Is your hospital getting involved in the local community? Hospital leaders often talk about the importance of being involved locally, but it’s not always clear that they act on that impulse or know exactly why it’s such a good idea. With the demanding schedule working in a healthcare facility, it’s not always easy to find the time to participate outside the hospital, but it’s important to make giving back a priority.
It’s well known that volunteering feels good. It helps our neighbors build a sense of community. But it’s also a great way to help your facility and your team—especially members of the leadership team, who can be the face of your hospital at public events.
Being involved shows you care
Volunteering your time helps to demonstrate that your hospital is interested in becoming a part of the fabric of the community. Just the act of showing up can demonstrate that you care about the people around you—the ones who keep you in business.
Volunteering also helps build trust among local community members, many of whom make their healthcare decisions based on how confident they feel that their needs will be taken care of. It’s hard to overstate how important it is for your leadership team to develop lasting relationships with the people they serve, inside and outside the hospital walls.
Ways to get involved
Aside from just showing up and participating in local events, sponsorships and partnerships help increase your hospital’s exposure by linking it to community organizations and promoting coordination. Your facility could help sponsor a spring concert or parade, or could partner with a local charity to promote a good local cause.
Think of local groups that could use your support. Little League baseball teams look for sponsors and will often proudly display sponsor logos on their jerseys and promotional materials. Rotary clubs and other community organizations look for local sponsors to help them finance and organize events.
Does your facility have conference rooms that are often empty? Offer to let local charitable organizations or committees use them for their meetings. It’s hard for small groups like these to find space, and providing one to them could be a huge help.
Rural healthcare providers should be the area’s authority on health and wellbeing. This means that they have a great opportunity (and responsibility) to provide programs that benefit the community. Many facilities have found success by organizing health and wellness programs or by teaming with local organizations to provide educational seminars, blood-pressure clinics and lunch-and-learn programs. This is a great way to stimulate the knowledge of the medical staff and hospital team while helping the community better understand health-related issues that matter to them.
Make a difference
From the Chamber of Commerce to the Veterans’ Day Parade, local groups and events provide a great way to help your hospital better connect with the community you serve. Your leadership team can benefit by building new bridges with community leaders, who will likely be more than happy to work with your hospital to coordinate new and exciting events.
It’s crucial to be seen as a valued part of the community. People do business—including healthcare business—with people they know and trust. Your patients are your neighbors, and healthcare is not a one-way street. That is why it’s so important to find ways to give back to the people who keep your doors open.