Community Benefits

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center provides a variety of community benefits to Winston-Salem, Forsyth County and northwest North Carolina. Improving health in our community, state and nation is part of the mission of the Medical Center, Forsyth County’s largest employer and the only academic medical center in western North Carolina.

The benefits provided by Wake Forest Baptist take different forms - community outreach, education, research, charity care and many other unique efforts to help those in need. In the 2020 fiscal year, the Medical Center provided $596.2 million in community benefits, as reported to the state of North Carolina and the federal government.

Here is the breakdown by category:

Unreimbursed care. Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $394.2 million in estimated unreimbursed care in FY20, a $20.2 million increase over the previous year. This increase is primarily due to significant increases in the non-reimbursed costs of treating patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental programs.

Charity care. Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $54.8 million in charity care in FY20, an $18 million decrease compared to the previous year. The decrease was primarily due to a change in the charity care policy effective September 1, 2018.

Education and research. In FY20, Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $119.7 million in education funding for medical students and other health care professionals and in research funding not covered by outside sources. This amount represents an increase of $7.6 million over the previous year and is due to increased faculty effort in basic science instruction as well as increased research expenses in the following areas: neurobiology, comparative medicine, physiology/pharmacology science, obstetrics & gynecology, and cardiovascular medicine, and internal medicine. 

Community health improvement. In FY20, Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $18.3 million in community health initiatives, operations and donations. This is an increase of $3.7 million over last year and included our FaithHealth care initiatives, Brenner FIT program, athletic trainer programs in Forsyth, Davidson, Guilford, Yadkin and Wilkes County high schools, pastoral care counseling through CareNet network, physicians’ community health access, community donations, direct patient assistance (including free prescription drugs), rapid response team, hospice/palliative care services, and COVID-19 related costs.