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2023 National Hospital Week


By Kwame Tuffuor, DNP candidate with the University of Delaware, APRN Family Nurse Practitioner
National Hospital Week is May 7-13. This week presents an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the hospitals and healthcare systems who provide healthcare services to their communities. It is also a period to celebrate the workforce of caregivers and allied staff who have risen to the occasion despite the overwhelming challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. National Hospital Week is a time to highlight and appreciate the impact that hospitals have made on their local communities.
In addition to providing quality healthcare services, Delaware hospitals provide tremendous support for their communities. Delaware hospitals provide nearly $978 million in total community benefits in 2020 alone, including charity care, community health improvement services, health professions education, and other community benefit services and programs. Read below to learn about a few of the ways our hospitals are caring for patients and supporting their communities:  
Bayhealth’s Project SEARCH is a job skills program for young adults with cognitive or behavioral disabilities. Through a partnership with Capital School District and the Delaware Department of Education and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the program assists young adults with disabilities in acquiring skills that are transferable to the workplace, helping to provide education and employment opportunities.
At ChristianaCare, efforts to increase and improve access to food and housing among Delaware’s vulnerable population continues to be a long-term commitment. In addition to the direct services that ChristianaCare provides in the community, since 2019 ChristianaCare has awarded more than $3.1 million through its Community Investment Fund to local non-profit organizations that are addressing the social and environmental drivers of health, including $1.1 million in 2022 to 13 nonprofit organizations that provide resources for healthy meals, a safe place to sleep, and homes that are healthy, safe, and affordable, reflecting the findings of ChristianaCare’s Community Health Needs Assessment. Applications for 2023 funding are open until June 1, 2023 for nonprofit organizations that are addressing housing access, food access and environmental health.
Beebe Healthcare continues with its campaign to ensure equity in access to healthcare. A significant part of the organization’s five-year strategic plan, One Beebe, focuses on increasing access to healthcare across Sussex County in an equitable manner for all people. Beebe received designation as a LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The healthcare organization also launched its Community Mobile Health Clinic with a focus on addressing both complex behavioral and physical health needs, as well as social needs of patients. This mobile clinic enables specialized team members to reach underserved populations, conduct more free screenings, share information, and connect patients to further needed resources.
Nemours Children’s Health is investing in providing care to students at School-Based Health Centers in high-needs elementary schools. SBHCs are not a replacement for a student’s medical provider but serve as a vehicle for access. These services are vital for families in circumstances where leaving work is particularly challenging due to transportation or other demands. Nemours is already seeing benefits in the community from their work in these centers. For example, last year a SBHC provider encountered a family who had recently moved to Delaware and identified several urgent needs. The provider was able to arrange child well visits for the school-age children, refer the family to a primary care physician and a dentist, and refer the family to financial services to establish health insurance. The SBHC also worked to obtain car seats for the family’s youngest children.
Saint Francis Hospital, a member of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, is partnering with healthcare organizations to implement their “Healthy Village” initiative. Through the coordination and integration of investments and services, the Healthy Village focuses on improving quality of life and enriching the vitality of the neighborhoods while protecting their heritages, histories, and residents. The Healthy Village is all about going beyond the traditional safety-net hospital model to impact the social determinants of health of a community. Each partner that Saint Francis brings to the Healthy Village will have a commitment to improving the health and/or social status of the community the hospital serves. The Healthy Village recently welcomed their first official partnership on May 3rd with a ribbon cutting to open a new full-service hospice unit.
TidalHealth Nanticoke is investing in population health strategies to promote health equity by building a Community Wellness team for Sussex County. The hospital received grant funding to purchase and outfit two mobile medical vans for mobile health screenings such as diabetes risk assessments and blood pressure checks as well as for point-of-care testing in hard-to-reach underserved communities. The mobile, multidisciplinary team includes a nurse practitioner, registered nurse and three community health workers. 
Delaware hospitals are critical to their communities in ways that go beyond the typical provision of health services within hospital walls. They work to positively impact the overall health of the communities in which they serve. They have continued to do this under diverse challenging situations, and on the occasion of the 2023 National Hospital Week, we want to say THANK YOU and celebrate all the hospital and health system workers that make these important initiatives possible!

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