Community Benefits Report
Fiscal Year 2008
Direct Benefits to the Community
The Medical Center has an open door policy and accepts all patients (including Medicare and Medicaid) regardless of their ability to pay. Below is a summary of pertinent statistics:
B. Free and Subsidized Care
The Medical Center has an open door policy and accepts all patients (including Medicare and Medicaid) regardless of their ability to pay. For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008 the Medical Center provided charity care (in the form of free or reduced charges for services) and other uncompensated care as follows:
Community Services and Programs
Some of the community services and programs that MidState Medical Center offers are more specifically described below. Most programs and services are free. A few of the programs charge a nominal fee, which is waived if participants are unable to pay. We estimate the following to represent in excess of $1.0 million in direct and indirect expenses dedicated to community benefit activities:
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
MidState Medical Center employees needing help for alcoholism, drug abuse, marital, legal, or financial problems, emotional difficulties or any other problem affecting work and home life are evaluated free of charge by the Employee Assistance Program and referred to the best available appropriate service on a confidential basis. Sliding scale fees and financial assistance are provided, as needed.
The Cancer Center has continually expanded its outreach to communities to provide education and information on cancer risk reduction. It has also expanded its menu of support services to make additional resources available to men and women who have cancer or who are affected by cancer in a family member. Identifying and treating the disease is only the beginning. Staff members continue to work with patients and their families on prevention, rehabilitation, education, individual counseling and support, and the use of integrative therapies. Cancer Care at MidState Medical Center also offered the following programs in FY08.
- "Look Good/Feel Better" is a program for cancer patients, that teaches hair, wig, scarf, and make-up tips to enhance self-image. It is offered once per month with an average attendance of 3-6 women.
- Two skin screenings within the community with approximately 31 participating.
- One cancer-focused symposium for women's health with a total of 65 attendees
- Focus on Healing - coordinated and implemented Dance/Movement Therapy program/study. The average attendance is 20 participants.
- Cancer Survivors' Toolbox continues to be used to provide information on coping. This toolbox has also been added to the web site.
- A specially focused microsite has been created on the MidState website to promote cancer services and provide information on additional services and programs that would be of interest to those who have or are affected by cancer.
- Education has also been provided to African American Women in collaboration with a community-based organization led by women of color.
- Art Therapy has been added to help people touched by cancer experience creative expression. Average attendance is 5-7 people.
- Music Therapy has been added for the soothing enjoyment of all patients. Programs are scheduled during day and evening time and located in the patient and family areas.
- Expanded outreach to include more of the Hispanic community by creating a Hispanic Support Group that meets monthly with an average attendance of 6 women.
- Employee wellness was also established with emphasis on education about prostate, breast, and skin cancer and smoking cessation.
- Increased community-based programming and education by collaborating with faith communities via MidState-sponsored Health Ministry Partnership (a collaborative relationship among the hospital, health and human service agencies, and faith communities).
MidState's Cardiac Care program offers a comprehensive approach. Its program ranges from testing to treatment to follow-up. The Cardiac program includes a variety of cardio-diagnostic testing as part of a relationship with Hartford Hospital for cardiac procedures, and follow up services, including a cardiac rehabilitation that is offered at the hospital. Programming topics include nutrition, medication education, and stress management.
MidState is also participating in the "Go Red" Day initiative with the American Heart Association. Community-based health education to targeted populations, especially women, were conducted throughout the year. Specific women's health programming, covering risk of heart disease, hormone replacement therapy, as well as cancer risk, and healthy eating is conducted within the community.
Community-based education has expanded to include a number of cholesterol screenings and educational sessions for community groups and businesses, as well as faith communities. Special emphasis has been placed on outreach to African American and Hispanic populations.
MidState Medical Center maintains a website for public access to information about the hospital, programs, services, our physicians, and a link to reliable medical information. MidState spent $50,000 in FY08 for website enhancements. These enhancements created an entirely new design with interactive features and health information and education. MidState has also actively begun to gather email addresses from those interested and distributes a health newsletter to those who are interested in enrolling. The web site posts a variety of information that is updated regularly and also provides links to other sites that contain trusted health information. MidState has launched "MyMidState" as a way to attract people to use the website as a place to receive trusted information, sign up for enewsletters, and use various health calculators.
