Awards totaling $1 million going to regional charities, could double to $2 million next year
DANVILLE, Pa. – Stable housing, fresh fruits and vegetables, and public transportation options are not often considered medical needs, yet they form the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Recognizing that a community’s unmet social needs can be detrimental to its health, Geisinger has announced the recipients of its inaugural round of $1 million community grants.
The awards have been granted to non-profit organizations throughout Geisinger’s 43-county service area that benefit the health, social and economic needs of the regions Geisinger serves.
“As we further partner with surrounding communities, we’re finding ZIP codes are as important as genomic codes when it comes to predicting the health of our patients,” said David T. Feinberg, M.D., Geisinger president and CEO. “The social determinants of health, which include a patient’s income, education, employment status and ethnicity, are often considered nonmedical needs, but they are all vital to positive health outcomes. We have awarded grants to those organizations we intend to work alongside as we transform healthcare at its core by focusing on preventive care."
Geisinger identified five key community health issues as the targeted focus for funding:
- Food insecurity and healthy choices
- Housing stability
- Opioid prevention and treatment
- Pediatric obesity
First-round funding projects include pediatric obesity prevention projects like summer camps, school backpack programs,food banks and exercise activities and equipment; transportation pilot projects to help patients get to and from regularly scheduled medical appointments; housing stability programs to help the homeless transition back into the community, funding for home repairs intended to keep families safe, and transitional housing to support families in crisis; opioid prevention and treatment programs including rent assistance and emergency funds to families affected by the opioid crisis, education and centers that provide young people a safe place from drug use; $225,000 to regional United Way agencies and additional grants to organizations like the Ronald McDonald House ($100,000) for a new family room at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville.
“Geisinger is committed to making a substantial impact by supporting those projects and programs that truly make a difference when it comes to improving the health and welfare of our patients, members, employees and our entire community,” said Janet Tomcavage, RN, MSN, Geisinger chief population health officer. “We also really want to make it clear that this level of investment is a great beginning. We intend to do more.”
Geisinger expects next year’s award amounts could double to up to $2 million. A formal application process will soon be announced for community applications.
“We really mean it when we say we want to keep people out of the hospital,” Tomcavage stressed. “We intend to support and provide further resources to organizations and programs who align with our goals of keeping the population healthy.”
Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator®, ProvenCare® and ProvenExperience®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey at AtlantiCare, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. In 2017, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital became the newest members of the Geisinger Family. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 583,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $12.7 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.