Southcoast Health’s approved AGO Community Benefits report shows investment of $22 million in community initiatives

The Southcoast Health Wellness van pictured at Fort Taber in New Bedford. The wellness van travels across the region bringing free health screenings as part of the Southcoast Community Benefits Program.

Southcoast Health released their latest annual Community Benefits Report outlining almost $22.2 million worth of investments in community health initiatives to improve health and wellness across the South Coast region.

Southcoast Health’s Community Benefit report was filed with the Attorney General’s Office in March 2019, and approved to be published on July 1, 2019. As a not-for-profit health system, community benefit activities are essential to the overall mission of Southcoast Health to provide high-quality, compassionate care that serves the specific needs of the community and improves the factors that can lead to better health.

“Understanding the social environment in which we live, work, play, and age reveals the leading factors that impact health on the South Coast and is integral to our mission of providing healthcare that extends beyond direct patient care,” explained Keith Hovan, President and CEO of Southcoast Health. “By working together with our community partners in neighborhoods, schools, centers of worship, businesses, and non-profit agencies, we strengthen and build upon the work that continues to transform the South Coast into a healthier and more prosperous region.”

Each year, Southcoast collaborates with more than a hundred community partners to implement programs that focus on reducing high rates of chronic disease, improving access to care; and increasing access to safe and affordable housing, transportation, healthy and affordable food, and education and employment opportunities. Additional community benefit activities include:

Community Health Needs Assessment   
An ongoing process consisting of secondary data analysis, stakeholder interviews, focus groups and community surveys to identify the pressing health and social conditions that influence health and inform health promotion initiatives in the community.

Community Impact Opportunity Grants

An annual, competitive grant program that supports local organizations and their innovative initiatives that focus on addressing the unmet health and social needs in the South Coast. In the past four years, the program has awarded over 100 grants totaling more than half a million dollars.

Collaboration & Coalition Building

Coalition building is an important activity that promotes coordination and collaboration through the effective use of limited community resources. In FY18, Southcoast staff led and participated in more than 30 community coalitions across the region. These coalitions are comprised of various stakeholders from the community including health providers, teachers, law enforcement, businesses, religious leaders and others who come together with a shared goal to make the community safer, healthier and drug-free.

The Southcoast Health Community Benefits Program is under the overall direction of the Community Benefits Advisory Council (CBAC) that meets six times annually to review and advise on all community benefit activities and expenditures. The 2018 Community Benefits report details activities from October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018. To learn more about community benefits at Southcoast Health or to read the full report visit