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Through the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership’s Housing is Health Initiative, Aurora Sinai Medical Center provided patients access to a housing navigator who helped connect them to permanent housing. In 2020, 93 individuals were provided access to a housing navigator who helped link them to permanent housing through the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership Housing is Health Initiative, a collaboration with the Milwaukee County Housing Division.
Advocate Aurora Health contributed over $2.5 billion in charitable care and services in 2020, a 16% increase over the previous year. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the health system’s community health efforts shifted and transformed to meet the most urgent needs, while also remaining committed to its bedrock programs, such as charity care, education, trauma services, behavioral health services and more.
“You can’t be healthy without access to safe housing,” said Greg Stadter, MPH, Program Director at Milwaukee Health Care Partnership. “The Milwaukee Health Care Partnership’s Housing is Health Initiative helps connect patients from local hospitals to safe, permanent housing, and we’re proud to partner with Advocate Aurora Health on this important project.”
Behavioral health services are another important component of Advocate Aurora Health’s contribution to the community. The Mental Health Emergency Center — slated to open next year in partnership with Milwaukee County, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert Health — will offer 24/7 crisis mental health assessment, stabilization, treatment and transition care management for anyone who needs help. For children in the community, the Kradwell School on the campus of Aurora Psychiatric Hospital is a private, nontraditional and nonsectarian school l for children in grades 5 through 12. The Kradwell School specializes in serving students who struggle to succeed in traditional school environments with individualized attention and a 5:1 student teacher ratio. The teachers and support staff develop educational plans tailored to each student and any conditions they may have, such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, PSTD, OCD, reactive attachment disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and more. In 2020, $16,082.58 in scholarships was subsidized by Advocate Aurora Health and awarded to families in need of the unique educational support Kradwell School offers.
As the worst pandemic in more than a century hit our communities in early 2020, Advocate Aurora’s team members and resources pivoted to provide critical community support including education and outreach, mobile testing and partnerships with federally qualified health centers, especially as it became clear that COVID-19 disproportionately impacted communities of color. The system enhanced preventive services by increasing access to health education, personal protective equipment and community COVID-19 testing, among other initiatives. In Greater Milwaukee, Advocate Aurora Health completed 55,749 COVID-19 tests for community members and administered the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for 2,694 people.
“Advocate Aurora is not just committed to enhancing the health and wellness of those in our care, but to improving the quality of life for our communities aligned with our purpose to help people live well,” President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh said. “The diverse programs we support reflect the changing and varied needs within our neighborhoods as we work to close the health equity gap and amplify our social impact.”
In addition to a robust COVID-19 response, Advocate Aurora’s community health strategy remained focused on services and partnerships that build health equity, ensure access and improve health outcomes. Programs around mental and behavioral health, violence prevention, trauma recovery services, access to care, diabetes and hypertension, maternal health/infant mortality, obesity, substance use, food security, safety and workforce development were top priorities across the system’s footprint in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Advocate Aurora Health is one of the largest providers of community care, outreach and education in Illinois and Wisconsin. Community benefit contributions in 2020 included:
- Charity and other uncompensated care that is provided free, at subsidized levels or without full reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid or other government-sponsored programs.
- Subsidized health services that respond to unique community needs, including trauma services, behavioral health services, health screenings, immunization programs, school-based health care and other community outreach programs.
- Community Health Improvement Education Services and Operations including counseling, screenings, support groups, self-help, transportation, health education, school-based health centers, Faith Community Nursing that provides holistic care by connecting patients to spiritual and community resources in addition to health education, and a mobile pediatric clinic and mobile integrated health program that expand access to care beyond hospital settings,, plus many other hospital-based community programs.
- Language assistance and interpreter services, as well as translation for signage, forms, brochures, patient education materials and information in languages other than English.
- Volunteer Services provided by hospital workers who volunteer in their communities and by community members who volunteer at Advocate Aurora hospitals.
About Advocate Aurora Health
Advocate Aurora Health is one of the 12 largest not-for-profit, integrated health systems in the United States and a leading employer in the Midwest with more than 75,000 employees, including more than 22,000 nurses and the region’s largest employed medical staff and home health organization. A national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, the system serves nearly 3 million patients annually in Illinois and Wisconsin across more than 500 sites of care. Advocate Aurora is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies and is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology and pediatrics. The organization contributed over $2.5 billion in charitable care and services to its communities in 2020. We help people live well.
About Advocate Aurora Safe Care Promise
Health and safety is our highest priority. The Advocate Aurora Safe Care Promise provides additional measures to protect patients and our team members, providing peace of mind at every step of your journey with us. In person or online, we are here to ensure safe, comfortable and convenient care. As the environment evolves and seasons change, we’ll be ready with measures to ensure you’re safe.