Providence forms philanthropy initiative to tackle health equity, IT innovation

Providence health system this week announced the launch of its new Providence National Foundation, which aims to drive philanthropy for technology-driven innovation and clinical research toward whole person care, health equity and more.

Providence National Foundation will work with local organizations across the seven states covered by the health system: Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

“Philanthropy powers the programs and services that provide access to the latest technology, equipment, facilities and research, so caregivers can deliver the same high-quality health outcomes in every community we serve, from rural areas to large cities,” Dr. Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Providence, said in a statement.

Providence’s 40 local foundations have already raised nearly $1 billion over the past three years. With this new national foundation, the health system wants to build on that momentum, enabling new funding opportunities toward six overarching goals:

  • Whole person care, with an emphasis on building new models for personalized treatments that address mind, body and spirit.

  • Innovation to advance technology and data-driven research – “from telehealth to genome sequencing, data mapping to scientific investigation.”

  • Clinical institutes. With access to centers of excellence, Providence wants its centers across seven states to have access to research, data, best-practice findings and reports.

  • Vulnerable communities. “Providence is committed to the total wellness of the community and considers social determinants of health, housing, and treatment of mental health and substance abuse as integral to creating the highest level of health for all people,” officials said.

  • Health equity. The health system says it wants to eliminate disparities in healthcare, providing “people of all backgrounds, cultures and identities” the best, most comprehensive care possible.

  • Environmental stewardship. “Providence will work tirelessly to become carbon-negative by 2030 by championing environmental stewardship for a healthier planet,” according to the health system.

Providence has continued to move the needle on technology-driven innovation during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

In July, Healthcare IT News showed how the health system has Providence St. Joseph Health bolstered its telehealth program with $1.9 million in FCC funding, scaling up volume and boosting patient experience.

Earlier during the pandemic, Providence IT leaders described how the health system has tailored its security strategies and consumer-facing communication tools to meet new care delivery and patient engagement imperatives.

“Our goal is to help solve some of our nation’s most complex and systemic health issues to improve the health of everyone in our communities and beyond, especially those who are most vulnerable,” said Hochman of the new Providence National Foundation.

“Providence found philanthropic support to be especially important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, during which donations were used to support Providence’s research teams as they provided real-time analysis of health trends related to the virus,” he added.

“Our generous donors and supporters make Providence’s lifesaving breakthrough treatments possible for patients today, and pave the way for future impact and a healthier world,” added Laurie Kelley, chief philanthropy officer at Providence.

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