Monday, August 24, 2009

More than just healthcare

Every year, the Iowa Hospital Association collects data from all 117 Iowa hospitals and creates a report outlining the various community benefit services and programs that we provide individually and collectively.

This is always timely information, but even more important this year because nonprofit hospitals are being studied by members of Congress to determine if the community benefit we provide is worth our tax-exempt status.

Even though GRMC continues to struggle with finances, the organization provided nearly $9.5 million in free or uncompensated care as well as services and programs for the greater community. Many, if not all, of these benefits would not happen if GRMC were not providing them. The Community Care Clinic, bike helmets for area third graders, the Senior Education (SE*ED) program, are just a few of those activities.

In 2008, GRMC provided $7 million in uncompensated charity care, unpaid Medicare and Medicaid services, and more than $2 million in free or discounted community benefits for area residents.

GRMC's 440 employees also provide volunteer leadership in literally hundreds of community organizations. From Boy Scout troops to service clubs; Little League teams to community blood drives; Sunday School classes to school boards, our team members are a source of inspiration, perspiration, and innovation for many organizations at the national, state, and local levels. As for the executive team, Suzanne Cooner leads disaster response programs and is a past chair of the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce. Dave Ness serves on both the Imagine Grinnell and Galaxy Youth Center boards. For me, I serve on the Grinnell College board of trustees.

GRMC enjoys a strong relationship with the communities in our area who rely on this organization to be here when needed. And you can't put a value on that.

What do you think? I'd be interested to know.

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