How does UMHS help the community? You tell us!

Improving the health of the communities we serve has long been a focus of the University of Michigan Health System. From the creation of America’s first university owned hospital in 1869 to the establishment of one of the nation’s first Accountable Care Organizations in 2011, UMHS has consistently strived to promote health through innovative research, comprehensive high quality care and collaborative community partnerships.

We need your help!

If your group, unit, department, division or center carried out any kind of community-focused program or event in fiscal year 2012, make sure it’s counted in our annual “census” of Community Benefit activities.

Each year, the UMHS Department of Community Benefit gathers information from departments across the Health System using the Community Benefit event form. Through your responses, we generate a Community Benefit report for the Michigan Hospital Association (MHA) Community Benefit survey. The MHA survey highlights contributions of hospitals to their communities across Michigan and provides an opportunity for UMHS to assess its investment in advancing community health.

This is an important factor in the continuation of our non-profit, tax-exempt status. New IRS requirements under the Affordable Care Act make it more important than ever.

“Many of our faculty, staff and students exemplify the commitment to caring for and improving the health of our community through their dedicated service to both UMHS programs and community based organizations,” says Tony Denton, chief operating officer of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers, and executive director of University Hospitals at the U-M Health System. “The annual Community Benefit form is an opportunity for our employees to show how we give back to our community.”

Community Benefit programs/initiatives that your department participated in or held between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 should be reported using the online Community Benefit event form by the deadline of June 12, 2013.

Examples of reportable activities include:

• health screenings
• support groups
• community education or outreach
• immunizations
• family support services
• free or discounted prescriptions/supplies to patients
• free meals/nutrition services
• transportation services
• subsidized/unprofitable health clinics or services
• blood drives
• medical education or outreach
• mentoring programs
• disaster readiness planning
• improvements to the community environment
• workforce development
• leadership and development training for the community
• participation in community coalitions

We suggest that each department or team identifies one individual to serve as the primary contact for the FY 2012 Community Benefit report and MHA survey information collection process. This individual will be asked to provide a description of the community service or program, quantify the personnel effort as well as the direct costs invested in the program and calculate any other financial impacts on the department, and submit this information through the online form.

With your help, we can uphold the UMHS tradition of service and continue to improve the health of our community. Please take the time to participate in this year’s Community Benefit survey and help support the UMHS goal of promoting and protecting community health.

If you have any questions, please email