Good Samaritan's Positive Impact on the Community

Good Samaritan prides itself on being a community-based hospital that focuses on the patient first. The 1,899 employees working on and off campus strive to deliver safe, quality care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Good Samaritan provided more than $4 million in charity care services and over $296 million in Medicare and Medicaid deductions in 2015. “We want to provide health care to anyone that walks through our doors,” stated Rob McLin, President and CEO of Good Samaritan. “Whether or not a patient has health insurance is of little importance to us. We just want to make sure that they are taken care of and we can make them well again.”

Making sure that those living in small, rural communities have access to health care has been a main priority the past several years. To gain a better understanding of the health status and needs of area residents, Good Samaritan, along with Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine’s Bowen Research Center, conduct a Community Based Needs Assessment every three years. After looking at the results of the latest Community Based Needs Assessment, Good Samaritan was able to see where health care services are needed the most. The assessment found that many of the residents of the area served by Good Samaritan reported having unhealthy lifestyle behaviors that put them at risk for serious chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. The health measures and quality of life of the residents would benefit from a greater focus on other aspects of preventive and primary health care.

To help meet these needs Good Samaritan offers a preventive health outreach program and free screenings in a ten county area through the Community Health Services Department. Nurses work within communities to provide health-related education and screenings, ranging from blood pressure checks to lipid profiles. Collaborative partners provide the space necessary to see patients including senior and community centers, Goodwill, housing authorities, farmers markets, parks departments and other not-for-profit sites.

In 2015, Community Health provided 27,361 free screenings. This number includes the 250 women seen at the Spring Screenings and 600 men at the Men’s Health Tune-Up. At these two events that take place each year, individuals receive multiple screenings in one convenient location including: cholesterol (HDL and LDL), blood sugar, glomerular filtration rate (kidney function), blood pressure, bone density, respiratory function, colorectal take-home kits, prostate specific antigen screening for men and more.

“When we are out in the community providing these free screenings, we have many people come up to us and say how much they appreciate our care. The screenings have enabled us to make individuals aware of health issues and encourage them to follow up with a primary care provider. Early detection often leads to a more positive outcome,” stated Cathy Lindsey, Community Health Coordinator. “Their comments assure me that we are providing a needed service to the community.”

In addition to health screenings, Good Samaritan also provides information and education to area schools. Last year, 995 first grade students participated in Germ Busters, a program that teaches students the correct way to thoroughly wash their hands and the health benefits of doing so. With the current rise in obesity among children, Community Health also educates third, fifth and ninth grade students on healthy eating habits and activity. In 2015, 4,824 students in Vincennes Community, Vincennes Catholic, North Knox and South Knox were able to benefit from this program called Fit Kids.

Making a positive impact in the community is something Good Samaritan has always strived to do in the past, and will continue in the future. In 2015, the annual payroll for all employees was more than $98 million. Chambers of Commerce and Economic Developers estimate that the dollars that a business generates through their employee payroll and through the purchase of goods and services, rolls over as many as six to nine times within the community – making up to an over $800 million dollar impact on our community. Good Samaritan’s Primary Care Clinic offers high-quality patient care to individuals who do not have health insurance, are underinsured and who have Medicaid. This clinic was visited by 3,987 patients in 2015 who otherwise would not have had access to medical care.

Aside from health and financial impacts, this year Good Samaritan is embarking on a new community-focused initiative. Good Samaritan administration leaders and directors will participate in the Serve 365 program where they will provide eight hours of community service through various means. “We always try to be involved within the community, but wanted to step it up this year,” stated McLin. “Each of us will have the opportunity to sign up for multiple service projects that will benefit the counties we serve.” Leaders will perform various volunteer duties such as; serving meals, distributing food items to local pantries, participate in community-wide cleanup and work directly with families in need.

The hospital also supports area residents through school and community sponsorships. In 2015, Good Samaritan donated $55,117 to various charitable causes in the community. Aside from what the hospital donated itself, Good Samaritan’s generous employees also made contributions to support area causes. Last year, hospital employees donated nearly $89,000 to the Knox County United Way, and many also donated to and participated in the Knox County Relay for Life, the March of Dimes’ March for Babies and the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk. Also, each year hospital employees prove to have big hearts in their generosity of supporting Good Samaritan’s Giving Tree program. In 2015, 175 children in Knox County received Christmas gifts that they otherwise may have not received if it had not been for the generous gift donations from hospital employees.

Good Samaritan’s dedication to Vincennes and the surrounding communities will always be a part of the hospital’s mission and vision. Being a world-class organization means providing the best care in a safe, clean environment while supporting the communities it serves, and Good Samaritan will always strive to do so.

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