Commitment to Community

Community Health Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital

From its inception, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) has been committed to caring for patients of all backgrounds and ages.

In 1990, BWH formalized its commitment to the community by establishing the Center for Community Health and Health Equity (CCHHE), with a mission to work with local partners to meet the healthcare needs of vulnerable individuals and families living in the hospital’s diverse communities, while addressing the social, educational, and economic factors that affect their health and wellbeing. What was at the time a unique public health venture within an academic medical institution now sponsors more than 20 programs to improve health and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health in communities across Boston.

Today, we are proud that the BWH commitment to the community is embedded in the very fabric of our institution and mission, with the participation of a growing number of departments and employees from across the hospital in community health programming, through initiatives that address formidable challenges such as infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, and cancer. Together with our community partners, BWH improves the health of disenfranchised people across the lifespan.

Free care

Throughout our history, BWH has had an unwavering commitment to caring for our local, national, and global communities. In FY12, the hospital spent about $33 million in charitable care and $24 million on community health programs. During the same time period, 29,634 Medicaid fee-for-service patients received $111 million in care, and BWH treated 5,926 patients insured under Commonwealth Care.

Health programming

  • Community health centers
  • Perinatal Case Manager Program
  • Birth Equity Initiative (BEI)
  • Passageway (domestic violence program)
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening Program
  • Connecting Hope, Assistance, and Treatment (CHAT)
  • Women in Action Taking Charge of Their Health (WATCH)
  • Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment (PACT)
  • The Patient Navigator Program
  • Senior Health Program
  • Healthy Kids Healthy Communities
  • Improving cardiovascular health

School-based programs

  • Brigham Book Buddies
  • Pen Pal Program
  • Health and Science Clubs
  • Summer Science Academy
  • Project TEACH
  • Student Success Jobs Program
  • Summer internships for college students

Caring for our Mission Hill neighbors

BWH’s commitment to the community encompasses a wide range of issues including healthcare, employment, and many quality-of-life and social issues facing our community. The range of organizations that we interact with includes schools, housing developments, civic groups, youth service organizations, and a number of community service groups in Mission Hill.