Community Benefit

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 In 2015, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center provided $13.6 million in community benefit.

What is community benefit?

Community benefits are programs and services designed to improve health in communities and increase access to health care. They are integral to the mission of Catholic and other not-for-profit health care organizations, and are the basis of tax exemption. For nearly 20 years, Catholic Health Association (CHA) has been a leader in the community benefit field, helping not-for-profit health care organizations fulfill their community benefit mission. 

Catholic and other not-for-profit health care organizations demonstrate their commitment to community service through organized and sustainable community benefit programs providing:

  • Free and discounted care to those unable to afford health care
  • Care to low-income beneficiaries of Medicaid and other indigent care programs
  • Services designed to improve community health and increase access to health care

In the last fiscal year, Catholic-sponsored, not-for-profit member hospitals contributed more than $5.7 billion in services identified as community benefit using CHA’s guidelines.

Community benefit is also the basis of the tax-exemption of not-for-profit hospitals. The Internal Revenue Service, in its Revenue Ruling 69–545, describes the community benefit standard for charitable tax-exempt hospitals.

Community benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs. They increase access to health care and improve community health. They are not provided for marketing purposes.

A community benefit must respond to an identified community need and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Improve access to health care services. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center works closely with other providers to participate in the Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership (CHAP) to connect those at risk with care.
  • A patient navigator seeks to connect those patients in need of ongoing care with the appropriate medical provider.
  • Enhance health of the community. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center provides information on health topics to the community through a variety of ways, including:
  • Advance medical or health knowledge. As a teaching hospital St. Vincent Charity Medical Center advances medical and health knowledge. We also provide opportunities for learning to the broader community through our:
  • Relieve or reduce the burden of government or other community efforts.

Community benefit is about more than dollars and numbers served. It's about helping people in our community. To hear the stories of those we've helped, download our 2015 Community Benefit Report 2015 Community Benefit Report.pdf

2016 Community Benefit Needs Assessment

For nearly 150 years, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has been committed to serving the needs of the community by extending the healing mission of Jesus. Inspired by the example of our founders, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine (CSA), we have a legacy of identifying and serving the unmet needs of the community.

One of the tools we use today to assist in that effort is the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). In 2016, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center was proud to partner with the Center for Health Affairs to conduct the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. Read the full 2016 CHNA here.

Based on the data in the 2016 CHNA, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s Community Benefit Planning Committee has begun work on a three-year Implementation Plan focused on three priority areas:

Access to mental health and addiction services

Obesity and food insecurity (a collaboration with all of the region’s hospitals)

Quality of care (focusing on culturally appropriate care, health literacy and access)


The St.Vincent Charity Medical Center Community Health Needs Implementation Plan was approved by the Board of Directors on April 7, 2017 for approval and is available here for public review. 

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