A quarterly publication focusing on health topics and MidState's programs and services is sent to approximately 55,000 homes in Meriden, Southington, Wallingford and Cheshire free of charge. It is also distributed to a wide range of community-based organizations, libraries, and other points of public access. The Medical Center spent approximately $115,000 to provide this publication in FY08.
Thousands of educational brochures were distributed via our information desks, health fairs, physician offices, senior centers, libraries, outpatient waiting areas, the Tremaine Resource Center, and the Health Ministry Partnership. Supply costs for these brochures was estimated at $6,500.
MidState has also maintained a relationship with the Meriden Public Library and offers collaborative programming to seniors with videos and presentations on health topics that are offered in the library's community room. Additionally, the hospital has provided health education and information as part of the library's Family Health Information Center. Other outreach has been conducted to develop relationships with the libraries in surrounding communities and to provide health literature to them.
Community Wellness - Community Health Promotion
The Department of Community Relations and Community Wellness coordinates most of MidState's outreach efforts by sponsoring health fairs throughout the community. In FY 2008, MidState Medical Center either coordinated and/or participated in over 400 health programs, including presentations, fairs, and screenings within the community as well as in faith communities. The periodic health screenings in the community included screenings for prostate cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, blood pressure, blood sugar, bone density, cholesterol, balance, foot problems, and depression.
In FY08, the total number of attendees at health fairs/screenings was approximately 10,000 using approximately 1000 hours of staff time, for an estimated labor and supply cost of $100,000.
The Prestige ClubSM was formed in 1997 to provide adults over the age of 55 the ability to enhance their lifestyle and take special care of their health. The Club provides information and education to assist adults maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Club offers a free membership with benefits that include a ScriptSave discount prescription program, numerous health and wellness programs, merchant discounts at area merchants, and free Notary services. The club members also receive a focused newsletter, Focus on Prestige, on a quarterly basis as part of the hospital's magazine and are also included in the calendar of MidState events and activities that appears in Focus. In FY08, varied programs were offered to members and their guests. Total membership reached approximately 6,500 in FY 08. Cost for operating the Prestige ClubSM in FY07 was $50,000 for staff and supplies. In kind contributions of time (e.g. physician speakers) was valued at over $20,000.
LaPlanche Medical Clinic
MidState opened this offsite clinic, located at the Meriden Senior Center, in May of 1979 for senior citizens in need of preventive health care. The Medical Center staffs the clinic 20 hours per week and offers education and screening for cancer (breast, cervical and colo-rectal), blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Individual and group education for illness prevention, wellness, exercise, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles are provided at no charge. The clinic staff also collaborates with other professional staff from organizations, such as the local health department and visiting nurse association, to provide education and screening in area senior subsidized housing. The clinic participated in a needs assessment for the housing areas. Findings supported the need to maintain health education related to cardiac disease, cholesterol, diabetes, physical activity, and obesity.
- FY 08 Patient Visits: 2145
MidState's Registered Dietitians provide free monthly presentations on heart disease and diabetes with emphasis on developing a healthy lifestyle. An average of 25 people attended each session.
MidState is fortunate to have many physicians and clinical professionals who are willing to speak on request and at no charge to community groups. The Community Relations department coordinates this Speakers' Bureau and collaborates with MidState physicians and other clinicians who are available to present to a wide range of community groups. Bilingual programming has been added to expand the offerings to the Hispanic population. MidState is collaborating with the local housing authority to provide programming in senior/disabled housing. This is offered in a bi-lingual manner.
MidState Medical Center works collaboratively with the business community to support their efforts in wellness. MidState has begun to work with individual companies to offer health education information, screenings, and health fairs, mostly with no or limited fees associated. The relationship with the business community has also been expanded with involvement in activities with area chambers of commerce and participation in their community-focused events. Health messages are clearly a part of our displays and presentations at these events. Additionally, MidState Medical Center has developed a Business Advisory Council that invites representatives of various small, medium and large-sized businesses to quarterly meetings. At these meetings, discussions center on how the hospital can better provide for the health-related needs of the workforce and collaborate with the businesses to provide health education in the most effective ways. The gatherings also allow the sharing of information and the discussion of challenges faced by the business community.
