One of the main differences is that for-profits are accountable to shareholders. Nonprofits are accountable to the community.

As a nonprofit, Swedish is not governed by investors. Our Board of Trustees is made up of volunteers from the community who work to make sure we’re: 1) meeting the health-care needs of the region; 2) delivering high-quality health care; and 3) managing our resources responsibly. Our board members take their role of preserving Swedish as a community asset very seriously and are focused on ensuring that Swedish is available as a resource for those in need for many years to come. In other words, they see to it that Swedish serves the interest of the public, not that of private investors. And it is worth noting that many members of our Board have made their own significant philanthropic investment in Swedish and thus our community’s health.

Nonprofit hospitals are tax-exempt organizations. We maintain this status by providing a number of services that benefit the community – charity care for the uninsured being one of the most vital. Tax-exempt hospitals in Washington state fill this critical need by providing a combined total of nearly $280 million in charity care per year. Washington hospitals also provide an additional $514 million in other services that benefit the community, including Medicaid subsidies, health-education programs, health-screening programs, support groups, medical education and clinical research.

Not being a public-district or government-owned hospital, Swedish does not raise revenue through tax levies. Instead we rely on the generous support of our community to help us invest in the health of our region. That support helps us to actively do our part to meet community needs and continuously look for ways to do even more.

In 2010, Swedish provided $112 million in services for the community, including:

  • $25 million in charity care
  • $67 million in Medicaid subsides
  • $20 million in health education, screenings, clinical research and other community benefits

Innovative Ways Swedish Is Serving the Community

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