In the Community

Community Benefit Stories

Blackford County Farmers Market education program concludes second year

Now in its second growing season, the Blackford County edition of Families at the Farmers Market wrapped up its season with an interactive demonstration of cooking with fresh herbs and preparing dips and snacks on Saturday, August 20.

Families at the Farmers Market is a community outreach program modeled after a similar successful program at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. Each program conducts monthly educational sessions from June-August.

Blackford County residents have been recruited to the Hartford City-based program through the county’s WIC and Head Start programs. Area families attending the educational sessions are then given $20 per month in IU Health Bucks. The vouchers are redeemable any Saturday at the Growers and Makers Market in downtown Hartford City, and nearly $350 worth of them were distributed to participants in this year’s program. The vouchers may be redeemed up until the final market of the season on Saturday, October 22.

Several participants were able to attend all three educational sessions, and were excited to share new skills and healthy eating habits they learned or passed on to their families. One such participant, Karen Cormier of Hartford City, is enjoying newly-convenient access to fresh produce after moving from Boston in 2014.

“Being new to town, we’ve never really had access to a farmers market before,” she said. “My kids love the sweet corn, and learning some new recipes and uses for the vegetables has been very useful.”

Additional programs this season included a “farmers market FAQ” and video from Lauren Staugler, a dietitian at both IU Health Ball Memorial and Blackford Hospitals, and an active lifestyle overview from Dave Bustos of the Blackford County YMCA.

“My favorite program this year was the wellness workshop from the YMCA,” said Amanda Dulworth. “I had my daughter two years ago and wasn’t very active. That program was very helpful in including my little ones in some activities.”

Interactive colorectal prop breaks the ice on an important conversation

Visitors to the annual Community Health Fair in Hartford City this fall likely noticed –or passed through—something new on their way into the fair.

A large, inflatable model of a colon, similar to the inflatable tunnels sports teams charge through, greeted guests as they entered the gymnasium at Northside Elementary School and served as an important conversation starter between patients and IU Health Blackford Hospital team members alike.

“It broke down barriers,” said Tobey Jones, interim director of clinical operations at IU Health Blackford Hospital. “We had a much greater number of people interested and visiting our booth, and we were much busier answering questions. I’m certain it increased awareness of colorectal cancers and the need for colonoscopies in our community.”

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of men-and-women-combined cancer deaths in the United States and expected to kill nearly 50,000 Americans in 2016. While its death rate has been dropping for several decades, early detection is a key in spotting cancerous polyps and safely removing them before they spread.  The giant, interactive visual was an effective conversation-starter, according to Joni Bertsch, nursing education manager at IU Health Blackford Hospital and primary organizer of the health fair.

“I spoke with several visitors that felt it created a dialogue about the importance of getting regular colonoscopies and would be scheduling them,” she said. “Visualizations really helped—seeing a prop of a cancerous polyp and how easily it can be removed if it is caught early on.”

The Community Health Fair is often a popular event in the Blackford County community, as hundreds turn out each year to speak with medical professionals, obtain educational materials and receive free-of-charge or low-cost screenings for stroke risk or diabetes.  Many visitors also got a tour of the IU Health LifeLine helicopter during the morning hours.

Heartsavers’ accomplishments marked at annual banquet

Not in a great leap, but many small steps. Cardiac rehabilitation patients do not experience recovery to active life overnight, but must chart their progress over time. Indiana University Health Blackford Hospital’s Cardio Pulmonary Rehab department held its Heartsavers banquet for Phase III Cardiac Rehab patients on February 11, 2016.

Recognitions were given to patients for cumulative miles walked in 2015, “Most Inspirational,” and “Most Improved.” Several Hartford City and Blackford County businesses, along with team members of IU Health Blackford provided food and refreshments for the buffet-style dinner. Altogether, 40 patients were recognized for their progress.

“It was really touching to get to recognize these people for all they have achieved,” said Krista Johns, RN, Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation. “The smiles on their faces and the acknowledgement of their peers makes all the tough days worth it.”

IU Health Blackford Hospital 2015 Community Investment

View IU Health Blackford Hospital’s 2015 Community Benefit Summary.

To learn about the IU Health commitment to serving Indiana communities, review the statewide 2015 Community Benefit Report.

2015 Community Health Needs Assessment IU Health Blackford Hospital

2015 Community Health Needs Assessment Implementation Strategy IU Health Blackford Hospital

2012 Community Health Needs Assessment IU Health Blackford Hospital

What is Community Benefit?

Community Benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment or promote health and healing in response to identified community needs and that also:

  • Improve access to health care services
  • Enhance the health of the community
  • Advance medical or health care knowledge
  • Relieve or reduce the burden of government or other community efforts

2015 Community Benefit

  • Charity Care and Unreimbursed Costs of Medicaid, HIP & CHIP: $3,102,889
  • Community Health Improvement Services: $117,843
  • Health Professions Education: $22,128
  • Financial and In-kind Contributions: $1,837

2015 Other Investments

  • Bad Debt: $437,436
  • Community Building Activities: $13,913
  • Unreimbursed Costs of Medicare:  -$819,441*

2015 Total Community Investment: $2,876,605

*As a critical access hospital, IU Health Blackford is generally reimbursed by Medicare at a rate of 101 percent of its allowed costs in order to ensure access to care in rural communities.


IU Health Blackford Hospital

Number of Patients:

  • Inpatient: 478
  • Outpatient: 30,625

Number of Employees:
144

Number of beds:
15