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WellSpan in the Community

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Meeting the Needs of Central Pennsylvania

2021 CBR Cover

WellSpan is committed to understanding local healthcare needs and then partnering with physicians, community leaders and residents to develop innovative solutions that address identified needs and help community members achieve their health goals close to home. Key areas of focus for our community-oriented mission include:

Providing care for all

Thousands of central Pennsylvanians have difficulty accessing the health care they need. At WellSpan, we believe that lack of sufficient health insurance should not be an obstacle for care. In 2021, WellSpan provided more than $187.9 million in charity and subsidized care, as well as in community programs and outreach.

Collaborating to meet the community health needs of today and tomorrow 

We believe good health is not just the absence of illness and disease—it's a state of physical, mental and social well-being—and it's a goal for our communities that can't be achieved alone. Through key partnerships, such as Healthy Community Network, Community Health Council of Lebanon CountyHealthy Adams County, Healthy Franklin County and Healthy York County Coalition, WellSpan works with community members, businesses, and health and human service organizations to share ideas and focus on programs and services that sustain and strengthen the communities where we live, work and play. 

Connecting with populations that make central Pennsylvania unique

Health care is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. We recognize that needs differ not only by age and gender, but also by geography, income, ethnicity and cultural beliefs. From our York-based "For Heart's Sake" cardiovascular health program serving the unique health needs of African Americans to WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital's long-standing relationship with the Plain Community, which includes Old Order Amish and conservative Mennonites, WellSpan seeks to understand and develop healthcare options that allow all of our neighbors to achieve their health goals following approaches that work best for them. 

Laying the foundation for the care needs of tomorrow

At WellSpan, we believe in the power of new ideas, new approaches, new discoveries and new people. We are committed to programs that train the next generation of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. Similarly, clinical research trials at WellSpan York Hospital's Emig Research Center allow us to stay abreast of new techniques to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat illness and disease.

Advancing our mission through philanthropy and volunteerism

The WellSpan community plays a vital role in supporting our charitable mission of service. For more than 100 years, our board members, staff and volunteers have joined with thousands of individuals and businesses to advance WellSpan’s mission and the important work of our four community-based foundations. Our community’s continued generosity supports our charitable mission of service and enables WellSpan to provide exceptional care for all. 

Our Approach to Improving Community Health

Learn more about the process WellSpan uses to measure and address the needs of the communities we serve.

Community Health Needs Assessments

Every three years, we partner with like-minded community partners and local coalitions to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) for which we survey community members about their health, lifestyle behaviors, finances, access to health services and other related topics. We use these CHNA reports to identify specific community needs and develop strategies to address them.

WellSpan's 2019 Community Health Improvement Plan

WellSpan’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) provides a framework for the organization’s programs and activities that promote health and wellness in response to the needs identified in the CHNA reports. These areas of focus meet at least one, and often several, of the community benefit guidelines of a nonprofit health system, as outlined by the Catholic Health Association: improving access to healthcare services; enhancing the health of the community; advancing medical or healthcare knowledge, or relieving or reducing the burden of government or other community efforts. Specific priorities are then incorporated into WellSpan’s annual operating plan and budget.

Based on Community Health Needs Assessment results, WellSpan’s three-year strategies and priorities within its Community Health Implementation Plan include:

  • Care for All: Ensure equitable access and quality of care for patients by identifying and reducing disparities and barriers to care.
  • Behavioral Health and Lifelong Wellness: Support personal wellbeing and whole-person health by making it easier for people to recognize and get support for mental health issues, and to adopt positive health behaviors.
  • Healthy Communities and Social Determinants of Health (SDOH): Develop and implement collective impact strategies to align WellSpan healthcare providers and community-based organizations to address social and economic issues which impact health.

Current Community Benefit Reports

WellSpan produces annual Community Benefit Reports to share the progress-to-date on our three-year Community Health Improvement Plan.