Community Benefit

“Go into the neighborhoods, find out what disorders exist and try to remedy them through your own efforts if you can, or through others who have some influence over those involved…” – Father Jean-Pierre Medaille, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 1650.

In 1650, a small group of women religious in the French town of Le Puy, boldly left the confines of the convent to go into the neighborhoods. Their purpose: to build relationships with the community, learn the community’s needs, and together with their neighbors, create solutions. These courageous pioneers were the Sisters of St. Joseph – the forebears of those who founded St. Joseph Health (SJH) and its ministries. More than 350 years later, their passion and dedication to serving the “dear neighbor” lives on.

SJH’s commitment to Community Benefit is part of that legacy – embedded in our mission, vision and values, and exemplified in our commitment to building and sustaining the healthiest communities.

Today, SJH Community Benefit activities are also guided by five Core Principles for Community Benefit – a set of standards that help ensure our efforts promote meaningful and positive change in our communities.

We recognize that many factors – biological, social, economic and environmental – affect an individual’s, and a community’s, health and wellbeing. That’s why SJH Community Benefit programs take many forms: from free or deeply discounted medical care for those who lack insurance or can’t afford to pay, to comprehensive support and care management services to low-income and uninsured/underinsured individuals living with chronic health problems, to education efforts aimed at reducing the stigma of mental health conditions in the community. Learn More.

Responding to Community Needs

Each of our hospitals conducts a community health needs assessment every three years, reaching out to community residents, civic leaders, community organizations and other stakeholders for input. The results help us better understand unmet community needs, and in turn, shape the priorities and funding decisions for our local hospitals’ Community Benefit programs. Learn More.

In West Texas, we fund mobile dental clinics that increase access to care for low-income families and adults who lack dental insurance. In Southern California, we fund community health clinics in low-income neighborhoods without access to convenient, affordable care. In Northern California, Family Resource Centers offer help and support not only to those needing medical care, but also those facing hunger, homelessness, addiction and domestic violence.

For more information about Community Benefit at SJH, please email us at

Our foundresses, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, have a profound legacy of responding to the needs of the communities they served, in whatever way they could. In fact, it was the devastating influenza epidemic of 1918 that led to the opening of the Sisters’ first hospital in Eureka, CA, and the creation of their health care ministry. Learn More.