To advance Memorial Hermann’s vision of creating healthier communities, the Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation (CBC) implements initiatives that work with other healthcare providers, government agencies, business leaders and community stakeholders that are designed to improve the overall quality of life in our communities.
Our work is built on the foundation of four intersecting pillars:
These pillars are designed to provide care for uninsured and underinsured; to reach those Houstonians needing low-cost care; to support the existing infrastructure of non-profit clinics and federally qualified health centers; to address mental and behavioral care services through innovative access points; to work against food insecurity and physical inactivity; and to educate individuals and their families on how to access the services needed by and available to them. Funded largely by Memorial Hermann with support by various partners and grants, our work takes us outside of our campuses and into the community.
To prioritize this work, Memorial Hermann conducts Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) every 3 years. The studies include data collection and analysis for Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Brazoria counties, which comprise the majority of Memorial Hermann discharges. Following the CHNAs, implementation plans are developed that target strategies to address the health needs identified.
At Memorial Hermann, we use our resources to make a real difference in the health of our community, contributing in excess of $400 million annually in uncompensated care for those who are underinsured or uninsured and community benefit programs, including an award-winning network of public school-based health centers. Memorial Hermann community contributions are distributed annually to the following areas:
Charity care at cost, the un-reimbursement cost of Medicaid, and means-tested government programs
Programs and initiatives developed to improve access to care
Education and training of medical and allied health professionals, nurses, students, interns, residents and fellows
Clinical services provided in response to community need despite financial loss incurred, including the Air Ambulance Program, End Stage Renal Disease Program (ESRD) and obstetrics and delivery program.
Research dollars serving the community
Contributions to Memorial Hermann affiliates for community benefit programs, community education and targeted initiatives, and sponsorship of other organizations.
Additionally, Memorial Hermann provides programs to the community for health education and prevention for diseases and chronic conditions, support groups, nutrition and fitness classes, screening for disease, education for current and future health professionals, and community events that promote awareness of health to the public.
Memorial Hermann Community Resource Centers (CRCs), located near several Memorial Hermann hospitals, help improve overall health by assisting people with health and social service connections, applications and education. Our team helps with medical insurance applications and community clinic linkages as well as access to food through SNAP applications and referrals to community pantries and emergency onsite pantries. We build social service connections, supporting housing, utility, legal, financial and behavioral health needs, and other related needs. We are here to assist individuals and families with their overall health and wellbeing so they can improve their quality of life. The CRCs’ goal is to reduce the impact of Social Determinants of Health barriers for individuals, families and the community by bridging health care with social services in a one-stop location.
Education is the pathway out of poverty. Students perform better when they show up for class healthy and ready to learn. Memorial Hermann began Health Centers for Schools in 1996. School-based health care is a unique model of care in which access to health is provided where children and teens spend the majority of their time—at school! Our program has received numerous awards and has been recognized by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services as one of the nation’s best models of successful collaboration between a health system and surrounding school districts.
Memorial Hermann’s school-based health program supports the primary medical, dental and mental health needs of children and teenagers through 10 clinics located in diverse areas of Greater Houston. Services offered include sick and injury care, general and sports physicals, immunizations, chronic care, mental health therapy, nutritional guidance and navigation. Three mobile dental clinics rotate among the centers, providing restorative and preventive dental care and keeping kids on 6-month recall visits. Clinics operate year-round, even during the summer months and holidays when schools are closed, and care is provided regardless of insurance status or the ability to pay. Serving entire feeder patterns and touting academic as well as clinical outcomes, barriers to care including insurance, transportation and requiring working parents to take time off from work for appointments, are removed through school partnerships and coordinated care.
Throughout the pandemic, Memorial Hermann has served as a trusted community resource of COVID-19 information on the latest medical and scientific breakthroughs, safety, prevention and treatment methods in addition to caring for hundreds of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals. With the advent of vaccine availability, Memorial Hermann has hosted outdoor Vaccine Drive-Thru Clinics strategically located throughout the Greater Houston community in addition to indoor vaccine clinic locations at Memorial Hermann facilities. We are working with community partners to reach underserved communities. By producing educational materials in multiple languages, we are striving to encourage more people to get the vaccines while dispelling any fears and misconceptions.
Sadly, the United States is the most dangerous country in the developed world for giving birth. And for African American moms, the maternal death rate is three times higher than other groups. Memorial Hermann participates in several initiatives focused on helping to address maternal health and racial disparities and inequities, including efforts to reduce maternal mortality rates and premature births. Working together, we’re hoping to reverse this alarming trend and make quality prenatal and perinatal care available to all pregnant women and their babies.
The Memorial Hermann Women’s & Children’s service line’s clinical operations team is heavily involved in the Texas AIM initiative, created to end preventable maternal death and morbidity by sharing maternal safety best practices across hospitals and clinics. Through our Maternal EDI Council, we are part of the Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies (TCHMB) founded to improve birth outcomes across Texas. Additionally, our affiliated OB/GYNS are participating in March of Dimes implicit bias educational courses (CMEs). In partnership with the March of Dimes, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, we have established the March of Dimes Perinatal Safety Center, the first-ever center in the U.S. dedicated to improving safety for pregnant women and babies. From this Perinatal Safety Center, we have formed the Perinatal Patient Advisory Council.
Access to affordable behavioral health services is another challenge facing our community. The lack of mental health programs means patients wait until their situations become crises before reaching out for care. Memorial Hermann Mental Health Crisis Clinics located in Meyerland, Spring Branch and Humble operate as “urgent care” options for individuals experiencing mental health and behavioral concerns. Available for walk-ins early mornings, late evenings and Saturdays, services offered include emergency medicine administration, brief counseling, solution-focused intervention, psychosocial assessments and safety planning, along with connecting patients to social services.
Memorial Hermann’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) Council includes members from Memorial Hermann Behavioral Health who work in part with the Memorial Hermann Women’s & Children’s service line to improve the mental health of families in our community. Responding to the rise in domestic violence, this collaborative effort works to promote the prevention of teen suicide and provide community/patient education about the link to suicide and weak paternal family bonds, including father-child conflict and other areas of concern. The Women’s & Children’s service line offers family-focused parent education classes to help better prepare dads and moms with proven parenting skills and techniques.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Memorial Hermann Health System shall provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), pregnancy, disability, genetic information, U.S. military service, or any other characteristic protected by law.