BHS in the Community
Every year, Berkshire Health Systems and its employees contribute to the health and well-being of our community, often through efforts that take place out of the public view, but nevertheless have a significant impact on the entire community. A core part of the BHS mission is to provide the highest quality healthcare services available, while also investing in the community.
Our Community Benefits programs are developed through a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment, which can be viewed here. You can also view the most current versions of the BMC Community Benefit Report and Fairview Hospital Community Benefit Report.
Some examples of our commitment to the community include:
BHS/Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program - A partnership with the non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute, providing a life-changing lifestyle improvement program for the underserved in our community. BHS has invested significantly in this evidence-based program that enriches the participants' health and well-being with an immersive program that helps people to live more healthy lives, overcoming major health challenges, and sharing that new lifestyle with their families and others. Dozens of people in the Berkshires have seen their health, and their lives, dramatically improved through this ongoing effort.
Allied Health Education Partnership - Berkshire Healthcare Systems (BHCS), the long-term care associate of BHS, launched the Allied Health Education Partnership in collaboration with the Pittsfield Public Schools with a $225,000 multi-year investment. As a result, high school students in the Allied Health program will graduate with certification as nursing assistants and with the ability to immediately begin work in area long term care facilities.
Career Advancement Opportunities - BHS has invested millions of dollars in its employees who want to improve their careers, through a program that pays tuition and fees for BHS employees who want to attain a degree in nursing, radiologic technology or laboratory technology. One example is the unique BHS/ Elms College program, which provides free tuition for employees who want to attain advanced education in nursing. In addition, BHS has provided nurses with advanced degrees to Berkshire Community College as adjunct instructors in the college's Registered Nurse training program.
Partners in Education Program - BHS has teamed up with Conte Community School and Reid Middle School, providing support to both schools in numerous areas as part of a Partners in Education program.
Wellness at Work - A comprehensive initiative for all BHS employees designed to improve the health and well-being of the largest workforce in the Berkshires.
Walk with Me in the Berkshires - A community walking program that runs each spring, promoting walking as a good form of exercise. Over 3,000 people participate annually in the this program since its inception over a decade ago.
Community Outreach Programs - BHS provides several outreach efforts that make a significant difference for area residents, including:
- Advocacy for Access - Community program that connects the uninsured and underinsured with access to health insurance programs, including the new state health programs. Over 10,000 people were enrolled for insurance in the county yearly through this effort.
- Women, Infants and Children Program - Berkshire North WIC serves over 2,200 mothers and children in the Berkshires.
- Smoking Cessation - The BHS Tobacco Treatment Program has helped over 600 people to stop smoking.
- Accent on Health - Provides over 1,500 health assessments with cholesterol and blood pressure screenings each year.
- Healthy Communities Access Program - In collaboration with Community Health Program, this federally funded effort provides access to public health insurance and basic health services for uninsured and underinsured people.