Core Principles of Community Benefit

At St. Joseph Health (SJH), our approach to Community Benefit is guided by the legacy of our foundresses, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange and aligned with the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) for Catholic Health Care Services.

Our Community Benefit efforts are also guided by five Core Principles, developed as part of a national collaboration with the Public Health Institute:

  1. Emphasis on Disproportionate Unmet Health-Related Needs (DUHN)
  2. Primary Prevention
  3. Building a Continuum of Care
  4. Building Community Capacity
  5. Collaborative Governance

Core Principle 1: Emphasis on Disproportionate Unmet Health-Related Needs (DUHN) – Ensure health care access for communities with higher levels of unmet health-related needs. DUHN communities meet one of two criteria:

  • High prevalence or severity for a particular health concern, or evidence that residents are faced with multiple health problems and have limited access to health care.
  • Vulnerable populations who lack access to health care because of financial, language/culture, legal or transportation barriers, and/or who possess physical or mental disabilities.

Core Principle 2: Emphasis on Primary Prevention –– Address the underlying causes of persistent health problems. Primary prevention refers to three types of activities:

  • Health promotion –– encourage healthy lifestyles among the general population
  • Disease prevention –– focus on those at higher risk for health problems
  • Health protection –– create a healthier environment that supports healthy behaviors

Core Principle 3: Build a Seamless Continuum of Care –– Create linkages between clinical services and community health improvement activities. Engage clinicians in the design and implementation of community-based program activities, with the goal of reducing the demand for emergency services and inpatient treatment of preventable illnesses. Demonstrate evidence-based links between community health improvement activities and clinical service delivery.

Core Principle 4: Build Community Capacity –– Mobilize and build the capacity of existing community resources. The goal is to enhance effectiveness, reduce duplication of effort and provide the basis for shared advocacy and joint action to address structural problems in a community.

Core Principle 5: Emphasis on Collaborative Governance –– Collaboration with community stakeholders is a natural outgrowth of a community capacity building approach to program development. Hospital representatives identify potential community partners and develop a collaborative relationship that involves coordination of activities, sharing of resources and skills, and sharing risks.

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