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Priority Health Needs

Beacon Health System is committed to embracing the diversity of our community and strengthening the relationships within our community to help make Elkhart County, Marshall County, & St. Joseph County a healthy place to live!

Beacon Health System is committed to helping our community become one of the healthiest in the nation. Creating a healthier community means helping people stay well by:

  • Educating on important topics
  • Providing the means to adopt healthier lifestyle choices
  • Removing barriers to ensure access to adequate health care

Memorial established numerous community health programs and services and provides a significant amount of traditional financial assistance for uninsured patients who cannot afford health services.

Community Benefit programs are ultimately designed to primarily serve the indigent, at-risk, minority, medically under-served and most vulnerable populations of our communities. This will ultimately improve the long-term, comprehensive health of our community as a whole.

Elkhart County


Elkhart County, Indiana, was established in 1830, with the original county seat in Dunlap and was later moved to Goshen. Today Elkhart County has three growing cities, four towns, and 16 townships. Elkhart County is located in northern Indiana and borders the state of Michigan. The County is approximately 463.91 square miles in size. Elkhart County lies halfway between Chicago and Cleveland and is located near Interstate 80/90 and the Indiana Toll Road.

Elkhart County’s service providers have a history of actively forming partnerships in an effort to meet the health needs of its residents. Elkhart County takes pride in offering its residents a great place to live and continually strives to establish new businesses and provide an entrepreneurial atmosphere.

Elkhart County is Elkhart General Hospital’s (EGH) primary service area. According to the 2016 US Census estimates, Elkhart County’s population rose to 203, 781. In 2016, the percentage of persons 65 years and older was estimated at 14%.

Census data show that 89.6% of Elkhart County residents are White, 6.2% are Black, and 1.2% Asian. Hispanics may be of any race, and the data show that 15.5% are Hispanic or Latino in origin. In 2016, 3.3% of the total labor force was unemployed.

The median household income (2016) of Elkhart County residents was $54,582. The percentage of persons living in poverty was 13.2% in 2016.

EGH has historically defined its geographic primary market area as Elkhart County. For the purpose of the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), the community served is defined as those persons residing in Elkhart County. As identified though U.S. Census data, Elkhart County encompasses a mix of cultural, ethnic, and economic populations.


Community Hospital of Bremen (CHB) is located in the north central region of Indiana. The community is largely rural and is comprised of southeastern St. Joseph County, southwestern Elkhart County, northeast Marshall County, and northwest Kosciusko County. According to the United Sates Census Bureau, the total county population in 2017 was estimated at 46,498. Females make up 50.2% of the overall populace. There are 17,249 households comprised of approximately 2.67 persons each. The average household income is $51,869; and the average per capita income is $24,289 with 11.6% living below the poverty level. It is worth noting that there is also a sizable Amish population living within CHB’s service area. As there is no designation for this group on census materials, they would not appear within the data, but do account for a portion of the patients at Community Hospital of Bremen.

St Joseph County


Established in 1830, St. Joseph County (SJC) Indiana has become the fourth largest county in the state of Indiana. The county spans 467 square miles, which includes a comfortable mix of rural cultural heritage and urban amenities. SJC is also the regional center for higher education, with more than eight colleges and universities with a population of 270,434 according to the U.S. Census Bureau Through the years the environment of South Bend, the largest city in St. Joseph County, has changed from a focus on manufacturing (Studebaker, Bosch, and Uniroyal) to health, education and customer services. South Bend’s estimated population in 2017 was 102,245. For SJC the median household income was $48,121; persons below the poverty level accounted for 16% of the population; while the poverty rate among children under 18 was 25%. This need is even more pronounced in South Bend, the county seat where the median household income in 2017 was estimated at $37,441 with 25% of the residents living below the poverty level.