In the Community
Caring for People at Risk

Cedars-Sinai’s wide-ranging efforts to promote community health address such problems as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, which our research shows are among the biggest health issues in the Los Angeles region. We focus primarily on providing services and resources for those who are most at risk and have the least access to medical care.

Among the ways we help to improve our community’s health are:

 

  • Providing free and part-pay hospital services for the uninsured and those with limited means.
  • Teaching elementary schoolchildren — and parents — how to protect their health by eating better and exercising more.
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  • Providing clinical services in underserved communities through mobile medical units and free and community clinics around Los Angeles that serve uninsured and underinsured residents.
  • Raising teens’ awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.
  • Providing flu shots, education and health screenings for the elderly and other at-risk individuals.
  • Training the next generation of healthcare professionals.
  • Conducting innovative research that leads to major medical advancements.

 

Identifying Needs

Just beyond Cedars-Sinai’s campus, in the area within a 10-mile radius of the Medical Center, nearly 50 percent of the households earn less than $35,000 a year. To determine the most significant unmet health needs among the disadvantaged in our community, we conduct a study every three years that identifies disparities in health status and disease risk by age and racial and ethnic group.

This Community Needs Assessment provides detailed information that guides us as we develop a Community Benefit Plan each year outlining strategies for addressing health needs in underserved communities.

We establish priorities with help from our partners in the community, which include schools, local government, senior centers, and health and human service programs, among other agencies that have
first-hand knowledge of community needs.

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Helping in Many Ways

Cedars-Sinai contributed more than $600 million to Community Benefit initiatives in FY 2011. Our extensive efforts to improve our community’s health encompass these major categories.

 

   

Community Benefit Category


 

 
 

Traditional Charity Care and Uninsured Patients

$29,691,000

 
 

Uninsured Cost of Caring for Medi-Cal Patients

$120,929,000

 
 

Uninsured Cost of Specialty State Programs

$1,643,000

 
 

Uninsured Cost of Caring for Medicare Patients

$274,918,000

 
 

Expense for Research

$110,475,000

 
 

Other Community Benefits

$62,909,000

 
 

Total Expended

$600,565,000

 
       

Source: Audited Financial Reports (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011)

New Discoveries, New Hope for Patients

Cedars-Sinai’s Community Benefit initiatives include innovative research that has a far-reaching impact on the lives of patients worldwide. Through more than 900 major projects at
Cedars-Sinai’s Burns and Allen Research Institute, clinical scientists are developing new treatments for cancer, heart disease, neurological and metabolic disorders and many other conditions. The Medical Center ranks among the nation’s top non-university hospitals for competitive research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Our researchers challenge the status quo in ways that offer new hope to patients. For example, the idea that heart damage is irreversible has long been the prevailing wisdom in medicine. Not anymore.

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Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Mark S. Siegel Family Professor, has performed the first experimental procedure using adult cells from a patient’s own heart in an attempt to heal muscle damage caused by a heart attack.

Other researchers across many disciplines are investigating the role of genetics in causing and potentially treating a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.

Physician-scientists at Cedars-Sinai are dedicated to transferring new knowledge from the lab to the clinic as quickly as possible to improve outcomes for patients.

Learning from the Best

In addition to our many community programs that teach people how to protect their health, we also provide education for current and future healthcare professionals. The opportunity to be mentored by world-renowned physicians and scientists attracts the nation’s best to the graduate medical education program at Cedars-Sinai.

Residents and fellows train in more than 50 specialties and subspecialties. They gain clinical experience with a diverse patient population as they develop skills in a variety of healthcare settings, including free clinics around Los Angeles. They also pursue new discoveries as partners in biomedical research.

We offer many other education programs for health professionals, including degree programs and extensive educational resources for nurses and nursing students.

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Generous Doses of Empathy

A wide variety of support groups at Cedars-Sinai provide an ongoing source of emotional support, health information and practical tips to help participants improve their quality of life. For example, young stroke survivors help each other confront the difficulties of suffering a disabling health crisis in the prime of their lives as members of “One Stroke Ahead: Young Person’s Stroke Support Group” at Cedars-Sinai. We also have a support group for older stroke survivors, as well as groups for patients with lung cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and aphasia. These and other groups are open to the community.

A Labor of Love

About 2,000 volunteers, ages 14 to 102, collectively contribute nearly 200,000 hours a year in a labor of love that demonstrates their extraordinary dedication to helping Cedars-Sinai meet the community’s health needs. Volunteers perform a wide variety of duties throughout the Medical Center to support patients — providing assistance at mealtimes for those who can’t feed themselves, for example — or free nurses from administrative tasks so they can spend more time at the bedside.

Our volunteers often connect directly with patients in ways that lift their spirits — and contribute to healing. For example, cancer survivors return to encourage those who are now undergoing treatment. And former patients known as “transplant ambassadors” share their stories

 

with patients who are about to receive transplants, walking them through the experience to help ease their fears so they can focus on healing.

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