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Southcoast Health: Improving our Communities’ Health

Southcoast Health is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve by identifying pressing health needs and collaborating with community partners to prioritize and meet those needs.

We accomplish this through many avenues of community outreach in Fall River, New Bedford, Wareham, MA and nearby areas.

Our efforts include:

  • Identifying the unmet health needs of the community through a needs assessment process that includes collaboration with our communities.
  • Collaborating with local health providers, human services agencies, advocacy groups and others to develop cooperative plans and programs to address pressing community health needs.
  • Developing community benefits plans that incorporate the social determinants of health framework, including environmental, social and other demographic factors that may influence health status.
  • Adopting meaningful programs and services to address unmet needs and to improve the health of all members of our community.

Our community benefits programs work to improve health by addressing health priorities based on our most recent community health needs assessment. These include:

  • Reduction of the high rate of cardiovascular disease in our region, as well as other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and asthma.
  • Reduction in the incidence of youth risk behaviors, such as high rates of teen pregnancy and substance abuse and low rates of educational attainment.
  • Improving access to health care, particularly enrollment in health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Expanding cancer screening and education, with a particular focus on reducing disparities.
  • Addressing overall health disparities that exist in our region among certain racial, ethnic and demographic groups.
  • Advocacy and program development that addresses “system and environment change” designed to increase healthy lifestyle options and decrease risk factors, such as a high rates of smoking, lack of access to healthy foods and physical inactivity. Our efforts focus on vulnerable populations that face considerable barriers to adopting a healthy lifestyle.
  • Addressing homelessness in our region.
  • Behavioral health issues that include substance abuse and mental health issues. Southcoast serves a large population with behavioral health issues and poorly coordinated care impacts our Emergency Departments. Needs assessment shows our regional behavioral health system is fragmented and poorly coordinated.

Southcoast Health provides community outreach in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Community Benefits Impact Opportunity Request for Proposals

Southcoast Health has launched its third Community Benefits Impact Opportunity/Request for Proposals (RFP). This is a competitive grant process focused on addressing unmet health needs on the South Coast. Grant proposals must align with the health priority areas identified in this year’s RFP.  Deadline for applications are 5 p.m.,  December 1, 2017.

Southcoast Employees: Promoting Community Health in Southeastern MA

Southcoast Health is here to help meet the medical needs of our region. We love to hear about the work our employees do inside and outside of the hospital or practice to support this mission. If you are an employee who has recently volunteered or participated in a program that aligns with the mission of our Community Benefits Program, please complete the Community Benefits Reporting Form.

You can also read about what we have accomplished in previous years through our Community Benefits Reports:

Community Health Needs Assessment

Southcoast Health continually strives to understand the health needs of the communities we serve and to offer services aligned with those needs. Every several years, Southcoast conducts a Southcoast Health CHNA 2016, sharing the results with our community partners and the public online.

This report presents an integrated summary of the major findings, including a broad­based demographic scan, in­-depth interviews with key informants and focus groups with residents living in communities served by Southcoast. It also includes detailed findings from primary qualitative research.

Southcoast Health supports the community health of Fall River, New Bedford, Wareham, MA and surrounding areas of Rhode Island through community benefits reporting.