The DNA of the Alzira Model is based on more than just management-related tools like capitation payment, integrated care, professional incentives and information and communications technology. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the support of social initiatives and defence of public principles also play an extremely significant role. These are the values that I feel most satisfied about.
I remember that one of the first actions we launched when La Ribera Hospital opened in Alzira was to create the 0.7% Commission for the purpose of contributing to charity projects. The result was partnerships like the one with Bathallapali Hospital in India, for example, a centre which belongs to the Vicente Ferrer Foundation. We were also the first public hospital in Spain with ongoing care provided in sign language. Quite the innovation at that time. The hospital currently has an interpreter that serves an average of 5-6 patients per month, accompanying patients from the moment they enter the hospital until they leave, mainly on their appointments with specialists and visits to the emergency room and, to a lesser extent, on same-day surgeries during which patients require assistance in order to communicate with their doctor.
I would like to take this opportunity today to present our latest commitment. It is a morning school which provides recreational activities in the hours before school for a group of 25 children aged 3 to 11.
The project aims to provide service to all those parents from the centre who, for various reasons (work, family, etc.), are forced to drop their children off at school before classes start at 9:30. In addition to playing games and participating in recreational activities with an instructor, children will be able to eat breakfast if they have not done so at home, and a workshop teaches younger children how to brush their teeth.
This wonderful project, carried out at the Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados school in the Nazareth neighbourhood in Valencia, has been made possible thanks to the agreement we signed with the Foundation for Justice and the participation of Valencian companies Dulcesol and Cuadernillos Rubio. Through this programme Ribera Salud can help students acquire habits that take care of their health and welfare, in addition to meeting the needs of families with two working parents who have to leave their children at school first thing in the morning.
I believe this initiative has all the ingredients to make a great project: health, education, training and a work-life balance, and I truly hope that it can be implemented in other areas of the city with a situation similar to that of the children living in the Nazareth neighbourhood.
We live in a complicated time. The crisis is lengthy and hard for many families and it is now when we should all contribute the most. Companies must make commitments to the society they serve. We can achieve significant improvements in our immediate environment with a little effort on everyone’s part. Because that is what holds a society together: shared projects, solidarity among all members and contributions to a better future.
Some might think that this is just a small action, but I always say that a 1,000 kilometre walk starts with a single step. And that step is called solidarity.