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Hospitals Promote Good Health, Generosity as The Holidays Kick Off

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, December 4, 2013

Healthcare organizations use holiday cheer to make a positive impact on their communities, through shopping discounts for preventive care, a food drive, and staff volunteering.

Last Friday, about 140 million Americans dragged themselves out of post-Thanksgiving food comas to hit the Black Friday sales. There seems to have been even more talk than usual this year about how the increasing commercialization of the holidays has been affecting traditional values. This got me wondering how hospitals, which are held in high regard for such values, have reached out to their communities during the lead-up to Thanksgiving and if their tactics have changed.

I found four organizations that have used holiday cheer to make a positive impact on their communities—including one that is using the season's retail fever to its advantage.

Retail discounts for health screenings

Chicago-area shoppers can now receive discounts along with taking an active role in their preventive care, thanks to Silver Cross Hospital's partnership with a local mall.

As part of the program called "I Matter," mall retailers such as Caché, Eddie Bauer, Fannie May chocolates, Today's Nails, Virgin Mobile, and Wetzels Pretzels are offering savings to patients who complete a mammography or heart screening at the Silver Cross hospital in New Lenox, IL.

While the retail partnership is new, the I Matter campaign isn't; over the past four years, more than 4,200 women have joined the program. In addition to the retail discounts, members also receive a welcome gift, which includes information on how to schedule a mammogram or cardiac screening.

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