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Wellness programs a 'gateway' to new patients

Since the first American hospital opened more than 250 years ago, organizations have measured their success by the ability to make sick people well again.

But some hospitals have brought their mission of wellness outside the hospital building and found prevention and education to be a gateway to new patients.

“We serve as a gatekeeper, a referral source,” says Kathleen Killion, executive director of health literacy for BJC Healthcare in St. Louis, a nonprofit healthcare organization with 13 hospitals. “We definitely find people that have select needs that haven’t historically known how to access the healthcare system.”

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