Community Benefit

Community Benefit: Closing the Gap on Health Disparities

For example, to address persistent disparities in healthcare, Carolinas HealthCare System sponsored North Carolina Mission of Mercy in 2012, a free dental care clinic that benefited 2,000 low income adults. Carolinas MED-1, a one-of-a-kind "hospital on wheels" that serves as a venue for medical outreach projects, was utilized to facilitate dental care and health screenings. Several corporate departments were also represented with on-site educational booths.

Faith Community Health Ministry promotes health and wellness through education and spiritual support. To meet a rising demand for related services in 2012, the program expanded the number of participating churches by 50 percent. It now includes a highly diversified group of 108 churches in six counties.

In partnership with 100 Black Men and Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, a health symposium was held in November that provided more than 200 men with health education materials and screenings for prostate cancer, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and HIV.

Juneteenth Festival is held in Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties every year to commemorate the end of slavery. Because diabetes and hypertension disproportionately impact minority communities, Carolinas HealthCare System provided free screenings and health information for more than 700 participants.

In addition, more than 600 physicians and other clinicians provided volunteer support for Heart of a Champion events in Mecklenburg, Union, Lincoln and York Counties. These annual medical exams for high school athletes screen for previously unknown heart conditions that might lead to sudden cardiac death. The program has grown steadily, with approximately 2,000 students screened in 2012, including more than 100 who required follow-up care.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare, based in Charleston, developed the Highway to Hope mental health mobile unit. Inspired by a motto that highlights "hope, healing and recovery," the medical professionals who staff this mobile facility provide rotating outpatient care throughout the Low Country.

In Cabarrus County, Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast offers a variety of free or low-cost programs that help diabetes patients manage their conditions; educate elderly patients to avoid falls; and provide mild exercise for arthritis patients.

Healthy Kids Club celebrated its fourth year in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at Bruns Academy. Employees promote healthy lifestyles among fourth and fifth grade pupils via personal mentoring and group education. Based on success at Bruns Academy, Healthy Kids Club was expanded to include Sugar Creek Elementary School in York County, SC.