Advocate Aurora Health contributed $2.1 billion in charitable care and services in 2018, an increase of more than $110 million over 2017. To respond to unique community needs across its geographic footprint, the not-for-profit health system sponsored numerous programs and services, including behavioral health and school-based care, wellness screenings, workforce development initiatives, community-building efforts and more.
Advocate Aurora Health’s diverse and robust community programs focus on expanding access and removing barriers to care, as well as preventing illness, properly managing health concerns and addressing social and behavioral factors that influence wellness in our communities.
“These critical programs and services reflect our commitment to building healthy communities and our team members’ dedication to helping people live well both within and beyond our hospital walls,” says Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health. “By taking a collaborative, data-driven approach to addressing gaps in care with community stakeholders, together we are creating better conditions for health and well-being.”
Advocate Aurora Health is one of the largest providers of community care, outreach and education in Illinois and Wisconsin. Community benefits contributions in 2018 included:
- Charity and other uncompensated care that is provided free, subsidized or without full reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid or other government-sponsored programs
- Subsidized health services that respond to unique community needs, including trauma services, behavioral health services, health screenings, immunization programs, school-based health care and other community outreach programs
- Community-building initiatives, workforce development programs and neighborhood support
- Education to train physicians, nurses, radiology technicians, physical therapists and a host of other highly skilled health care professionals
- Volunteer services provided by team members who donate time to supporting their communities and by community members who volunteer at Advocate Aurora Health sites of care
- Language assistance and interpreter services, as well as translation for signage, forms, brochures, patient education materials and information in languages other than English
- Contributions of equipment, supplies, and meeting and clinic space, as well as other assistance to community groups
One of hundreds of programs carried out in communities from northeast Wisconsin to central Illinois, the Aurora Healing and Advocacy Services Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNEs) provide free, trauma-informed care and follow-up referrals at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee, resulting in individual and group counseling sessions for more than 4,300 people in 2018. Dedicated FNEs assisted survivors through interventions with employers, creditors, landlords and academic institutions; as well as transportation needs, interpreter service encounters, crisis interventions and on-scene crisis responses.
In Oak Lawn, Ill., Advocate Christ Medical Center’s Primary Care Connection program connects patients that seek routine care in the emergency department (ED) with more appropriate, lower acuity care options available in their communities. Community health workers also assist with care coordination, schedule follow-up appointments and link patients with local social services that can contribute to their overall well-being. The result is prevention of inappropriate ED utilization and subsequent readmissions. Since the program launched in 2016, it has expanded across multiple hospitals and served more than 20,000 patients.