1/23/13 — In honor of its broad-based efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of its community, Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn., was named a finalist of the prestigious 2012 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most esteemed community service honors in healthcare.
As a finalist, Yale-New Haven will receive $10,000 to be used to support their community health initiatives. The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by The Baxter International Foundation and the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Health Research & Educational Trust.
"As a safety net hospital in the heart of a diverse city, Yale-New Haven Hospital has always had outreach and service as natural cornerstones of its mission," said John O'Brien, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. "Yale-New Haven's initiatives include programs that nurture healthy children, programs that create educational opportunities for students and parents, projects that revitalize the neighborhood, programs that enhance transportation management and safety, and partnerships with local recruiters to hire qualified local residents."
Yale-New Haven has a broad reach within the community, and seeks to be a public health advocate and a provider of support services that respond to key needs of the entire community. The hospital engages with the local community through health education and promotion and is committed to improving access to care.
"The best way to improve the health of the communities we serve involves more than just the provision of healthcare services; it requires a commitment to education, housing and improving the overall quality of life in the community," said Marna P. Borgstrom, chief executive officer, Yale-New Haven Hospital. "We can be a positive catalyst for change in our community. It is especially rewarding to see the impact our programs have had reflected in the stories shared by our neighbors about the ways in which their lives have been bettered because of our programs and services."
YNHH was recognized for the following innovative community service initiatives:
- Nurturing Healthy Kids — The hospital partners with parents to support healthy initiatives both within the hospital and out in the community, including: Healthy Start, which offers free medical care to uninsured pregnant women and children up to age 2; a pediatric dental center, which provides dental care for children up to age 16; and school-based health centers, which bring comprehensive medical and mental health services directly to seven area schools.
- Creating Educational Opportunities — Benefitting more than 3,100 students in 2010, this initiative is focused on partnering with schools to educate students about the healthcare field and foster the pursuit of careers in healthcare and other in-demand professions, through scholarships, internships and employment opportunities. Many of the partnerships have been in operation for more than two decades.
- Revitalizing Our Neighborhoods — Centered on the belief that safe, healthy living conditions promote good health, this initiative includes the Rowe Residences Project, a 104-unit, mixed-income housing complex open in 2011 as a result of Yale-New Haven's coordination with local, state and federal agencies and a land swap of hospital-owned property.
- Managing Transportation — In an effort to alleviate congestion, save energy, improve safety and provide for a healthier and "greener" New Haven, this program offers reserved and preferred parking spaces for energy efficient vehicles, free shuttle buses from several commuter parking lots, public transportation subsidies and bicycle storage racks and showers to promote cycling to work. The initiative has reduced employee car usage by more than 460 vehicles per day since its launch in 2008.
Partnering with Local Recruiters — In an effort to provide access to employment opportunities for qualified local individuals, Yale-New Haven partners with several community-based organizations to assist unemployed and hard-to-employ people in today's competitive job-seeking process.
"The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that serve as role models for improving the health and well-being of the people in their communities," said O'Brien. "This year's winner and finalists exemplify what it takes to meet the unique needs of the diverse communities they serve. Through leadership and collaboration with community partners, they enhance the lives of vulnerable populations and area residents as a whole."
In addition to Yale-New Haven, other finalists include Seton Healthcare Family in Austin, Texas and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Cheyenne, Wyo. The 2012 winner of the $100,000 Foster G. McGaw Prize is St. Joseph's/Candler Health System in Savannah, Ga.
The Foster G. McGaw Prize, celebrating more than 25 years of honoring excellence in community service, recognizes healthcare organizations that are committed to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize, first awarded in 1986, inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities. For more information, visit www.aha.org/foster.
The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, healthcare systems, networks, other providers of care and 42,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for healthcare leaders and is a source of information on healthcare issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA Web site at www.aha.org.