Akron Children’s provided $85.5 million in benefits in 2011

By William K. Alcorn



Akron Children’s Hospital reported that it provided $85.5 million in community benefits in 2011, an 18 percent increase over 2010.

Conducting research to grow ear cartilage, providing medical education to a resident who went on to become a pediatrician, helping a toddler manage his asthma, and providing language interpretation for a family that immigrated from Burma are some of the ways Akron Children’s contributed to the community in 2011, said Bernett Williams, vice president for external affairs.

The 18-percent increase was due largely to the increased costs of providing care to Medicaid patients and patient families who are unable to pay for all or part of their care.

“This is the essence of what Akron Children’s Hospital is about,” Williams said. “Our community benefit activities align with our mission to treat every child, regardless of financial circumstance. Beyond our primary mission, we are fully engaged in activities to foster sustainable change in the communities we call home.”

Of the $85.5 million in community benefits reported by the hospital, which includes but does not break out the portion allotted to Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley, are:

$74.7 million in Medicaid care for which the hospital is not reimbursed; and uncompensated care, including charity care.

$5.2 million for community programs and services.

$3.9 million for education and training of physicians, residents and fellows, students interns and nurses.

$1.7 million for research, advocacy and community partnerships.

Akron Children’s community program and services that qualify as community benefits in 2011 were developed to address the top health needs identified by a 2010 health assessment, a survey of the more than 1.3 million people in Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties, done in conjunction with Akron General Health System and Summa Health System.

Looking ahead, Akron Children’s again will collaborate with Akron General Medical Center and Summa Health on a comprehensive community health needs assessment, Williams said.

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