Community Benefit Reports

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McMahon_Thank_You_Poster_004St. Mary’s Health System, founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1888, is a not-for-profit Catholic health system serving central Maine.  St. Mary's Health System includes St. Mary's Regional Medical Center, a 233-bed acute care facility; Community Clinical Services, with primary care and specialty physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and midwives; St. Mary's d’Youville Pavilion, one of the largest nursing homes north of Boston, with 210 beds dedicated to long-term care, a secure Alzheimer’s unit, and The Rehab Center;  and St. Mary's Residences, an independent living center.


Our Mission is to continue the healing ministry of the Catholic Church in the Spirit of St. Marguerite d'Youville by providing preventive, curative, restorative, and supportive services with compassion and respect for everyone.

We commit to these values as guides to our decisions and behavior:
The intentional affirmation that all human beings are gifted with life and uniqueness and deserve to be treated with dignity.
The deliberate effort toward achieving outcomes of the highest quality while striving for innovation and continual improvement.
The individualized and personalized caring and comforting offered through our holistic presence as health care providers.
The responsible and accountable use of all our human, material, and financial resources.

St. Mary’s takes seriously the vision of our founding religious congregation and in the spirit of St. Marguerite d’Youville, we believe care of the poor and vulnerable to be integral to our mission.  This is lived out through our commitment to the poor in our community whether it through direct services and programs, our willingness to commit financial resources beyond state mandates or designating some of our development resources to raise funds for programs to benefit the poor and vulnerable.


In order to ensure our efforts address identified needs in the community, St. Mary’s Health System and its subsidiaries elicited the voice of the community in several ways.  The institution hosted focus groups as we developed our new strategic plan.  Our community health risk screening program assesses physical activity, blood pressure, obesity, tobacco use, blood glucose levels and other risk factors for local residents. St. Mary’s leaders serve on boards in many community health organizations and the board members invited to serve with St. Mary’s are strategically selected.

Patient satisfaction surveys also provide valuable information in community benefit planning.   A feedback loop has been established for employees to identify unmet needs of patients.

In addition, we utilized data that identifies key health issues for the demographic area we serve.  Data was compiled from a variety of sources including a statewide Community Health Needs Assessment conducted in 2010 and published in 2011 by the OneMaine Health Collaborative, Healthy Maine 2010 goals, statewide initiatives from the Maine Hospital Association, and community partnerships such as the United Way, the Lewiston-Auburn Public Health Initiative and Healthy Androscoggin.


St. Mary’s service area includes most of Androscoggin County in central Maine, which is approximately 43,490 households (just over 107,000 people).  According to the 2010 Census Bureau, the demographic distribution is:

Age group
0 to 18 years – 29%
18 to 64 years – 57%
65 years and over – 14%
15% of families live below the poverty level  (in Lewiston the figure is 25% and for child poverty in Lewiston the figure is 41%)


White  87.7%
Black/African-American  8.7%
Other  3.6%
Language Spoken at Home
English 85%
Other than English 15%

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center is the 5th largest hospital in the state of Maine.  MaineCare (a federal/state program which provides health and dental insurance assistance to people with limited resources) serves 20% of the total patient population (the highest utilization in the state), 40% are Medicare insured, 37% private pay and 3% self-pay.  Parts of our service area in Androscoggin County are federally designated as a “medically underserved area.”


Androscoggin County has several major public health concerns.  Poverty-related problems have a significant impact on the area, and some issues such as poor nutrition, infant mortality, unemployment, children living in poverty, and teen pregnancy occur at a higher percentage rate in this county than other parts of the state of Maine.  

The leading causes of mortality in the St. Mary’s service area are heart disease, cancer and stroke.  Access to health care, behavioral risk factors, cardiovascular health, respiratory health, diabetes, cancer health, substance abuse and mental health and youth health were the identified needs from OneMaine Health needs assessment, Healthy Maine 2010 data, community health care partnership reports and physician feedback.  

A community benefit plan was developed in conjunction with the Community Benefit staff, Mission Advisory Committee, system leadership and senior leadership and was endorsed by the Board of Directors.


Objective 1: Provide programs and services to care for the poor and vulnerable in central Maine.
A.    Provide food to the poor
B.    Facilitate access to health-related services

Objective 2:  Create, promote and provide educational programs to community groups and health care professionals.  These programs will address the specific health care needs identified for central Maine.

