Innovating for the Future

At Providence, we are reimagining the future of health and pursuing innovative opportunities that will better serve patients, lower costs, and help people live their healthiest lives. Our vision of health for a better world will transform care for the next generation and beyond.

Providence fosters a culture of innovation by investing in critical health research, including racial and economic disparities, epidemiology, and care delivery. As a non-profit, Providence relies on philanthropy to drive this research.

  • Providence Genomics Lab: In 2020, the lab focused on detecting new strains of the COVID-19 virus in the western United States. After identifying diverse viral sequences in samples from Oregon, the lab used samples from across the Providence seven-state footprint. With broader geographic and patient population diversity, scientists believe this research will help develop a predictor for COVID-19 disease severity.
  • Testing Our Heroes: This large-scale project tested more than 30,000 Providence caregivers for COVID-19 antibodies to determine health care workers’ actual exposure to the virus. Another large-scale study about the epidemiology of COVID-19 through testing is underway.
  • Health Services Research Council: This coordinating body tracks, manages and supports health services research at Providence. HSRC focuses on how to best deliver patient care and support community health. HSRC received philanthropic support from Providence in 2020, as well as support for two research projects focused on:
    • Understanding and addressing racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in COVID-19 testing, infection rates, and outcomes across the Providence family of organizations.
    • Evaluating telehealth home monitoring for COVID-19 patients.
  • Orange County Community Resilience Fund: A collaborative formed between St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund, the Orange County Community Foundation, Charitable Ventures, and OC Grantmakers, was launched in response to the immediate and lasting impacts of COVID-19 in Orange County, Calif. By June 2020, OCCRF raised and distributed $4.3 million to 164 organizations impacted by COVID-19. Learn more.

Inspired by our founding sisters, Providence is facing challenges head-on and adapting to meet our communities’ needs. By expanding telehealth programs and shifting many caregivers to remote work, we are paving the way for more affordable and accessible health care.

  • Innovative care models: Our multistate telehealth programs keep care delivery as close to home as possible. During the COVID-19 crisis, Providence saw a 30% increase in telehealth visits, and we are ensuring these advancements continue after the pandemic. 
  • Behavioral Health Concierge: It is not uncommon for our caregivers to neglect their own mental health needs while prioritizing patient care. Providence offers a free, confidential virtual counseling service provided by licensed mental health professionals to caregivers and their dependents.
  • Community Building Initiative: In 2020, the St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund invested $1 million through grants and technical assistance for this California program that engages residents in 11 communities to address health issues in their neighborhoods. The program provides long-term leadership training and coaching to identify issues and build plans to deliver them in partnership with local hospitals and nonprofits.
  • Our Journey to the Cloud and Remote Work: During the COVID-19 crisis, Providence moved more than 18,000 caregivers to remote work and reduced business travel by 80%, saving critical time, money, and fossil fuels.
  • *CARE Network Program: The CARE Network Program uses an innovative model and interdisciplinary team of registered nurses, social workers, community health workers and behavioral health specialists to help patients in northern California with complex medical and social needs.

*Examples of our investments in community benefit programs, partnerships and initiatives.

We encourage lawmakers and organizations to join us to reform the drivers of significant health, social and economic disparities. This kind of change can only happen when we all work together.

  • *First-of-its-kind Play Environment: Providence Playscape in Washington is an all-inclusive playground designed to accommodate a range of physical and social needs and to support cognitive and sensory development. This sensory-rich park was supported by a community benefit grant from the Spokane Parks Foundation’s Campaign for Riverfront. Discover more here.
  • Tackling PPE Shortage with AHA: As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, health care providers faced a global shortage of personal protective equipment. Providence launched the 100 Million Mask Challenge to spur domestic manufacturing of PPE. The campaign eventually transitioned to the American Hospital Association, so that it could expand at scale across the country.
  • Environmental Stewardship and Advocacy: Providence strives to be good stewards of our resources. In 2020, we supported the Washington State Clean Building Act and national legislation to address the Paris Agreement on Climate, renewable energy and climate resilience, and launched our WE ACT scorecard. Providence is committed to becoming carbon negative by 2030.

*Examples of our investments in community benefit programs, partnerships and initiatives.

The health care landscape is changing. Not only is the nature of work changing—fueled by the growth of artificial intelligence and technology—our workforce is changing just as rapidly. Our caregivers must adapt to serve our communities, and as an employer, we must provide opportunities for our caregivers to grow and thrive in challenging environments.

  • Infection Prevention and Epidemiology Programs: COVID-19 highlighted the vital importance of infection prevention and epidemiology in protecting our nation’s health. Learn how the University of Providence works to meet the demand for infection prevention specialists and epidemiologists.
  • Supplier Diversity: As part of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), we increased our investment in a supplier diversity program designed to prioritize local community growth and economic health for women-and minority-owned businesses.
  • Caregiver DEI: In October 2020, Providence launched a new diversity champion program. These champions lead local DEI strategies and update local leadership on their progress. There are also more than 20 caregiver resource groups (CRGs), including groups for caregivers who identify as Black, women, veteran, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ and allies.
  • Workforce of the Future: Providence is preparing for the future by reimagining how work will be performed and what the workforce will look like in the next decade. With dynamic shifts in technology, demographics, and patient expectations, the Human Resources team is leaning in to the future by reimagining work, embracing automation, and expanding the talent ecosystem. In addition to advances in hiring, workforce development, and the workplace experience, these strategic innovations will enable Providence and our communities to improve health for a better world. A few of these changes were captured in this series of five short videos.

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