This week marks our one-year anniversary as Providence St. Joseph Health. Time has flown by, which is why I want to pause, and reflect on how much we’ve accomplished over the past year.
The reason Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health came together is to serve more individuals in need, and thanks to our 111,000 caregivers, we are doing exactly that. Last year, we served 750,000 more people, many of whom did not have access to health care previously. We also provided $1.6 billion in uncompensated care and other community benefit programs across the seven states we serve.
This important work would not be possible without the incredible caregivers who serve in our hospitals, clinics and myriad of other vital programs and social services. My deepest gratitude to each of you. The spirit of our founders is alive and well thanks to you, and they would be proud of everything you do to ease the suffering of those in need and improve the health and well-being of our communities.
Another major reason we came together is to address mental illness, opioid addiction and other forms of substance abuse, which have been identified as the most urgent local priorities in every community we serve. Toward that end, Providence St. Joseph Health established an independent foundation – now known as the Well Being Trust– to find innovative solutions to the mental health crisis in our communities.
The foundation recently announced its first three grants and partnerships, which include a collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to improve mental health care in emergency departments, a partnership with the Trust for America’s Health to develop policy recommendations for mental health, and funding for the California Mental Health and Wellness Initiative to better integrate behavioral health services across the continuum of care.
I want to thank everyone for the energy and enthusiasm you have expressed around this cause. With the collective determination I see across Providence St. Joseph Health, I am confident the mental health crisis will not persist.
I start every morning reflecting on our caregivers and the sacred encounters that take place across Providence St. Joseph Health. We are a diverse family of organizations, serving some of the most rural and remote communities in the Western U.S., to some of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Though the demographics of our communities vary, we all share common commitment to seeing each individual as a whole person, dedicated not just to their physical healing, but also their mental, social and spiritual well-being. Thank you, again, to all our caregivers. You are a true inspiration.