MidState Medical Center has been an ongoing partner in the Healthy Community Initiatives in Meriden and Wallingford. The hospital participates in a new community health focus in collaboration with area chambers of commerce. These health and wellness councils offer an opportunity to address the health of the workforces in the communities as well as develop programming to address community health and to targeted populations. MidState was an active participant in the council and shared various programmatic and health information with the other agencies. These collaborative efforts include the hospital, government agencies, the religious community (Health Ministry Partnership), the business community, and private residents. Together, issues such as multicultural wellness, elderly needs, healthy lifestyles, public safety, access to healthcare; teen wellness, HIV/AIDS prevention, and addiction prevention are being addressed by the collaborative. MidState provides time for its staff to participate in committee meetings and events sponsored by the Initiatives.
The Emergency Department (ED) provides prompt, courteous and competent care 24 hours per day, 7 days per week (24/7). The Minor Emergency Care area within the ED provides care for non-emergent illnesses and injuries. MediQuick provides care for non-emergent illnesses and injuries on the Paddock Avenue campus from 8:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. everyday, except major holidays. The ED also provides behavioral health care for patients exhibiting acute or chronic psychological symptoms or requiring treatment for substance abuse. This care is provided in collaboration with Rushford Center staff. All patients are seen regardless of their ability to pay.
- FY08 Patient Visits: ED: 49,506. 12.20% were admitted for further treatment
- MediQuick: 18,494
As a sponsor hospital for the South Central Emergency Medical Services System, the department provides free training and education for EMTs and paramedics.
In addition, the ED also participates in the rotation of student nurses from the Quinnipiac College BSN Program, Naugatuck Valley Community College AD Program and UCONN. The ED also acts as a host site for high school internships and middle and high school "shadow day" students. All these affiliations are to promote careers in nursing, particularly emergency nursing, and allied health.
We provide clinical rotations for nine schools regularly with 200-300 students per semester. MidState
Medical Center has contracts with 15 schools for clinical rotations.
Family Birthing Center - Childbirth Education Classes
A variety of educational classes are provided for expectant parents and families. The goal of childbirth education is to prepare the entire family for the new member. Pre-natal, sibling, and refresher courses are offered for a nominal fee. In FY08, 169 couples and 32 children (sibling classes) participated in these classes.
Infant Massage Classes
Monthly classes are held to provide education and support to the new family. Massage techniques are demonstrated to help infants relax and to strengthen the parent-child bond. In FY08, approximately 35 infants participated in this free program with their parents.
Breast Feeding Classes
Monthly classes offered to any woman considering breast-feeding. The Family Birthing Center nurses teach the classes and follow-up is provided during the delivery stay. In FY08, 121 women participated in this free program. The hospital has also offered a breast feeding support group that assisted 236 women during the fiscal year.
Food Service - Free Meals
MidState's Food Service Department provided meals at no charge to guests of inpatients (1236), Volunteers
(5366), Radiology outpatients (547), Spine and Pain Center outpatients (12), Digestive Health Outpatients (4), Emergency Department outpatients (23,204), SurgiCenter and Eye Surgery outpatients (935), Cancer Center outpatients (1084), Wound Care outpatients (7), and SleepCare outpatients (4) for a total of 32,399 meals at a supply and labor cost of approximately $178,195.
Human Resources - Career Fairs
Human Resources coordinates MidState's participation in career fairs held at area schools, professional meetings, and at the Medical Center. Registered Nurses and other allied health professionals often attend to represent their career. MidState participated in 6 of these during FY08.
Social Work - Stress Management
A Social Worker facilitated a free six-week course for individuals with diabetes and cardiac disease. The focus of the course was how to manage stress utilizing relaxation techniques and developing improved coping mechanisms. An average of 40 people attended each session. Social workers have also volunteered time to extend these stress management programs into the community. Additionally, the MidState chaplain has conducted relaxation sessions in the community at various locations.
