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Building healthier communities

In communities across America, our health is our common thread. At CommonSpirit Health, we know that the conditions in which our patients were born, grow, work, live, and age impact their health status and our ability to effectively care for them.

That’s why we partner with a variety of community service organizations to help us address the social and economic needs of our patients, aided by advanced technology and dedicated community health workers. Together, we can care for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.

our values

Community Investment Program

CommonSpirit’s Community Investment Program (CIP) is an expression of our commitment to promote the total health of the community by channeling financial resources to institutions or projects that address the social determinants of health. 

Through the CIP, we provide financial resources in the form of below-market rate loans and guarantees to organizations or projects to promote access to jobs, housing, food, education, and health care for people of low-income communities. 

Since 1990 the CIP has issued 386 loans and approved $454 million in funding for local communities. In FY23, as of 6/30/2023, the CIP consisted of $125 million in disbursements to 88 organizations (97 loans) supporting affordable housing, health clinics and social services, arts and education, environment, small business and microlending, and other community service organizations.

Homeless health initiatives

The CommonSpirit Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) works to co-locate, coordinate, and integrate health care, behavioral health, safety, and wellness services with housing and other social services. Across California, we have committed to invest a minimum of $20 million through FY 2024 in programs that address two focus areas:

  • Housing insecurities and homeless prevention for individuals and families who are at-risk of experiencing homelessness; and 
  • Coordinating care, services, and resources for populations experiencing homelessness with local community partners and government agencies. 

Connected community network

CommonSpirit Health is working with many other organizations to build networks of health care and social services that increase access to community resources for any patient in need. We call this model the Connected Community Network (CCN).

A CCN is a network of community service organizations that have the ability to make referrals using a shared technology platform among hospitals, clinics, and the social service and government agencies that provide vital services. These resources meet a variety of social and economic needs, including stable and affordable housing; maternal, infant, and child health; chronic disease management programs; healthy food; and mental health and substance abuse counseling. 

Total health roadmap

The Total Health Roadmap helps us understand and address the impact of social determinants of health in order to provide equitable, effective, and high-quality health care.

Within pioneer communities in Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, and Minnesota, we have developed a model for universal screening for social needs and the integration of community health workers in primary care teams to help individuals and families find the resources they need. What we learn from this effort informs enhanced collaborations to address needs in the fabric of our local communities.

Jessica Hoskins grew up in rural Kentucky as one of four siblings. Her mother, a single parent working two jobs, did everything in her power to make ends meet, but was forced to make difficult decisions every morning—save for the monthly utility bill or buy gas to get to work.

community care hub

Community Care Hub

A Community Care Hub is a community-centered entity that enables cross-sector contracting between healthcare organizations and a network of community-based organizations in order to address individuals’ social needs. By centralizing functions (e.g. contracting, billing, etc.) on behalf of a network of community-based organizations, Community Care Hubs make it possible for more community organizations to participate in reimbursement opportunities with healthcare organizations. 

CommonSpirit’s goal is to support the activation of Community Care Hubs that are focused on addressing the needs of older adults. We partner with communities interested in pursuing a Community Care Hub solution, and ensure accelerators of successful Hubs are present: thought partnership and technical assistance, shared investment from community stakeholders, buy-in from healthcare organizations, and local governance models.

Pathways Community HUB Model

CommonSpirit Health is working with community partners to launch the Pathways Community HUB (PCH) Model that bridges clinical and social care to support underserved populations in our communities. The PCH Model is an outcomes-based payment infrastructure that provides standardized community-based care coordination. 

The PCH model brings together everyone involved in community health–hospitals, clinics, health plans, community-based organizations, community health workers, and others–to identify individuals with needs–medical, social, behavioral–and connect them to services, track outcomes and contract with payers that directly tie payment back to those outcomes. 

community health improvement grants

Community Health Improvement Grants

Our Community Health Improvement Grants program is one way we are working with others to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable and underserved populations in the communities we serve. Collaborating non-profit organizations apply to receive grant funds from our hospitals to address significant issues in community health needs assessments. These can include improving access to health care, mental health, social services, health education, safe shelter and housing, food, violence prevention, and more.  The grant program helps to improve community health and health equity, and enhance local service systems, via restricted charitable contributions for defined projects. 

Information about the next application period will be available in Spring 2024. You are invited to read applicant and proposal eligibility criteria, find participating hospitals, and learn how to apply online.

COVID-19 community response

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, Dignity Health has provided nearly $2.6M in support across California. With our support, our community partners have been able to provide the following services and resources during the past 18 months: 

  • $991,500 in food access/meals including delivery of 138,634 meals and 5,223 boxes of non-perishable boxes of food in communities experiencing food insecurity
  • Expansion of shelter services including Project Roomkey and Project Homekey to ensure that even those who are experiencing  homelessness can shelter in place
  • $200,000 toward technical assistance for rural communities with Project Homekey funds
  • $386,441 in direct/indirect relief for rural communities, youth experiencing homelessness and undocumented immigrants
  • Distribution of hygiene supplies to unsheltered persons
  • Disbursement of flexible funds to non-profit organizations to fill gaps in services within their community such as childcare, personal protective equipment, or community education

Dignity Health’s Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) stays dedicated in our efforts to serve California communities alongside our local partners as the impact of COVID-19 persists. We will uphold our stance in supporting our communities right to housing, food security, and other needed resources during this unprecedented time.

community health