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Woodruff Health Sciences Center Community Benefits Report lauds health care staff for the ‘courage to care’
EHC worker in yellow vest

The 2021 Woodruff Health Sciences Center Community Benefits Report is out, and both its numbers and narrative tell a story of deep engagement and care for the community. The total value to the community provided by the Woodruff Health Sciences Center is $688 million. And with COVID-19 still at the doorstep, Emory clinicians helped 93% of patients with the virus return home — among the highest percentages anywhere.

As Jonathan S. Lewin — executive vice president for health affairs, executive director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and CEO and chair of the Emory Healthcare Board — reflects in the report, titled “Courage to Care”: The “interaction of these two groups — people facing their darkest hours and the professionals who are so committed to helping them — leads to the inspirational accounts of hope and progress in this report. The stories, which represent just a few examples among thousands each year, are about people facing hardship with extraordinary courage and the people who provide them extraordinary care.”

Emory Healthcare provided a total of $124.6 million in charity care in FY2020–2021. The report also details the charity care provided at individual Emory Healthcare facilities. The term “charity care” includes two categories: (1) indigent care for patients with no health insurance, not even Medicaid or Medicare, and no resources of their own and (2) catastrophic care for patients who may have some coverage but for whom health care bills are so large that paying them would be permanently life-shattering.

Beyond charity care, Emory Healthcare provides many other services to help improve access to care, advance medical knowledge, and relieve or reduce dependence on taxpayer-funded community efforts. This total for Emory Healthcare was an additional $214 million in FY2020–2021.

The report summarizes the multiple fronts on which Emory has done battle against COVID-19, including the discovery of molnupiravir, one of the world’s first authorized oral medications for the virus; the work of the Hope Clinic in investigating second-generation COVID-19 vaccines; and clinics for long-COVID sufferers.

Other stories examine diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the schools of nursing, medicine and public health designed to benefit both patients and health care staff; ways that Emory bolsters the health care workforce, making it stronger in quality and quantity; examples of how $847 million in grants last year made it possible for Emory to improve human health through discovery and innovation; and Emory’s vision for educating tomorrow’s leaders. Vikas Sukhatme, dean of the Emory University School of Medicine, describes the educational mission this way: “Our graduates will continue to be excellent clinicians and scientists, but in today’s environment they must also be able to lead change across health systems and communities.”

Read the full report.

Value to the Community table

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