MidState Medical Center offers many free support groups for people in need such as:
- Weekly Prenatal Support Group from September to June with an average of 25 students attending each session.
- Weekly Young Parents Program Support Group with an average of 25 people attending each session.
- Young Mothers Support Group met for 36 sessions with an average of 30 people attending each session.
- Medical nutrition therapy monthly with 4-5 attendees
- Weight loss support with 10-15 average
- Weight loss seminars with 9-11 average attendance.
- Nutrition classes with 5 attending
- Diabetes classes held twice weekly with average of 5-6 attendees.
- "For the Health of It" healthy eating classes with 7-9 average attendance
- Monthly day and evening breast cancer Support Groups with an average 5-8 people attending each session.
- Monthly prostate support and educational group with an average of 5-10 people attending each session.
- Monthly Leukemia/Lymphoma Support Group with an average of 8-10 participants each session.
- Monthly Bereavement Support Group with an average of 6 participants each session.
- Women'scancer support group offers women diagnosed with cancer an opportunity to share in a monthly group, with an average attendance of 7-9 women, facilitated by a social worker dedicated to cancer patients.
Tremaine Resource Center Health Services Library
The Tremaine Resource Center, MidState Medical Center's medical and consumer health library, offers a broad range of resources and services to support the needs of physicians, caregivers and area residents for current, accurate medical and health information. The Resource Center is open to public. All of its services are free. It is staffed by a medical librarian and trained volunteers. Visitors to the Resource Center may borrow or browse books, journals, videos, DVDs, and audio books. They may also access the Internet for current health and wellness information via four computer workstations. Outreach is provided to physicians, health professionals and students in allied health and nursing programs via biomedical literature research services and electronic books and journals. The Resource Center's librarian performs literature searches for health professionals and the public at no charge. The librarian provides journal articles, books and other media for physicians and other health professionals for community health education programs. She also supports students gathering health information for school projects and participates in career-related school activities. In FY08, the Tremaine Resource Center serviced 8823 visitors and responded to 1019 requests for medical and health information. The library also conducted 240 literature searches for health professionals and the public, and filled 11570 requests for copies of journal articles or loans of medical and nursing books.
Our visitor breakdown is as follows:
- 3138 consumers
- 5014 staff members
- 350 doctors
- 319 students
Volunteer Services - Leadership, Advocacy and Volunteerism
The Medical Center's employees exemplify responsiveness to the community in the areas of planning, governance and service. The employees provide annually thousands of hours of volunteer services participating on not-for-profit agency boards of directors and advisory councils, and working with other health care organizations to develop policies to ensure affordable and accessible health care for all persons. Employees also participate in community events such as the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, Race for the Cure - Susan G. Komen Foundation, United Way Day of Caring, United Way's annual campaign, Read Aloud Day, etc.
The hospital also provides a variety of volunteer opportunities for adults in the community as well as for teenagers fifteen years of age and older. A unique opportunity is offered annually to high school students interested in the healthcare field, particularly nursing, who meet certain criteria. Nursing/education staff and a Social Worker provide an 8-hour training session preparing students who are screened and accepted into the role of Patient Aide on patient care units. MidState Emergency Department also welcomed 7 college students who were entering a pre-med program
In FY 08, 285 adult and junior volunteers contributed 50419 hours of service in 45 different departments, including offsite areas such as the LaPlanche Clinic and MediQuick.
MidState Medical Center established a school-business partnership with John Barry Elementary School in downtown Meriden in 1995, which is considered a model for other school/business partnerships in the nation. These inner city classes were "adopted" by hospital departments and weekly or monthly activities were planned in collaboration with the teachers. In addition, staff members donated new books, attended career days, and coordinated health fairs at the school. In FY 08, MidState employees contributed 120 hours to this program.
MidState also partners with area schools to address the workforce advocacy issues in healthcare. Examples of programs include children's tours and student internship, "Job Shadow Days" and mentoring programs. In FY08, MidState employees welcomed 55 students spending 275 hours job shadowing a variety of roles in various departments. MidState works with teachers and guidance counselors to place students in one-on-one experiences with hospital personnel. During fiscal year 08, MidState hosted two college interns in Community Relations for a combined total of 100 hours. MidState employees actively participate in school career fairs both at the middle school and high school level. MidState has also encouraged more school groups to tour the facility and view work in specific areas, including the laboratory, information services, and education.
