Community Investment

Virginia Mason Memorial (VMM) has been serving the Yakima Valley and surrounding communities since 1950 by providing wide-ranging health care services, including acute care, primary and specialty care, and health promotion and prevention services. Our vision is to create healthy communities one person at a time and that involves investing in community programs, services, and partnerships that address the health needs of our communities, including the most vulnerable among us.

Every year, VMM receives many requests for support from various community groups and organizations. The challenge, then, is how to balance the measure of what we already contribute to the local community as a not-for-profit healthcare provider with our obligations as one of the area's largest businesses and employers.

Our budget for community investment is limited, only organizations that have activities and programs that fall within the definition of community benefit or community-building will be considered for financial assistance. Those types of activities and programs are described below. 

Funding for the following types of activities include cash and in-kind donations and any contributions VMM makes towards these activities do not come with any marketing stipulations or requirements. Furthermore, funding will be limited to operations and program support; we cannot support fundraising events, luncheons, galas, etc.

Community Benefit

Community benefit is programs or activities specifically targeted at vulnerable populations or the broader community and respond to identified needs in the communities served by Virginia Mason Memorial. They increase access to healthcare, improve community health, advance medical or health knowledge, or relieve burden of government or other not for profit community efforts. The following are the top priorities identified in our 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment and those that VMM will focus on addressing and supporting.

  • Improve access to healthcare services
  • Address health equity issues in the community
  • Prevent the risk of chronic disease
  • Address one or more of the risk factors associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences, or Infant Mortality.

Community Building

Community-building activities improve the health of persons in the community by addressing the determinants of health, which includes the social, economic and physical environment. These are programs and activities that address the root causes of health problems, such as poverty, homelessness, and environmental hazards by focusing specifically on physical improvements and housing, economic development, community support, environmental improvements, leadership development, coalition building, community health improvement advocacy and workforce development.

Examples of Community-building activities include:

Social and Environmental Improvement Activities

Examples include:

  • Removal of harmful materials (such as asbestos, lead) in public housing.
  • Improving availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in areas known as “food deserts.”
  • Violence prevention.

Physical Improvements and Housing

Examples include:

  • Neighborhood improvement and revitalization projects.
  • Public works, lighting, tree planting, and graffiti removal.
  • Housing rehabilitation, community-based assisted living, and senior and low-income housing projects.

Economic Development

Examples include:

  • Economic development council or chamber of commerce programs/initiatives influencing the community’s health and safety.
  • Community business programs/initiatives supporting economic development to revitalize depressed community.

Community Support

Examples include:

  • Programs/initiatives that establish or enhance community support networks, such as neighborhood watch groups and childcare cooperatives.
  • Childcare for community residents with qualified need.
  • Mentoring programs to improve graduation rates.
  • Neighborhood systems, such as watch groups.
  • Youth asset development.
  • Disaster readiness.

Environmental Improvements

Examples include:

  • Training community members to monitor and reduce environmental hazards.
  • Neighborhood and community improvements to decrease litter.
  • Safe removal or treatment of garbage and other waste products.
  • Community wide activities that reduce environmental hazards:
    • Waste reduction to minimize incineration, which presents hazards to local community health by triggering asthma and other problems.
    • Purchasing cleaner energy from power plants in order to reduce harmful emissions that impact community health.
    • Eliminating use of toxic materials such as mercury.

Leadership Development and Leadership Training for Community Members

Examples include:

  • Conflict resolution training.
  • Community leadership development.
  • Cultural skills training.
  • Language skills development.
  • Life or civic skills training programs.

Coalition Building

Examples include:

  • Community coalitions and task force-specific projects and initiatives that address economic revitalization, economic stability of the community, affordable housing or address another community health need.

Advocacy for Community Health Improvements and Safety

Examples include:

  • Local, state, and national advocacy on behalf of such areas as:
    • Transportation
    • Crime
  • Advocacy for Social Justice and Human Rights

Workforce Development

Examples include:

  • Programs that address community-wide workforce issues.
  • Recruitment of underrepresented minorities.
  • Job creation and training programs.
  • Participation in community workforce boards, workforce partnerships, and welfare-to-work initiatives.
  • Partnerships with community colleges and universities to address the health care work force shortage.
  • Workforce development programs that benefit the community, such as English as a Second Language (ESL) training.
  • Community programs that drive entry into health careers and nursing practice.

How to Apply

Virginia Mason Memorial welcomes the opportunity to work with organizations to create healthy communities and we have set aside specific funds to help support community organizations with community benefit programs or community-building activities. Funding considerations require an online application, so if your organization is seeking funding for community benefit or community-building activities, please submit the required information via the online community-investment form. Upon receipt of the online application, a VMM representative will contact you for more information or take your request to our quarterly community investment committee meeting.

We celebrate your efforts to improve our community. If you have any questions regarding community benefit or community-building activities, please contact Elissa Southward at elissasouthward@yvmh.org or (509) 574-5997.

What if my program or activity doesn’t qualify as community benefit or community-building?

In special circumstances, the Communications and Marketing department may consider requests for marketing or sponsorship-related events as budget permits. A marketing sponsorship is funding provided by the hospital to support an event or fundraiser. Examples include, but are not limited to, galas, fundraising events, and awards celebrations where contributions are:

  • primarily for public relations/marketing reason, or
  • is not related to a community health need, or
  • is not used for an activity that meets the definition of community benefit or community building.

If you would like to apply for sponsorship/marketing dollars, please complete the marketing request form found here. Should you have questions regarding marketing-related activities, please contact Leif Ergeson at leifergeson@yvmh.org or (509) 575-8116.

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