Strategic Health Care Partner Spotlight: Dignity Health

Community Matters Newsletter – Fall 2012

dh_hrz_rgb_grd_posDignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), the nation’s fifth largest hospital system, has been a valued partner and supporter of Mercy Housing’s mission for 23 years and for 14 years one of nine national Strategic Health Care Partners (SHCP). While our core business is the development and management of affordable housing, our Mission is to help people to build better lives for themselves. In a safe, attractive place where they can live and find economic stability, people are in a position to take advantage of the supportive services that will help them to move out of poverty. The Missions of Mercy Housing and Dignity Health are intertwined around this goal. Working together, the two organizations improve people’s lives and the health of communities. This affinity between Mercy Housing and Dignity Health is not surprising because they have grown from common roots. Two of the religious founding co-Sponsors of Mercy Housing are also founding co-Sponsors of Dignity Health: the Sisters of Mercy of Auburn and Sisters of Mercy of Burlingame, California.

Our Strategic Health Care Partners recognize that the health of the individual is inseparable from the health of the larger community. Strategies for good health work best when they are connected to life at home, in school, at work, and in the neighborhood. Funding from SHCP’s like Dignity Health is utilized by Mercy Housing for infrastructure development, working capital, research and new business development and health, education and other services for residents.

Statewide, Dignity Health provides a vast array of services and support to Mercy Housing California and includes the donation of land and low-cost land leases for the development of affordable housing; low-interest loans and lines of credit for projects in development; philanthropic grants through the Dignity Health Community Grants Program; and numerous health and wellness programs and activities provided on-site at Mercy Housing communities by Dignity Health staff.

Spotlight: Sacramento Region

Four years ago, a new partnership with Dignity Health was launched when Mercy Housing was invited by the Mercy Heart and Vascular Institute in Sacramento to join its Cardiovascular Disease Management Community Partnership Advisory Committee. Through discussions from the Committee’s first meetings, a free, annual series of blood pressure and cholesterol health screenings for Mercy Housing residents was developed and has grown to eight to ten annual screenings provided on-site at Mercy Housing communities in Sacramento. First launched in September 2008, this highly successful health and wellness program by Dignity Health has provided 1,181 individual health screenings at 41 separate events.

Earlier this year, and based on the success of the health screening program, Mercy Housing residents at Creekview Manor, a senior community in Folsom, California, were invited to participate in a six-series Chronic Disease Self Management Program workshop, the newest community benefit program offered by Dignity Health in the Sacramento Region. The success of the Creekview Manor workshops, combined with the high levels of resident participation and enthusiasm, have encouraged Dignity Health to offer these workshops at additional Mercy Housing Sacramento Region communities in 2013.

We thank Dignity Health for its outstanding partnership and support over the years which has helped thousands of low- and very low-income families, seniors and special needs populations throughout California secure safe and affordable housing and receive supportive resident programs which keep Mercy Housing residents as healthy and stable as possible.