Objective 3:  Address critical public health concerns for Androscoggin County.
A.  Address cardiac-related health concerns
B.  Address cancer-related health concerns
C.  Address obesity and diabetes-related health concerns
D.  Address mental health/substance abuse health concerns

Objective 4: Facilitate community partnerships in order to collectively address identified needs.


The Catholic Health Association (CHA) and the IRS have defined categories for reporting community benefit, including traditional charity care, government-sponsored means-tested programs with unpaid costs (Medicaid) and six other categories.  The paragraphs below summarize the activities and dollar amounts for the categories, linking the CHA/IRS categories with our identified objectives.

Community Health Improvement Services (Category A):  Objectives 1, 2 and 3
Pink_TulipSt. Mary’s provided many community health improvement services to address the public health needs identified in Androscoggin County.  These included health screenings and self-help programs for smoking cessation and weight loss.  We also hosted and/or facilitated community support groups for health services such as cancer support and grief groups as well as exercise programs targeted for wellness and prevention.  Community education about identified public health needs is an integral part of this category.

In order to ensure access to care, St. Mary’s also offers assistance for people to enroll in public programs through MedAssist.   Our case management program for HIV offers services beyond routine case management to ensure that clients’ basics needs are met, as well as support in coping with their disease.

St. Mary’s Behavioral Services helped to develop and participates in the Great Falls Collaborative, a community partnership of mental health providers to improve coordination of care for mental health services.

We subsidize a community school cooperating with Lewiston and Auburn school systems to serve at risk youth with education, occupational therapy, and speech pathology.  St. Mary’s also addressed the needs of minority communities and the “new Mainer” population by expanding our school based health center into an elementary school in Lewiston with a significant new Mainer population.

Health Professions Education (Category B):  Objective 2
Helping prepare future health care professionals is a distinguishing characteristic of not-for-profit health care.  St. Mary’s is proud to serve as a clinical setting for undergraduate training and internships for many health care disciplines.  The time employees spend mentoring these students is included in this category.  Some of the staff involved in this supervision have been invited to serve as adjunct faculty for St. Joseph’s College and other local colleges in response to the feedback from students.  

TUFTS-MM-logo-combo-wIn 2011 we participated in a unique opportunity for second year medical students through Tufts Medical School.  It was a longitudinal curriculum where medical students actually lived on St. Mary’s campus for 9 months and followed patients for the length of their studies so they experienced a very comprehensive view of health care.  St. Mary’s housed and fed the two students in this program.

Cash and In-Kind Contributions (Category E):  Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4
This category includes funds and in-kind services donated to individuals, community groups and other not-for-profit organizations not affiliated with the organization.  In-kind contributions include hours contributed by staff to the community while on health care organization work time, overhead expenses of space donated to not-for-profit community groups and the donation of food, equipment and supplies.

One example of a cash donation is to Central Maine Community College to allow the college to hire an additional nursing instructor to increase opportunities for nursing students.  Leadership serves on many community health-related boards such as the United Way, the Red Cross, the local hospice and Lewiston-Auburn Public Health.  St. Mary’s is also generous in offering hospitality for local community groups by providing meeting rooms at no charge for other not-for-profit organizations.  Subsidies for our food pantry are also included here.

Community-Building Activities (Category F):  Objective 4

St. Mary’s is very active in programs that address the root causes of health problems, such as poverty, homelessness and environmental problems.  Leadership is involved in local economic development and coalition building to address these issues.  Since Lewiston, ME is a federally designated medically underserved area, physician recruitment is a significant part of this category.  Subsidies to the community gardening programs and youth leadership programs at the Nutrition Center are included in this category.  In 2011 St. Mary’s sponsored a human trafficking conference and St. Mary’s leadership participated in planning the conference.
Community Partnerships:

American Cancer Society
Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce
Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice
Androscoggin Wellness Council
Bates College
Central Maine Community College
Common Ties
Community Concepts
Health Androscoggin
Language Access for New Americans (LANA)
Lewiston/Auburn Alliance for Services to the Homeless
Lewiston-Auburn Public Health Initiative
Maine Office for Minority Health
Tri County Mental Health

Community Benefit Operations (Category G):  Objective 4
Community benefit operations include costs associated with assigned staff and community health needs, community benefit strategy and operations.  St. Mary’s uses Lyons software to record and report community benefit efforts.  This is the software system recommended by the Catholic Health Association.  In addition, the VP for Mission Integration meets with leadership to educate them about the importance of social accountability and details about reporting.

Costs for fundraising for hospital-sponsored community benefit programs (such as our Nutrition Center) are included in this category.


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