A Regional Resource

It all started with a need. A need for South Hills residents to have their own quality and compassionate health care close to home.

St. Clair Health was founded in 1954 to help address the unmet needs of their community—a mission that continues to this day. The good people of the South Hills worked tirelessly to bring a dream to life more than 70 years ago, which is why we remain dedicated to serving this growing community and its members.

Our mission to serve the community is exemplified by our people and illustrated in the St. Clair Health logo.

Joseph B. Smith, member of the St. Clair Health Board of Directors and Chair of the Community Benefit Committee, explains, “There’s a lot of significance to why extended hands* became our symbol. We use our hands to care for people. To heal them. To help them. And I believe the hands symbol connects back to our mission of meeting the health needs of our community members.”

As an institution built by and for the community, St. Clair Health will always have the community’s best interests at heart. Delivering on this commitment is not just about providing excellent care to our patients. It’s also about being a good neighbor to the communities we serve.

St. Clair Health regularly conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) to identify and prioritize unmet needs in the community. We study the communities St. Clair Health serves for a period of three years, looking closely at every geographic area and demographic group, seeking to learn where there are gaps in services and underserved populations.

“We complete extensive qualitative research, including focus groups and a community survey that really touches thousands of people,” shares Smith. “We also have conversations with local leaders, prospective and existing patients, St. Clair Health medical staff, and other members of the community. In many cases, it’s these relationships within the community that help us to identify needs.”

Lindsay Meucci, MBA, Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Advocacy, adds, “St. Clair Health team members live in the communities we serve, so they tend to see patients and neighbors more often in everyday settings like the grocery store. This enhanced community knowledge also lends itself to a better understanding of community needs.”

In addition to completing formal and informal qualitative research, we also collect and analyze data. G. Alan Yeasted, MD, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer Emeritus and Chair of the St. Clair Health Foundation Board of Directors, explains, “We get statistics from the communities we serve, as well as Allegheny and Washington counties. By delving into this existing data and talking with people in our service areas, we can determine and categorize crucial needs.”

Determining the health needs of a community can be challenging, as there are a variety of factors to consider—medical, social, economic, environmental, and behavioral. Our process of digging through all the information and prioritizing the most critical health issues is meticulous and explores all these multifaceted challenges.

We have found the most effective way to address needs is to focus our efforts intensely on a few key issues to better evaluate the need, identify solutions, and execute initiatives that will make a difference in the communities we serve. That is why St. Clair Health has concentrated its efforts in four key areas in recent years.


Access to care is instrumental in ensuring a healthy community, especially in a region with a large elderly population. So St. Clair Health provides complimentary transportation to family, friends, and neighbors in need who would otherwise be unable to get the care they need. This takes away the stress of getting to a St. Clair health facility so patients can focus on what’s really important—their health.

Our Courtesy Van Service was established 25 years ago with the donation of one old car for anyone who needed a ride. Now, a fleet of six vans annually shuttles 13,000 individuals to and from their homes to medical appointments or free community screenings—thanks in part to generous donations to the St. Clair Health Foundation.

“We have dramatically changed how we’re doing transportation,” stresses Smith. “We’re not just providing rides to people who request them. We’re trying to create a schedule and map out areas with the greatest need to make a bigger impact.”


“Food insecurity is significant in the South Hills,” says Smith. “People may be surprised to learn about the dramatic need for food among our senior and immigrant populations in the communities we serve.”

And unfortunately, not having enough to eat or having food without the right nutrients can lead to a chain of health problems. So St. Clair Health has partnered with several organizations to improve access to healthy foods among our most vulnerable groups.

“We work with Pete Donati & Sons florists and South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) every year to plant and tend to a rooftop garden at St. Clair Hospital,” shares Dr. Yeasted. “We deliver over 300 pounds of fresh produce annually to the SHIM food pantry to ensure the community members they serve can access foods not easily found in grocery stores.”

Additionally, the Nutritional Services team rescues leftover food from the St. Clair Hospital cafeteria each week and redirects it to a local nonprofit called Living Stones so neighbors in need can enjoy a hot meal together.

Meucci explains, “When a former St. Clair Health physician told us about Living Stones, we began donating prepared foods that otherwise would have been thrown away. Food is now frozen and properly stored until Living Stones volunteers can pick it up, reheat it, and serve it buffet style at their weekly community meals.”

She continues, “More recently, we’ve partnered with the Food Assistance Match (FAM) program to improve access to healthy fruits and vegetables right in our backyard. Our support helps to double the spending power of individuals who utilize Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at the Bethel Park Farmers Market.”


There are people in our community who lack health insurance or may struggle to pay for medical care. This lack of affordable and convenient access means people may wait too long to seek care, which can lead to chronic conditions worsening or cancers going undiagnosed.

Identifying chronic disease or cancer early can be instrumental in treating it—but not everyone has access to this kind of preventive care. That’s why St. Clair Health regularly offers free community events that include vital health screenings and resources to address holistic health and wellness.

According to Smith, “We’ve always done extensive screenings. Whether it’s high blood pressure or breast, skin, or prostate cancer, we have many of those screenings that are very important.”

“Offering free mammograms is really valuable for women in the communities we serve who don’t have insurance,” says Dr. Yeasted. “To be able to provide that screening and offer them transportation, both free of charge, I think that’s a great service.”


Mental health and substance use disorders are ongoing challenges that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A key part of the solution is providing treatment that is compassionate and comprehensive, which is why St. Clair Health is changing the way we care for patients struggling with these issues.

Since partnering with Gateway Rehab in 2019, more than 1,600 patients have met with certified Recovery Specialists while being treated at St. Clair Hospital. Approximately 36% of these interactions have led patients to enter treatment with Gateway Rehab.

“This partnership has really made a difference. Having someone on-site who understands what these patients are going through has saved lives and helped so many families,” says Dr. Yeasted. “We are now reminding local paramedics about this partnership so they can tell patients in the community about the care available at St. Clair Health.”

We have seen improvements in these four key areas thanks to our initiatives and expanded partnerships, but we know there is still work to be done. Dr. Yeasted shares, “I think we’re going to need to do more in the future to address the social determinants of health and advance health equity in the communities we serve.”

While these are complex problems, St. Clair Health will face them together with our partners, our people, and our community to build on our progress. It really takes a collective effort to create a region where healthy lifestyles are the norm, not the exception. So we are grateful to the organizations and people who share our commitment to achieving a healthier community—whether they are helping
St. Clair Health with our efforts or supporting our institution and patients.

“Community members have donated Jared Boxes for the children visiting our Emergency Room and made blankets for hospital patients. Also, a local Girl Scout troop donated cookies to oncology patients,” beams Meucci. “It’s just wonderful to know people want to reach out to us and donate their time and efforts back.”