Do you run a medical facility and need tips to reach patients? If YES, here are 17 best community outreach ideas for healthcare practitioners & hospitals.

There are a plethora of reasons why a hospital or a health care provider should carry out or help to carry out a community outreach. Community outreach programs engage and attract prospective customers on a local level through their cities or even neighborhoods. Participation and interactivity increases awareness and provides a personal familiarity. It can also help to improve the health of the community and serve as a way of giving back to the community.

Here are some ideas and events that can be used for a community outreach program. You will find out that some of the ideas on this list can overlap with one another, while some can be combined with others to produce a more wholesome and enriching experience for the recipients.

17 Best Community Outreach ideas for Healthcare Practitioners

1. Assist with immunization events: immunization community outreaches aim mainly to increase the vaccination rates within a targeted population. Efforts involve partnerships between community organizations, local government, and vaccination providers to implement and coordinate the following:

  • One or more interventions to increase community demand (client reminder and recall systems, manual outreach and tracking, client or community-wide education, client incentives, client-held paper immunization records, and case management)
  • One or more interventions to enhance access to vaccination services (expanded access in healthcare settings, home visits, and reduced client out-of-pocket costs)

The outreach efforts may also include additional interventions directed at vaccination providers (e.g. provider assessment and feedback, provider education, and provider reminder systems).

2. Organize a run, walk, bike, skate: you can organize a Fun Run with prizes, games and food at the end of the course (5km, 10km, 20km). This is a great way to encourage people to exercise more often in your community. Some don’t prefer running but would rather walk, bike or skate.

You may even want to consider two options or have them as two separate events to gather various groups of people. You can incorporate prizes for participants who finish in the top grouping, and also for the most colorful dresser, the oldest and youngest participants, et al. A budget of about $500 to $5,000 should be enough to organize such an event.

There are many resources online that will help you plan a run or other athletic events of this nature. Use the timelines they provide to keep on track. Create the necessary signage needed for the various turns and check-in points along the course. Also have a hand-out for each participant outlining the entire course and the rules to be followed.

3. Serve the Poor in your City: Every city or town has people in need. Find the people in need in your city and serve them. You can do a meal, a clothing drive, a toiletry drive, or another way of creatively meeting their needs. More importantly, you can offer free checkups to them. Tailor your event to the specific situations and needs of those in your community. This will provide an opportunity to partner with existing organizations.

4. Breastfeeding moms and babies instruction: it would seem like breast feeding has gone out of fashion, but the truth still remains that babies who are breastfed are generally healthier and achieve optimal growth and development compared to those who are fed formula milk.

If the vast majority of babies were exclusively fed breast milk in their first six months of life – meaning only breast milk and no other liquids or solids, not even water – it is estimated that the lives of at least 1.2 million children would be saved every year. If children continue to be breastfed up to two years and beyond, the health and development of millions of children would be greatly improved.

The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is the greatest outreach vehicle for the breastfeeding movement, and it is being celebrated in over 170 countries. Officially it is celebrated from 1st to 7th August. However, groups may choose other dates to make it a more successful event in their countries. You can undertake this form of community outreach to create awareness on the importance of breastfeeding.

5. Display or booth at the local, county or state fair: as a health practitioner, you can take up a booth at the local community fair, where you can give people quick diagnosis and health advice and even hand out health tracts about major health concerns.

6. Doggie Run to inspire a healthy habit with man’s best friend: exercise is not just good for people, it is also very beneficial to dogs. You can organize a doggie run in your community to inspire this healthy habit. A community outreach like this will resonate well with dog lovers and owners.

7. Healthy weight and wellness series: obesity and the many health risks that come with it is increasingly becoming a cause for alarm in our society. Irrespective of if you are of a healthy weight or would like to lose more weight, a healthy weight community outreach will help to teach skills and build confidence that will help people in the community to make a better choice about their lifestyle.

8. Heartsaver CPR and First Aid skills check: learning CPR and first aid skills are very important and can help to save the life of individuals in the first very crucial moments before the arrival of medics. As a healthcare practice, you can organize an outreach to teach people the critical skills needed to respond to and manage an emergency until emergency medical services arrive.

The skills that you can cover in this community outreach can include first aid; choking relief in adults, children and infants; and what to do in sudden cardiac arrest in adults, children and infants based on the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.

9. Join national awareness campaigns; Heart Association, Eating Disorders, Cancer, et al.: as a healthcare practitioner who wants to reach out to the community in a meaningful way, you can join national awareness campaigns to help then create awareness and offer help in any capacity that you can.  

10. Provide qualified/certified instructors for YMCA fitness classes: the YMCA offers a variety of group fitness classes for almost every ability and interest from low-impact and beginner cases, cardio fitness dance, pilates, cycles and yoga and more advanced cycle, boot camp and kick boxing classes. You can offer them help by providing them with qualified/ certified instructors for their fitness classes.

11. Senior strength, balance and fitness: you can organize a community outreach in your community that is specifically geared towards senior citizens. This can be in form of a health talk.

12. Sponsor support groups; diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma, Alzheimer caregivers, etc. you can also lend your sponsorship to sport group who are health and community inclined as a way to increase their impact in the community

13. Talk with the Doc or seminars on healthy living, lifestyle changes, etc. You can organize a seminar in your community about health living and lifestyle changes. Before the seminar or shortly after it, you can give people the chance of talking with a doctor which will be greatly appreciated.

14. Workplace safety, health and injury prevention seminars: You’ve probably already started to notice that building health and safety into businesses can save time and money, but did you know that organizational health is a significant contributor to business growth?

In fact, studies have shown that healthy and safe workplaces generate 20% more revenue per employee, 4% higher profit margin, and can enhance market value by as much as 16%. You can organize a Workplace safety, health and injury prevention seminar for small local business in order to encourage and boost them up.

15. Free health-related screenings with medical professionals and literature for:

  • Asthma, allergy symptoms
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar evaluation
  • Breast, cervical, HPV
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Early breast cancer detection
  • Eyes and vision check
  • High cholesterol
  • Nutrition and fitness
  • Oral health check
  • Osteoporosis, bone density
  • Vascular disease risk
  • Weight, body mass index

16. Annual Kids & Parents Fun Picnic with food, games, prizes, entertainment and activities: Have a picnic designed to have people in your community in attendance. You could take over a park in your city make it a really fun family event. You can organize a bunch of family friendly games during the picnic that will help people exercise themselves. If you also have heath related tracts, you can give it to people in the picnic.

The budget will vary based on how you want to run it. It could be run for almost free if people brought their own picnic lunches. You will need at least a month to promote this event. In two to five hours you should be done with the event.

17. Outreach to First Responders or Emergency departments: Every day the first responders and emergency workers in our cities put their lives on the line for us. Consider hosting an event whereby you honor those in your community who serve with excellence in saving lives on a daily basis.

It is important that the community shows gratitude for those in our community who respond immediately in times of crisis, with skill, care and compassion. Even some simple acts of kindness can go a long way in showing your appreciation for their commitment to your community.