Imagine the crowd at a sold out Iowa State Cyclone home football game in Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, then multiply by more than four-and-a-half times.

That’s how many people CHI Health helped financially in fiscal year 2019. Most of the 300,000 were patients who couldn’t afford the health care they needed. CHI Health either provided outright financial assistance to them or subsidized the unpaid costs of Medicaid.

The dollar amount? In fiscal year 2019, CHI Health gave back more than $185 million to build healthier communities.

“’The Community Benefit Report’ is a standard way that not-for-profit health systems around the country measure the impact they have on the communities they serve,” said CHI Health CEO Cliff Robertson, MD. “And our report shows that indeed ‘Good happens here!’”

In addition to financial aid, CHI Health invested in a number of programs, with violence prevention and behavioral health topping the list of commitments. Others include fighting obesity and chronic disease, as well as addressing students’ behavioral health needs. Here are a few examples:

• At St. Mary’s in Nebraska City, Neb., $69,000 paid for a home visitation program supporting mothers and babies for a healthy start to life. And ex-prisoners re-entering society received help from “Getting Ahead While Getting Out.”

• In Missouri Valley, CHI Health provided 368 free rides and paid for fresh fruit and vegetable vouchers. And, 226 teens went through “Coping through the Teen Years/Suicide Prevention” training.

• At Plainview, Neb., CHI Health subsidized a lab fair for 305 residents to help them recognize risks for disease. Families affected by suicide met with the “Loss Team” and others were trained in “Question, Persuade, Refer.”

• At Mercy Corning, 66% of families in the Parents as Teachers program reported they had improved nurturing and attachment.

• Schuyler, Neb., hosted the first Color Run with the community schools there to promote healthy lifestyle habits. And “Capturing Kids’ Hearts” helped middle and elementary school teachers improve students’ attendance, behavior and academics.

• At Creighton University Medical Center – Bergan Mercy in Omaha, Neb., specially trained Forensic Nurse Examiners provided care for 445 patients who had been sexually assaulted, including nine victims of human trafficking.

• At Good Samaritan in Kearney, Neb., CHI Health supported the Be Well Buffalo County Coalition with $30,000 in financial support, and nearly 100 teachers and staff were trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

• Immanuel in Omaha invested $25,000 in the Empowerment Network to lead diversity and inclusion programs, including the Step Up program for students.

• At Lakeside in Omaha, CHI Health provided $20,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association for consultations with recently diagnosed patients and their families.

• At Mercy Council Bluffs, a $10,000 contribution supported expansion of the 10-week Bridges out of Poverty training, and a behavioral health coach trained 106 people from seven agencies on “Managing Callers in Crisis.”

• Midlands in Papillion, Neb., supported Tobacco Education and Advocacy of the Midlands.

• Nebraska Heart employees provided blood pressure screenings at the Gateway Mall twice a month throughout the year.

• At St. Elizabeth in Lincoln, Neb., CHI Health provided follow-up to 179 NICU families to identify neuro-developmental problems for post-NICU patients. And, parents in “Circle of Security Parenting” training reported more positive behaviors among their children.

• At St. Francis Grand Island in Grand Island, Neb., $50,000 in community benefit dollars paid for Lifeline personal response systems for 235 elderly patients.

“We want everyone in our community to have access to health care and life-changing programs whether they can afford them or not,” Dr. Robertson said. “It’s a basic human need, and as a faith-based organization, we are called to provide high quality care – period.”

For more information on CHI Health’s Community Benefit Report, contact Taylor Barth at 402-641-3204.

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