Bon Secours is on a procuring spree in Richmond – however solely in its hospitals in white, prosperous neighborhoods. In the meantime, Bon Secours is expressing its longstanding contractual commitments to develop new medical amenities in Richmond’s contested, city East Finish.

Bon Secours signed a contract with the Metropolis of Richmond Financial Growth Authority on July 8, 2013, by which Bon Secours agreed to construct a 25,000-square-foot, $ 7.5 million medical workplace constructing in or close to the East Finish Richmond Group To construct hospital. The contract additionally stipulated that Bon Secours would rent 75 new full-time staff at its East Finish crops with a wage of at least $ 6.7 million, a median of $ 89,333 per full-time equal worker. In return for these commitments, Richmond granted Bon Secours a 100 12 months lease on the very worthwhile Westhampton Faculty website adjoining to Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital for an preliminary annual hire of solely $ 5,000. Eight years later, Bon Secours has constructed nothing within the East Finish, regardless of the low value of such a facility in comparison with different current space points – and has employed few, if any, of the promised new staff within the East Finish.

In the identical eight years, Bon Secours spent lots of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} increasing and upgrading its suburban Richmond hospitals. The truth is, Bon Secours has had a $ 50 million growth and a brand new, free-standing, $ 30 million emergency room in Chester prior to now two years. And the Westhampton Faculty website, leased to Bon Secours, has now been developed with lots of of recent residences and new workplace house.

What’s actually occurring right here? US Census Bureau zip code knowledge tells the story. For the code that Bon Secours St. Francis is in, the inhabitants is 79.2% white and the median household earnings is $ 89,851. In distinction, the Bon Secours Richmond Group Hospital zip code inhabitants is barely 17.9% white and the median household earnings is $ 51,528 – almost $ 40,000 lower than for St. Francis. The numbers are related for the postcodes of the Bon Secours facility in Hanover (91% whites, USD 79,692 median earnings) and St. Mary’s Hospital (88% whites, USD 68,024 median earnings). For extra info, see the American Group Survey at census.gov.

And folks within the East Finish close to Richmond Group Hospital stay shorter lives. The typical life expectancy at delivery is 63 to 68 years for folks residing within the Richmond Group Hospital space. Common life expectancy at delivery is 77 to 79 years for individuals who stay close to St. Francis and about the identical for individuals who stay close to Memorial Regional and St. Mary’s. Learn the 2016 report from the Middle on Society and Well being at Virginia Commonwealth College: Societyhealth.vcu.edu/work/the-projects/mapping-life-expectancy.html.

As these numbers present, Bon Secours spends cash in high-income areas which are principally white. And Bon Secours does not spend any cash and does not wish to spend cash at Bon Secours Hospital, which is in a much less prosperous a part of city with a small white inhabitants and a decrease life expectancy.

Bon Secours Well being’s said mission is to “broaden the merciful ministry of Jesus by bettering the well being and well-being of our communities and offering good aid to these in want, particularly the poor, dying, and underserved (emphasis added). ” For actual? If Bon Secours actually targeted on “the poor, dying and underserved,” it might make no sense for Bon Secours to speculate its efforts and cash within the East Finish neighborhood, the place poverty is highest and life expectancy lowest and never these high-income suburban communities the place life expectancy is 10 to fifteen years greater than within the East Finish?

Bon Secours introduced final 12 months that the brand new emergency room facility in Chester, virtually the identical dimension because the promised workplace constructing within the East Finish, could be accomplished in simply two years. Had Bon Secours constructed the promised East Finish mission in two years, this mission would have been accomplished in 2015. Within the six years from 2015 so far, $ 40.2 million in new salaries and wages would have flowed into the East Finish. That cash would have been spent on shelter, clothes, and meals, and that spending would have created much more jobs and incomes within the East Finish consequently. However after all none of this occurred. As a substitute, Bon Secours put his cash in Richmond’s richer, whiter hospitals.

Bon Secours, when will you start your charitable work serving the poor and underserved and fulfilling your contractual obligations to the Metropolis of Richmond and Richmond’s East Finish? When are you going to be spending the modest $ 7.5 million you pledged within the East Finish and hiring the 75 new staff you promised as a substitute of simply pouring cash into your suburban areas?

In Bon Secours, the cash changers within the temple seem to have pushed out “the merciful ministry of Jesus”.

Michael Schewel is a lawyer and retired government. From 2002 to 2006 he was Virginia Secretary of Commerce.

The opinions expressed on the again cowl are these of the creator and never essentially these of Type Weekly.

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