Though we are reinventing Wellmont to meet both the changes happening in health care now and those that are likely coming, one thing will not change: our commitment to providing superior, compassionate care.
This commitment means we help those who are unable to pay for their medical care. It means we support other organizations that share our vision of healthier neighbors - body, mind and spirit - building a healthier region. That we ensure our caregivers and staff members get the training they need to stay at the top of their professions.
Underlying that commitment is also our diligent work to ensure the continuation of superior health care well into the region's future. For these reasons and more, Wellmont provided more than $85.5 million in benefits back to our communities last year.
The delivery of superior, compassionate care doesn't stop with patients who are covered by insurance or who are able to pay their medical expenses out of pocket. For those whose incomes fall within 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines, Wellmont hospitals provide a full write-off of charges. For the uninsured whose incomes are above that income level, we provide a 60 percent write-off.
Wellmont's physician practices also provide similar discounts. And because Medicare, Medicaid and state programs for indigent patients often do not cover the full costs of care, we receive little or no payment for many of these services.
By investing in the professional development of our co-workers, we're investing in our communities - and the future of health care across the region. For almost 3,400 doctors, nurses, medical students and other caregivers, countless hours have been devoted to enhancing the care we provide through continuing medical education, clinical education and other training programs.
Medical, pharmacy and nursing residents, as well as students, gain practical hands-on experience through our residency programs and internships. And other educational and training opportunities, including many offered through our own Wellmont University, are helping co-workers across the system grow as professionals and leaders.
Just as we partner with other organizations to enhance our region's health, we offer many programs of our own to further this goal. Our grief and cancer support groups meet throughout the region. Camp Caterpillar provides much-needed help and hope for children who have lost loved ones. And our pastoral care program helps adults and children alike navigate difficult times.
Through health fairs, free seminars and programs on diabetes, weight loss and other topics, we're helping our neighbors meet many challenges head on. We're also working to detect heart disease, cancer and other health concerns early with free screenings, such as those we provide at the Remote Area Medical clinics.
There's simply more to good health and wellbeing than what our hospitals and caregivers can provide alone. That's why Wellmont supports numerous community and philanthropic organizations.
Through partnerships with and donations to area United Way agencies, YMCAs, EMS providers, Boys & Girls Clubs and many others, we're making a significant impact - not only on physical health, but mental and spiritual health as well - in communities across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. And working with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and more, we're making a difference far beyond our facility walls.
Some conditions that were once untreatable, even just a few years ago, are not only treatable but beatable now. Advancements in medications and medical procedures can be thanked, in large part, to developments brought about by clinical trials and research.
What many don't realize is that the field of research is not solely the domain of nationally known academic medical centers. At Wellmont, we're at the forefront of these efforts, enrolling 1,606 patients in fiscal 2013 into important new studies and research efforts. Cancer and heart patients - even our smallest patients in the neonatal intensive care unit - are reaping the benefits.
When they aren't healing the sick and injured in our facilities, or providing support in the background to those who do, our co-workers can often be found caring for our communities in other ways. Charitable organizations and community events across the area benefit from the thousands of hours they freely offer.
Add to that the generosity of the many volunteers who assist within our facilities, and the numbers are staggering. In fiscal 2013 alone, co-workers and volunteers contributed 88,446 hours of their own time, giving their energies to greatly enhance and further extend the impact of Wellmont's healing environment.
Download Wellmont Health System's Fiscal 2013 Report to Our Communities
Whitney Ratliff had never broken a bone or even been in a hospital. But all that changed when a car accident landed her in the trauma unit.
Wellmont consistently ranks among the nation's best for high-quality outcomes and processes of care in cardiology, orthopedics, stroke, spine, cancer, primary care and ambulatory services. These awards and accolades help reaffirm Wellmont as the low-cost, high-quality provider of choice in our area.
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