Removing Barriers to Care

Community health and well-being require more than hospital visits. Achieving equitable community health means increasing access to compassionate, whole-person care that supports mind, body, and spirit. Providence’s vision of health for a better world ensures these services are accessible, affordable and within reach for those who need them most.

Across the U.S., more than 40 million adults have a mental health condition, and more than half are untreated. Because this issue affects patients across the seven states Providence serves, increasing care for mental health and substance use is a priority in our 2021-2022 advocacy agenda.

  • *Focusing on Youth Mental Health: Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Mont. doubled capacity for youth inpatient mental health treatment and resources in 2020. Learn more.
  • Work2BeWell: The Work2BeWell program empowers students to become advocates for mental health among school peers and their communities. Hear how Work2BeWell promoted mental health wellness among teens in 2020.
  • *Covenant Health Community Counseling Center: This community-based counseling center provides individual, couple and family counseling to low-income individuals and families in Lubbock, Texas. Discover more about this counseling center.
  • *Perinatal Substance Use Disorders: In California’s Humboldt County, Humboldt RISE (Resilience and Inclusion through Support and Empowerment) diagnoses and treats pregnant women suffering from substance use disorders, while offering tools for support and recovery. Find out how this program helped women in 2020.

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


Anything from geography and socioeconomic status and insurance coverage can affect whether a patient receives care. Our strategic partnerships aim to reduce these inequities and improve access.

  • *Community Navigation Services: A team at Covenant Health provides navigation services to low-income and uninsured community members in Texas that directly address social determinants of health.
  • *Public Benefit and Assistance Programs: Our Community Health Insurance Program connects community members with a team of bilingual community health workers who advise and support them in enrolling in public health programs. Find out more here.
  • *Providing Care at Shelters: Everett Gospel Mission and Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash. partner to ensure sick or injured men staying at the shelter receive safe and quality respite care. Read how this partnership adapted in 2020.
  • *Arena Box Office turned Clinic: In 2020, Providence Health & Services Alaska diverted staff, resources and equipment to create a temporary clinic in Anchorage’s Sullivan Arena. Discover how caregivers used a box office to help vulnerable community members receive needed care.

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

Providence is an advocate for important health and social programs that provide vulnerable populations access to affordable health care.

  • Preserving Medicaid Coverage: About 70 million Americans depend on Medicaid as their only access to health care. Medicaid is designed to provide health coverage for our nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families. It covers millions of children, parents, pregnant women, people with disabilities and seniors. Medicaid also covers millions of people who are employed, but do not have health coverage through their jobs and do not earn enough to purchase coverage on their own. Learn more on the Many Faces of Medicaid website.
  • Protecting Access to Medications: For more than 28 years, the 340B Drug Pricing Program has provided financial relief from high prescription drug costs to certain hospitals. At Providence, hospitals across our family of organizations participate in the 340B program because it helps our patients get access to much-needed care. These hospitals serve as safety nets that not only have been able to pass on savings in the form of lower-cost or free medications but also support programs that strengthen community health and well-being.
  • Reducing medication costs: Providence is a founding member of Civica Rx. Civica was created to reduce and prevent drug shortages and help stabilize the cost of medications. Its mission is to make quality generic medicines accessible and affordable to everyone. Providence advocates to improve access to generic medication and lower drug costs to serve our Mission of caring for all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
  • Read our full advocacy agenda to learn more about our 2021-2022 priorities.

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