Community service and social responsibility
Beyond the inpatient care and outpatient services it provides to the community, Griffin Hospital has a history of community service and social responsibility dating back to its founding in 1909. In 1970, Griffin established one of the first hospital Departments of Community Health in the country to focus on the health and well being of the community it serves, providing a variety of health screenings and preventive programs and services.
Over the past decade, however, Griffin has been expanding its reach into the community like never before. In addition to providing health information and services to the public at the hospital and other satellite locations, Griffin takes these activities into the communities where patients live, work, and worship. By offering a variety of support groups, training sessions, educational programs, and other community-based resources and activities, and collaborating with other non-profit organizations and government entities, Griffin has extended its mission “to provide leadership to improve the health of the community served” far beyond the hospital’s walls.
Community Outreach & Valley Parish Nurse Program
The hospital established the Department of Community Outreach and Parish Nursing to fulfill its healthy community mission and goals. The department sponsors the Valley Parish Nurse Program (VPN), one of the largest parish nurse initiatives in the country. Parish nurses are persons of faith who are experienced registered nurses, and who have received special education in holistic health care. They have skills in teaching and health counseling as well as knowledge of community resources. More than 100 VPN Program nurses currently serve 35 area congregations as part of the hospital’s outreach efforts.
A key component of these outreach efforts is the Griffin Hospital Mobile Health Resource Van, a custom built Winnebago. The van visited 1,125 sites last year, including senior centers, shopping centers, neighborhoods, companies and community events and fairs. Focusing on preventive health services and providing health education and screening services, the van is equipped with cholesterol, osteoporosis, diabetes and blood pressure screening equipment, as well as a television and VCR for patient education.
Last year, the Department of Community Outreach and VPN Program collectively served more than 41,000 people, a significant portion of the hospital’s primary service area population, and provided nearly 9,500 health screenings. A summary of VPN activities follows:
Griffin Hospital/Valley Parish Nurse Program Statistics
|Total Resident Contacts
|Health Screening Recipients
|Number of People Referred for Care
|Education/Wellness Programs Offered
|Attendees at Education/Wellness Programs
|Bike Helmets Provided and Fitted
|Pedestrian Safety Program Participants
|Infection Control/ “Germ Buster” Program Participants
|Drug/Alcohol/Smoking Prevention Calendars Distributed
|Infant/Booster Car Seats Provided and Installed
|Child Passenger Safety Education Program Participants
|People Trained in CPR
|AEDs Placed at Community Sites
|Community AED Oversight Locations
|CHIP (Childhood Identification Program) Participants
Charger Health Center
To bring services directly to students in the school system, Griffin worked with the Ansonia Board of Education to create the Charger Health Center at Ansonia High School, which provides comprehensive physical and mental health services to the school’s students. For the past decade, all students, especially the un- or under-insured, can access medical care onsite in a timely fashion. As a result, students are able to stay in school to pursue their education and to receive treatment for physical, mental, and/or emotional problems.
The Clinic has more than 600 students enrolled and over 900 student visits each year. Outcomes include money saved by preventing hospitalizations and Emergency Department visits for children with asthma, increased access to mental healthcare for children, and greater overall access to preventive care.
Community Health Resource Center
Griffin further extends its reach and health leadership into the community by empowering residents to take a more active role in their health and their healthcare. Nearly 10,000 area residents now hold library cards with Griffin’s Community Health Resource Center, which makes its vast collection of consumer health information available to the public six days a week. Griffin’s award-winning 10-week Griffin Hospital Mini Med School continued in 2009, with the fall session attended by 75 community members. And the ongoing Health Empowerment Series – healthcare related talks that are offered free of charge throughout the year – continued to expand, covering a growing list of topics ranging from the latest in cancer care and treatment to sleep wellness, pain management, integrative therapies, and joint replacement surgery, to name a few.
In total, Griffin Hospital provided more than $12 million in community benefit in 2009. A summary follows:
|Charity Care Provided
|Unpaid Cost of Medicaid
|Unpaid Cost of Medicare
|Unpaid Cost of Champus
|Community Health Improvement Services
|Health Professions Education
|Subsidized Health Services
|Financial and In-Kind Contributions
|Community Building Activities
|Community Benefit Operations