Our Inspired Vision Depends on Inspired Community Partners

Health for a Better World starts with our commitment to understanding and serving the needs of the community, especially the poor and vulnerable. In 2018, driven by our Mission and together with our community-focused, innovative partners, St. Joseph Health Northern California invested more than $87 million in community benefit, building community conditions that promote and transform health and well-being.

We believe health is a human right. This belief undergirds our efforts to support comprehensive access to health and social services addressing the foundational gaps in care for the most poor and vulnerable members in our communities. With each investment we make and partnership we develop, we find ways to best address and prioritize our region’s most challenging needs as identified through our community health needs assessment. The process includes a review of public health data and interviews with key stakeholders and otherwise under-represented populations. This past year, we focused on supporting community programs that addressed:

  • Mental health and substance use disorders
  • Social determinants of health and well-being, including housing instability and food insecurity
  • Access to health care services and resources

Ultimately, we want to address the root causes of these conditions and identify community-based solutions that transform the health of our communities. We are working to increase the number of people who have access to health care, connect individuals with resources, and address core issues such as food and housing instability, social isolation, education and other factors that contribute to improved well-being.

Some of the inspiring ways our investments are working in our community include:

  • Helping to address and reduce homelessness
    In 2018, St. Joseph Health Northern California funded and co-created respite programs across three counties, helping many homeless patients transition to temporary shelter and ultimately better living situations. Having a safe, comfortable place to recover from an illness or injury can reduce an individual’s chances of returning immediately to the emergency room or being hospitalized with complications. Patients in the temporary housing program are provided a stay of approximately 20-30 days, and vulnerable patients are provided medical education and coaching along with care management services that assist them with find more permanent housing options, financial assistance, primary healthcare assess and medication management.

  • Growing and supporting the care continuum
    Supporting vulnerable patient populations doesn’t stop with treating medical concerns or even creating temporary shelter. Through our CARE (Care management, Advocacy, Resource referral and Education) Network, we’ve created a continuum of care, connecting individuals admitted to our respite programs with follow-up care appointments, help in obtaining social services, housing, food, clothing or other human needs. CARE Network members foster a sense of trust that is often necessary for these individuals to ask for or accept the help they need. Providing these much needed care management services, St. Joseph Health Northern California not only helps those who are most vulnerable in our ministries, but also reduces the health care burden in our communities. For example, persons served by the medical respite program in Humboldt County had a 62 percent reduction in readmissions.

We are blessed that in Northern California, we are served by deeply committed employees, volunteers, managers, physicians and board members for whom patient care and a healthier community remain our shared focus. Our Northern California region and communities are truly better places because of the passion and spirit our caregivers bring to their work. Regardless of faith, we are united by the call to heal our neighbors.

We invite you to learn more about how we are working to meet community needs and help people live their healthiest lives and, if called, to get involved.

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve northern California, and we look forward to continued partnership as we seek to collectively achieve Health for a Better World.