Benefits of Working for Nonprofit Health Care Organizations

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Health care nonprofits address a variety of public needs.

With health care spending expected to top $3.8 trillion in 2019, there is a push both within the industry and outside to use funds more effectively and improve overall public health. This stretches far beyond hospital walls and includes initiatives by a growing list of nonprofit health care organizations.

By completing an advanced degree — such as an online Master of Public Health — medical professionals can combine their training with advanced health care knowledge to better meet the needs of individuals, communities, and society.

Working for a nonprofit organization is an excellent choice. It can have its challenges, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Public health professionals can apply their skills in a wide array of areas ranging from research on specific health issues to policy development, health education, and health services management. Understanding available opportunities can enable graduates with a Master of Public Health degree to find the best fit for their skills and interests.

Help Find Solutions to Complex Health Problems

Millions of Americans struggle with health problems every day that not only impact their quality of life but also increase their risk of mortality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the most common conditions include:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Influenza

However, there are also many social and environmental risks that impact health, including:

  • Access to healthy food
  • Education regarding health
  • Air quality
  • Protection from communicable diseases

Individuals who have a Master of Public Health degree are often chosen to apply their specialized knowledge and skills to address these issues. Through conducting research, understanding barriers to health care, educating families, and improving services, they can help empower communities toward better health.

Healthy People 2020, for instance, is a federal health initiative that is focused on reducing preventable threats and helping individuals live longer, healthier lives. The CDC has established the following goals for the initiative:

  • Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death
  • Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups
  • Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all
  • Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages

Public health professionals can play an integral role in achieving these goals and improving quality of life.

The List of Nonprofit Health Care Organizations Is Wide and Varied

While for-profit organizations may direct their profits to shareholders, nonprofit organizations reinvest profits into the communities they serve. This can be achieved through preventive services, education and awareness, advocacy, treatment, or other initiatives. Nonprofit health care organizations throughout the world are committed to making a difference. They cover a wide range of diseases, health conditions, medical resources, and beyond.

Nonprofits for Specific Diseases

  • Allergy and Asthma Network
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
  • Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • Sickle Cell Disease Association of America
  • Turner Syndrome Society

Nonprofits for Research

  • Alliance for Aging Research
  • Lupus Research Alliance
  • Lymphoma Research Foundation
  • Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
  • Native American Cancer Research
  • Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation

Nonprofits for Support

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Caregiver Action Network
  • Dream Foundation
  • Hope After Loss, Inc.
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Parkinson’s Resource Organization
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) Family Support Group

These are just a few examples from the extensive list of nonprofit health care organizations. Public health professionals can find rewarding job opportunities, no matter their area of interest, and take pride in the fact that they are making a difference in people’s lives and for future generations.

Make a Direct Impact on Lives

Millions of people seek medical care every day. Statistics from the American Hospital Association show that “more than 60% of our nation’s community hospitals (3,007 of 4,973) are part of non-governmental, nonprofit health systems, and the proportion is growing steadily.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that between 2018 and 2028, jobs for health educators and community health workers will grow by 11%. For the same time period, jobs for epidemiologists, another popular public health profession, are expected to grow by 5%.

The demand for individuals with a Master of Public Health degree continues to grow as their knowledge, skills, and expertise become more important to promote better health throughout communities and address complex issues. Fresh, innovative ideas from those entering the field and advancing their education help stimulate changes and advancements in care, education, and policy development.

Become a Public Health Leader

Another advantage of a Master of Public Health degree is that it enables graduates to serve as leaders in the health care and nonprofit industries. Nonprofit organizations have generated programs, policies, and treatments that have positively impacted how individuals and communities access and utilize health care services.

One nonprofit health care organization that is making a clear difference is Ascension. According to the Harvard Business Review, approximately 30 million Americans are living without health insurance, and countless others are underinsured. If these individuals should need major medical care, it can become a significant financial burden. Ascension has found innovative ways to reduce the cost of health care services while still providing high-quality care to all, especially those most in need.

How did Ascension do it? The organization leveraged its collective buying power to negotiate competitive rates for service contracts, leading to approximately $1 billion in savings. It saved on labor costs by centralizing several departments, such as human resources and finance. In addition, it not only brought equipment maintenance in-house but spun it off as its own company to serve other health care organizations.

These changes have allowed Ascension to offer greater financial support to patients and even waive some outstanding debt. Plus, it added more community outreach initiatives to support improved health throughout the areas it serves.

Public health professionals play an integral role in developing and executing these types of changes throughout a nonprofit organization.

Make a Difference in Communities with a Master of Public Health Degree

If you are passionate about educating others, improving access to health care, implementing research-driven policy changes, and better understanding the complex medical challenges many people face, consider earning an online Master of Public Health from Ohio University. It can empower you to become more involved, be part of important solutions, and support a growing list of nonprofit health care organizations that are making the world better.

Recommended Reading

Public Health vs. Medicine: What’s the Difference?

3 Lucrative MPH Career Opportunities for Graduates

How to Become a Health Educator


AHA Trustee Services, “Evolving Accountability of Nonprofit Health System Boards”

Allergy & Asthma Network

Alliance for Aging Research

Alzheimer’s Association

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Caregiver Action Network

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy People 2020

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Leading Causes of Death

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, National Health Expenditure Project 2018-2027

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

Dream Foundation

Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation

Harvard Business Review, “How One Nonprofit is Expanding Health Care for the Uninsured”

Hope After Loss, Inc.

Lupus Research Alliance

Lymphoma Research Foundation

Make-A-Wish Foundation

MedStar Health, “What it Means to be a Not-for-Profit”

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Muscular Dystrophy Association

Native American Cancer Research

Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation

Parkinson’s Resource Organization

Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America

Turner Syndrome Society

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Epidemiologists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Health Educators and Community Health Workers

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,, “Nonprofit Organizations”

Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) Family Support Group