Nashoba Valley Medical Center gave $704,000 in community benefits

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Expenditures include health and wellness programs and free or discounted care provided directly to patients

AYER — Nashoba Valley Medical Center provided an estimated $704,000 in community benefits last year.

The hospital’s reported total community benefit expenditures of $704,442 in 2014 included health and wellness programs, as well as free or discounted care provided directly to patients. Official reports were published on June 2, 2015, by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

NVMC also reported expenditures of $32,056 in community service programs. Throughout the year, these programs included a community health education series, a physician and health services referral line, stroke prevention, and a diabetes education outreach. The hospital’s overall community benefits health care priorities were providing access to health services and health education, mental health support, diabetes management and care, and chronic disease education.

“Through our community benefits services, we are committed to collaborating with community partners to improve the health status of the patients and residents we serve in Ayer and the surrounding communities,” said Salvatore Perla, president of Nashoba Valley Medical Center. “Our program aims to help those most vulnerable to make life-changing improvements in health and address social and economic factors that impact overall well-being.”

Each Massachusetts hospital that filed a report this year addressed one or more of the four statewide health priorities identified in the Attorney General’s Community Benefits Guidelines. The statewide priorities were: Supporting health care reform; improving chronic disease management in disadvantaged populations; reducing health disparities; and promoting wellness of vulnerable populations.

“Massachusetts hospitals continue to display their commitment to serving the needs of their communities,” Healey said in a press release issued on June 2. “These programs are important resources to help identify and address the unmet needs of underserved and at-risk populations.”

All nonprofit hospitals are required to provide community benefits; however, Nashoba Valley Medical Center, part of the Steward Health Care System, provides the same level of community benefits as nonprofit hospitals as well as pays real estate taxes to the town of Ayer. In 2014, the taxes topped $400,000, which makes Nashoba Valley Medical Center one of the largest taxpayers and employers in Ayer. The hospital’s tax contribution helps support the salaries of teachers, police officers and firefighters.

To learn more about Nashoba Valley Medical Center’s community benefits program, visit www.steward.org/Community-Health/Nashoba-Valley-Medical-Center/Nashoba-Valley-Medical-Center-Community-Health.