Providence launches national foundation to spur innovation

Providence has formed a national foundation to fund efforts to tackle a wide range of challenges straining the nation’s healthcare system, the not-for-profit Catholic provider announced Monday.

The healthcare giant seeks to accelerate the adoption of whole-person care, spur innovation and develop additional clinical research and best practices to improve access to healthcare services. The health system also aims to address the needs of vulnerable populations by better integrating mental health services and addressing social determinants of health. Health equity initiatives and environmental stewardship are also top funding priorities for the new Providence National Foundation.

“Philanthropy powers the programs and services that provide access to the latest technology, equipment, facilities and research, so caregivers can deliver the same high-quality health outcomes in every community we serve, from rural areas to large cities,” Dr. Rod Hochman, CEO of Renton, Washington-based Providence, said in a news release. “Our goal is to help solve some of our nation’s most complex and systemic health issues to improve the health of everyone in our communities and beyond.”

The national foundation will team up with Providence’s 40 local foundations to advance its philanthropic efforts. Collectively, those local entities have raised almost $1 billion over the past several years.

Providence’s local foundations will continue to operate on their own and focus on meeting the needs of their hospitals and their communities, Providence’s chief philanthropy officer, Laurie Kelley, wrote in an email.

“The national foundation will partner with the locally based foundations on significant philanthropic opportunities affecting all of our communities,” Kelley wrote. “Our hope and plan is that fundraising will increase across all our foundations—local and national,” she wrote. “We are looking at large foundations, generous corporate partners and individual philanthropists who want to make an large impact and have the ability to do so.”

Providers are increasingly focused on economic, social and environmental issues that make it difficult to manage population health and to profit from value-based contracts. They are also turning to telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other technologies and services to reduce the costs and increase access. Investments in those kinds of innovations could increase in the coming years as policymakers and patients grow frustrated by high prices and poor patient experiences, and turn their ire toward healthcare providers.

Providence has 52 hospitals and employs more than 120,000 workers in Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington.


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