Health care organizations can magnify the impact of their community service and other philanthropic activities by implementing programs that create shared value. By definition, shared value is created when an initiative generates benefit for the sponsoring organization while also generating societal and community benefit. Because the programs generate benefit for the sponsoring organizations, the magnitude of any particular initiative is limited only by the market for the benefit and not the resources that are available for philanthropy.
In this article we use three initiatives in sectors other than health care to illustrate the concept of shared value. We also present examples of five types of shared value programs that are sponsored by health care organizations: telehealth, worksite health promotion, school-based health centers, green and healthy housing, and clean and green health services. On the basis of the innovativeness of health care organizations that have already implemented programs that create shared value, we conclude that the opportunities for all health care organizations to create positive impact for individuals and communities through similar programs is large, and the limits have yet to be defined.