Sentara Healthcare Supports our Community Through Corporate Social Responsibility
Examples of Sentara CSR at Work in the Community
Affordable Housing and Skilled Careers: The impact of the Sentara CSR program is best exemplified by the $100 million partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation's largest community development organization. The aim of Sentara's support for LISC is to create housing and economic opportunities for underserved populations, which are fundamental issues in public health. This major undertaking is the largest healthcare commitment to LISC to-date. As part of Sentara's partnership with LISC, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and the Urban League of Hampton Roads have opened two Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC) in Hampton Roads. Each FOC site offers career development services, financial coaching, and income support counseling.
We also announced a $10 million community investment, called The Sentara Healthier Communities Fund to address health disparities and bolster regional health sciences programs. The investment will be split into three areas of focus over a two-year period and will enhance capabilities for Sentara's partner universities and collaboration between the universities, health systems and community partners to improve public health.
Food Security: The COVID-19 outbreak is creating unprecedented health and economic challenges to the nation, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the communities we serve. The pandemic is exacerbating existing health disparities in our communities, and brings greater attention to the broader social determinants of health that are vital for local communities to flourish and thrive. The implementation of our CSR programs and partnerships to aid the community complements the essential and often life-saving care we are providing for our patients during this health and economic crisis.
In March of this year, meeting the immediate and projected food insecurity needs that came with COVID-19 was urgent. Sentara, in partnership with Truist, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, launched a new statewide initiative called the "We Care" COVID-19 Virginia Emergency Food Support Plan. To date, approximately 150,000 food boxes have been provided to Virginia families through the statewide network of food banks.
Community Engagement: Sentara also engaged in a community Healthy Hotel project with the Norfolk Community Services Board to start a program to provide telehealth and preventative screening services to medically vulnerable homeless patients in the city of Norfolk. These individuals are not only given shelter in participating Norfolk area hotels, but they also receive a variety of services that they may not access otherwise such as telehealth and chronic disease management.
Through the CSR program, Sentara also continues to provide support for important community activities and causes that enhance the health and well-being of all individuals and the quality of life enjoyed by everyone in our community. This includes cultural programs, educational enrichments, recreational features and community assets that are a part of the fabric of a healthy life and vibrant community.
Additionally, Sentara's Diversity and Inclusion program and Health Equity department work together to form essential partnerships with key community organizations. This currently includes collaborating with local community and faith-based leaders to offer services and educational opportunities to people in underserved communities.
The expanded Sentara CSR program marks a more focused approach to a long-term strategy to drive true, measurable lasting change and impact for residents all across Virginia and Eastern North Carolina and generations. To learn more about the program please visit www.sentaracares.com
By: Brittany Vajda