Giving and volunteering: how HCA Healthcare colleagues showed up for our communities in 2021

Man wearing an orange HCA Houston Healthcare t-shirt carrying a brown box in a warehouse.

In 2021, giving and volunteering continued to evolve in response to the ongoing pandemic. Many nonprofits continued with socially distanced operations and virtual volunteer service opportunities. While giving back and volunteering might have looked a little different, the commitment of HCA Healthcare’s 275,000 colleagues towards strengthening their communities never wavered.

We showed up stronger than ever, marking a 20% increase over last year in the number of volunteer hours logged by our colleagues. In 2021, HCA Healthcare colleagues were also recognized for consistent commitment to service through a 61% increase in volunteer-generated grants, which translated to additional charitable donations of $930,000 to community organizations. In addition to donating their time, colleague financial donations combined with matching gifts topped $17 million. Thanks to the generosity of HCA Healthcare colleagues, more than 5,600 charitable organizations across the country received assistance throughout the year.

As COVID-19 continues to challenge our frontline caregivers and our communities, HCA Healthcare remains dedicated to unlocking new and innovative ways to build healthier tomorrows. The stories below spotlight many of the ways in which we gave back to our communities in 2021.

Community Days: A Month of Giving

Women wearing blue volunteer shirts sitting at round tables in front of cutting boards
During Community Days: A Month of Giving, Nashville area HCA Healthcare colleagues donated their time at PENCIL, a nonprofit organization committed to meeting the needs of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) to ensure equitable access to education for all students.

It was HCA Healthcare co-founder Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., who once said “Be happy in your community. Be active. There is so much good to do in this world, and so many different ways to do it.” His spirit of community service is foundational to our organization and our mission to care for and improve human life, not just within the walls of our facilities, but in the communities in which we live and work.

As the pandemic has continued to change the traditional ways in which we volunteer, HCA Healthcare colleagues have found creative ways to stay engaged and support their local community organizations and nonprofits. For our Nashville-based colleagues, a key focus in October was Community Days: A Month of Giving. In total, 1,865 Nashville-based colleagues volunteered 9,768 hours with more than 100 Middle Tennessee nonprofits during this monthlong event.

Community service is a special, foundational part of who we are as an organization and a reflection of our commitment to building healthier tomorrows. We are proud to support this spirit of engagement and deeply thankful to our colleagues who volunteered their time and talents this year.

two people wearing hard hats and face masks working to cut a piece of wood with a table saw
As part of Community Days: A Month of Giving, HCA Healthcare colleagues volunteered with Habitat For Humanity in Maury County, Tennessee.

Healthy Food for Healthier Tomorrows Food & Nutrition Drive

The nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, projects as many as 1 in 8 people (including 1 in 6 children) may have experienced food insecurity in 2021 – meaning they lack access to adequate nutritious food. Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this number may have grown for certain populations as many people lost their jobs or saw a reduced income.

HCA Healthcare’s Healthy Food for Healthier Tomorrows Food & Nutrition Drive sought to address food insecurity and provided nearly 370,000 meals to food banks in the communities we serve. During the holiday season, colleagues across the country donated food and made financial contributions to help purchase perishable items such as milk, fruit and vegetables.

Hospitals from nine HCA Healthcare divisions also built creative 3-D sculptures out of packaged foods in hopes of receiving HCA Healthcare grant dollars from their local hunger relief organizations.

Non-perishable foods organized to look like sushi on the floor
Colleagues at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Caldwell, Idaho created a healthy sushi sculpture out of food donated as part of HCA Healthcare’s Healthy Food for Healthier Tomorrows Food and Nutrition Drive. Their creativity earned them an additional $10,000 to grant to their local food bank.

Mistie Morehead, a true community champion

Mistie Morehead, Director of Marketing, HCA Healthcare’s Gulf Coast Division

Mistie Morehead hasn’t let the pandemic impact her spirit of volunteerism. In 2021, she donated 44.5 hours of her time to organizations near to her heart. Previously serving as community engagement program director for HCA Healthcare’s Gulf Coast Division, it is clear Mistie’s commitment to building healthier tomorrows transcends into her current role as marketing director.

In 2021, Mistie served as chair of HCA Houston Healthcare’s Women’s Colleague Network, one of eight Colleague Networks developed to provide our healthcare professionals with spaces to convene around shared commonalities and experiences. Under her leadership, the Women’s Colleague Network donated nearly 250 slime kits to Girls Inc. of Greater Houston to support STEM programming for elementary and middle school students. In addition to the items needed to create slime and learn about the science behind it, colleagues also included a note of encouragement for the student in the donated kit.

Nearly five years ago, Mistie started HCA Houston Healthcare’s first Care Like Family Food Drive in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. She led the event again last year, uniting more than 150 volunteers who collectively spent 430 hours repacking food at the Houston Food Bank. Together with other food bank volunteers, the team sorted more than 42,000 pounds of food (equal to 35,625 meals) for their community. In addition, colleague volunteers helped to sift through 2,880 pounds of books that were shared with local kids as part of Houston Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program.

Honoring a legacy: HCA Healthcare Foundation announces Patricia Frist Scholarship

In June, the legacy of the late Patricia Frist – longtime Nashville philanthropist and wife of HCA Healthcare co-founder Tommy Frist Jr. – was honored with the rename of the HCA Healthcare Foundation’s HCA Healthcare Scholars Program to the Patricia Frist Memorial Scholarship Program.

Patricia and Tommy Frist Jr. smiling for a picture
Patricia Frist and her husband, HCA Healthcare co-founder Thomas Frist Jr.

Through the scholarship program, dependents of HCA Healthcare colleagues can receive merit-based higher education scholarships of up to $5,000 a year. In 2021, 588 recipients received scholarships totaling more than $2 million. Since its founding in 2019, 2,168 scholarships totaling more than $7.5 million have been awarded.

Patricia worked alongside her husband to found HCA Healthcare in 1968. Passionate about charitable, philanthropic and civic interests, she served on numerous boards of directors and was active with institutions, organizations and events across Nashville. She was a catalyst in the establishment of the HCA Healthcare Foundation in 1982, which has since become an anchor institution in the Nashville community, providing leadership, service and financial support to nonprofit organizations.

The HCA Healthcare Foundation is honored to sustain Patricia’s indelible legacy by equipping the next generation with resources to pursue their education and careers.

The application for the Patricia Frist Memorial scholarship is open until Feb 15, 2022. Learn more about dependent eligibility and find the application at the program website.

Tomorrow gets a boost today with the Healthier Tomorrow Fund

The HCA Healthcare Foundation’s commitment to the improvement of human life was further strengthened with the launch of the Healthier Tomorrow Fund in May 2021. This $80 million community impact fund was established by the HCA Healthcare Foundation to support initiatives focused on high-priority community needs and health equity.

Since its launch, $4.5 million in funding has already been allocated to 13 different organizations, including the American Heart Association, Central Texas Allied Health Institute and Educate Texas.

Caring for our Communities

For more than 50 years, HCA Healthcare has been caring for the communities where our colleagues live and work. We believe in the value of purposeful partnerships to build lasting, meaningful impacts at the local and national levels. This past year HCA Healthcare continued our partnerships with the American Red Cross, March of Dimes and EVERFI.

We also expanded our support for veterans’ organizations, supported disaster relief efforts across the country and collected a record-breaking 15,566 pounds of unused and expired medications at our third annual “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back event, eliminating the adverse possibility of potential misuse and helping to address the country’s opioid crisis.

HCA Healthcare’s Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida collected 135.74 pounds of expired and unused medication for safe disposal at their 2021 Crush the Crisis opioid take back event.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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