A very successful partnership with Wilcox Technical School inspires students in the Sophomore Health Technology class to pursue careers in healthcare and experience first hand the environment of a busy hospital. By volunteering as Patient Aides under the supervision of the teaching staff, these students are able to supplement their classroom learning by assisting various members of the healthcare team who provide mentoring and encouragement. During fiscal year 08, sixteen Wilcox students contributed 400 hours in this program.
MidState also has representation on the Cheshire School/Business Partnership Council and actively supports Cheshire school career fairs and the Cheshire High Senior Internship Program. During fiscal year 07, MidState hosted one Cheshire High senior, who contributed 100 volunteer hours in Family Birthing Center and an inpatient care area.
Quality Commitment, Resources, and Recognition - Community Feedback
MidState convened its 27-member Community Advisory Council quarterly during FY08. Members include diverse representation from communities in the hospital's service area, from such groups as the local health department, social service agencies, other community-based organizations, and the business community. This group invites various departments from the hospital to present on a range of hospital services. It has also been a forum that invites feedback from members as to how the hospital can better service area communities. In 2007, the group reviewed new programs and discussed the impact of the hospital's outreach efforts.
MidState's commitment to quality was advanced in FY08 by maintain focus on continuous quality improvement in various ways. The focus on quality is highlighted in monthly CQI meetings in which staff participates.
Services for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
MidState Medical Center is committed to provide effective communication between individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and our healthcare workers. If the individual's primary means of communication is American Sign Language, a qualified sign language interpreter registered with the State of Connecticut is immediately notified from Family Services Woodfield to provide on-site interpreting. This service is provided at no charge to the individual. In fiscal year 08, MidState had 102 interpreter visits that provided interpreting services for 47 individuals at a cost of $25580.00. Portable TTYs are offered to inpatients who prefer to communicate with a TDD while a patient at MidState.
MidState also offers assistive listening devices to patients who are hard of hearing. Assistive listening devices are located in all patient care units and are provided free of charge.
MidState Medical Center is also cognizant of language barriers that may hinder communication between the health care worker and individuals with limited English proficiency. While many employees are bilingual and are able to provide interpreting services, MidState employees can access over-the-phone interpreters within seconds through the use of Language Line Services. In fiscal year 08, this service provided interpreters for 293 individuals in 9 different languages at a cost of $10902.
Physician Referral Service
This is a free service for individuals seeking information about or referral to a local physician in general practice or a specialty area. Information is also provided about clinics and other hospital programs.
FY08 requests for information: 2737 phone calls and 12,892 visits to the physician find section of our web site.
MidState Medical Center, Meriden, Connecticut was awarded the 2005 "50 Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for in America" by the Great Place to Work Institute. In 2006, MidState was recognized by achieving convener status with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In 2003, the hospital was awarded. Connecticut Breakthrough Quality Award by the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership, Inc. (CQIA) at the 16th annual conference. The CQIA Breakthrough to Quality Award recognizes Connecticut organizations for their "quality improvement measurements and business-impact initiatives." The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award, Inc., America's first state-level quality award organization, was founded in 1987 utilizing the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence criteria in an effort to advance innovative programs that improve quality, performance, and marketplace competitiveness. Since 1987, CQIA has recognized Connecticut manufacturing and service companies that excel in managing quality improvement for business success and growth. MidState Medical Center is the first hospital to receive this honor since the award's creation. Additionally MidState has received a National Recognition Award by Press Ganey in 2000; Connecticut Award for Excellence in 2000 for organizational excellence; Solucient 100 Top Hospitals for our Intensive Care Unit; Sodexho Health Care Services/Modern Health Care Service Excellence Award in 2002; and United States Postal Service Award in 2001.
The preceding pages contain an outline of just some of the ways MidState responds to its mission to improve the health status of the communities it serves. The Medical Center recognizes its responsibilities to the region and is proud of its contribution, including its commitment to continue to provide high quality, customer-focused health care services.