When most people think of Baptist Health and community benefits, the first thing that comes to mind is caring for the less fortunate or uninsured. It’s not just something we do: It’s at the heart of our mission. Consistent with our spiritual foundation, Baptist Health is dedicated to providing high-quality, cost-effective, compassionate healthcare services to all, including, as permitted by our resources, charity care to those in need.
We actively seek out people who need us. Every uninsured Baptist Health patient is given information about our financial assistance program. Our charity care program is far more generous than that of the vast majority of hospitals in the U.S. If you are uninsured and your household income is less than three times the federal poverty guidelines, we provide free care. And our investment in charity care continues to increase.
Baptist Health provided more than $390 million in total charity care and uncompensated services at cost in fiscal year 2019.
Fulfilling our mission to provide compassionate care to the entire community isn’t only about assisting those in financial need. It is also reflected in the many services we support that lose money but are essential. These are services that for-profit organizations simply wouldn’t offer.
Pastoral Care and Congregational Health
Pastoral Care is the core of Baptist Health’s commitment to the community. Chaplains of many faiths provide for the spiritual needs of our patients, employees and their families. In addition, Pastoral Care reaches out into the community through the Congregational Health programs.
Congregational Health supports more than 90 local congregations by providing screenings, preventive care and other health-related services. The program hosts about 30 community events each year, including health fairs and health education events. We team up with organizations such as the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society. The Care Teams Program trains volunteers so they can organize themselves into teams that perform community services like bereavement support, home visitation and meals or transportation for patients.
A Message from Brian E. Keeley,
President & CEO, Baptist Health South Florida
How does a healthcare organization benefit a community? The answer seems obvious. Hospitals, outpatient centers, emergency services — these things benefit the community simply by being there. But that’s only part of the story.
A large part of the way we benefit the community springs from our not-for-profit, faith-based mission of caring. We provide charitable care to our less fortunate neighbors. We reach out to the uninsured through our support of free clinics. And we educate the community about health and wellness, while also providing free health screenings.
Our faith-based mission is also reflected in our high ethical standards. The 165 governing members of Baptist Health’s Board of Trustees and affiliated Boards of Directors adhere to principles that set the standard for the corporate world. Our conflict of interest policy, for example, prohibits Board members and their immediate family members from doing business with Baptist Health.
All Baptist Health Boards are totally independent. That means that no Baptist Health executive or member of management may sit on any Baptist Health Board. And our Board members serve without compensation — except for the satisfaction they receive from the benefits they bring to our community.
We believe that there is a relationship between the way we govern ourselves and the way we treat others. By doing what is right, we serve as an example while meeting the needs of our community. In fact, we’re so committed to this philosophy that our Board of Trustees has created a special committee whose sole purpose is to ensure that we provide significant community benefit.