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Philanthropic Dollars used for a community Health Worker Program – does it count

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    Posted by: Mark Ohrtman, The University of Chicago Medicine

    Date: September 22, 2016 12:02 PM

    Hi CBISA Community,
    Hope you’re all well.
    Quick question: our institution has been generously provided philanthropic funding for our department to develop/deploy a community health worker program. Can we count these dollars toward community benefit?
    Although I believe that these types of programs can count, it’s the funding source here that makes me unsure. As mentioned, these were philanthropic dollars, but they were added to our dept budget then ear marked for the program, which makes this all a bit muddier. Thanks for taking a look!
    All my best,



    Response: Carl Patten, Centura Health
    Date: September 23, 2016 10:41 AM
    It is my understanding that the expenses count if they meet the criteria for community benefit, but you would have to claim then philanthropic funding as offsetting revenue. So depending on the expenses versus the funding received you may have no net community benefit expenses, a negative or a positive.



    Response: Debra Ehret Miller, Allina Health
    Date: September 23, 2016 10:52 AM
    Hi, Mark. My understanding is that if the funds were raised unrestricted and then it was decided to use it for this purpose, you can count the philanthropic funding. In other words, if the donors who gave money to the Foundation did not specify a purpose for the dollars, then it’s unrestricted and can count. If the funds were raised restricted—for the purpose of supporting this position—then you must off-set the revenue from the Foundation (but you may have other operational costs that are not entirely covered by the philanthropic funding which can count in full).



    Response: Barbara Brower, Black River Memorial Hospital
    Date: September 23, 2016 11:19 AM
    I think if these philanthropic dollars are not being used to pay the salaries of those who are participating in the programs, (meaning salaries are being paid by hospital dollars) the staff time can be counted. The donated money did not “cost” the hospital anything, so whatever those dollars are used for, supplies, facility expenses, etc., they cannot be counted. That is my understanding.



    Response: Marti Bailey, Sibley Memorial Hospital
    Date: September 23, 2016 3:57 PM
    It is my understanding that the cost to the hospital (in the example of unrestricted funds), is that the hospital could have used the funds to pay for building a new gym for physicians or something equal self-serving, but instead they spent it on building the community or providing care for underserved persons. That is what makes it countable.



    Response: Mark Ohrtman, The University of Chicago Medicine
    Date: September 23, 2016 3:44 PM
    All very helpful.

    Thank you!!

    Have a great weekend, all.

    My best,

    Mark Ohrtman
    University of Chicago Medicine

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