Social responsibility is the principle that guides Aurora Health Care's actions as a not-for-profit health care system. Our caregivers help bring these actions to life by providing community-based services that promote health and prevent illness; creating environments that meet the diverse physical, emotional, spiritual, social and economic needs of its patients and caregivers; and being good environmental stewards.
What does social responsibility mean to Aurora?
Social responsibility requires an all-encompassing dedication to our patients, caregivers and communities. It means understanding community needs by conducting community health surveys and taking an active role in initiatives and activities that positively impact the health and overall well being of those we serve.
As a not-for-profit health care provider, we are committed to improving community well being through collaborations with community partners including schools, faith communities and public health departments.
Aurora Health Care understands that there are many social and economic factors that influence health and access to health care. We work closely with our community partners to identify programs that will best meet the needs of a particular population. For example, in Milwaukee County there are many uninsured/underinsured people, so most of our social responsibility programs in this area are focused on providing essential screenings and preventative care at little or no cost. In Racine, Walworth and Kenosha Counties, there is a large elderly population. The Senior Care Resource Connection Program serves older adults by providing home safety evaluations and medication review by nurses who also coordinate community resources to enable aging adults to stay well and live safely and independently in their own homes.
What does social responsibility mean to Aurora caregivers?
At Aurora, we believe in responsible freedom. This means caregivers are able to take independent action that will benefit our patients and the organization. This freedom means caregivers feel their ideas and actions are valued, they are recognized and rewarded, and they can act on behalf of the patient. By creating this type of environment, we can improve processes and quality and provide patients with a better health care experience.
We encourage our employees to become involved in activities and initiatives beyond our facilities. Many serve as volunteers for the community programs we implement; others make an impact by participating in our blood and food drives or by contributing to our annual Aurora Partnership Campaign, which allows caregivers to donate to the programs and charities of their choice.
Our caregivers go above and beyond what we expect and we are awed by their time, effort and money to create not only a better place to work, but also better communities in which to live.
How does Aurora's philosophy of social responsibility impact our communities?
In 2008, Aurora Health Care provided over $150 million in uncompensated care and more than $32 million in community benefits that included health services at free clinics, funding for community health centers, community health education programs and health screenings, support groups and sponsorships reaching into every community we serve in eastern Wisconsin.
Some examples of our community benefit efforts include:
- Aurora Family Service's Family to Family Thanksgiving and consumer credit counseling services
- Aurora's Helping Hand (provides financial assistance to pay medical bills)
- Aurora's senior care resource connection program
- Aurora Walker's Point Community Clinic
- Dia de la Mujer (free clinical breast exams)
- Environmental stewardship
- Health habits program (promotes good eating and health habits for children)
- Safe Mom Safe Baby
- Salvation Army clinic for homeless persons in Milwaukee
- Working to end tobacco use
Aurora's leadership in community benefit programming has been recognized by a multi-state demonstration project entitled "Advancing the State of the Art in Community Benefit" (ASACB). Aurora is one among 10 health systems in the country "with visionary leadership" invited to participate in the evolution of this project.