by Penn State Health
Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine are committed to serving the growing health care needs of central Pennsylvania residents. Penn State Health’s first Community Benefit Report, “Healthy Communities, Healthy Futures,” details the positive impact of the health system and College of Medicine’s efforts to improve mental health, health equity, and wellness/disease prevention in the region. The core counties served by Penn State Health’s community outreach are Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Perry.
Penn State Health contributed community benefits with a total value of $156,730,522 during fiscal year 2022. These included effective programs; compassionate charity care; unreimbursed Medicaid costs; and supplemental medical, dental, and pharmaceutical services. These programs and initiatives provide access to underserved and marginalized populations that otherwise are unable to access basic care and preventive measures. In fiscal year 2023, Penn State Health donated $903,559 in charitable purpose sponsorships and contributions to nonprofit organizations and provided approximately $50,000 in community grants.
“Our commitment to improving the lives of Pennsylvanians doesn’t end within the walls of our hospitals and medical offices,” said Steve Massini, Penn State Health CEO. “We partner with schools, churches, shelters, food pantries, and other organizations to try to give every adult and child the best opportunity to live healthy lives.”
Penn State Health and College of Medicine employees spearhead more than 30 community health programs that include:
- Cancer prevention, education, and navigation
- Food access programs across the region
- Screenings and assessments for school-age children
- Mental health and substance use disorder community programming and psychiatry community outreach
- Health equity, including community health fairs and access to clinics
These programs reached thousands of underserved central Pennsylvanians in fiscal year 2023, including helping more than 8,400 people access health care, reaching more than 5,300 people through 15 community gardens managed by Penn State Health and providing more than 900 people at community partner organizations with mental health first aid and trauma-informed care training. Since 2021, Penn State Health’s Medical Outreach Service has served more than 31,000 residents in the region.
Penn State Health and the College of Medicine collaborate on a Community Health Needs Assessment every three years to guide strategies in serving the health care needs of area residents. The most recent assessment identified three key health issues: mental health, health equity, and wellness/disease prevention. By offering free health screenings, creating community gardens, and providing behavioral health training to teachers and child therapists, the health system, the College of Medicine, and community partners are actively addressing those issues and improving the health of people throughout the region.
“Our mission is clear – to improve the health and well-being of the people of Pennsylvania and beyond. With the help of our community partners, we’re ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity at a healthier life,” Massini said.
Penn State Health is a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across 29 counties in central Pennsylvania. The system includes Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, and Penn State Cancer Institute based in Hershey, PA; Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center in Enola, PA; Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center in Camp Hill, PA; Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center in Lancaster, PA; Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading, PA; Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, a specialty provider of inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services, in Harrisburg, PA; and 2,450+ physicians and direct care providers at 225 outpatient practices. Additionally, the system jointly operates various health care providers, including Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital, Hershey Outpatient Surgery Center, and Hershey Endoscopy Center. In 2017, Penn State Health partnered with Highmark Health to facilitate creation of a value-based, community care network in the region. Penn State Health shares an integrated strategic plan and operations with Penn State College of Medicine, the University’s medical school.