Healthcare’s role in creating healthy communities through increasing access to quality care, research, and grantmaking is being complemented by a higher impact approach; hospitals and integrated health systems are increasingly stepping outside of their walls to address the social, economic, and environmental conditions that contribute to poor health outcomes, shortened lives, and higher costs in the first place.
Our newest report, Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis, prepared in partnership with New Orleans based DMM & Associates on behalf of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), outlines procurement practices and supply chain needs of New Orleans healthcare institutions and the capacity local business to fulfill those needs. The report provides recommendations on how to leverage New Orleans’ hospitals’ $1.5 billion in procurement spending to promote greater local procurement and economic inclusion in a city where only 48 percent of African American adult males are in the formal labor force. This report is based on interviews with nearly 50 representatives from area hospitals, additional anchor buyers, technical assistance organizations, small businesses, and other public stakeholders.
This study seeks to introduce a framework that can assist anchor institutions in understanding their impact on the community and, in particular, their impact on the welfare of low-income children and families in those communities.
Farzana Serang, J. Phillip Thompson and Ted Howard
This report from The Democracy Collaborative and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT focuses on the path-breaking Vision 2010 Program implemented in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio by University Hospitals System. Over a five year period, the initiative targeted more than $1 billion of procurement locally to create jobs, empower minority- and female-owned businesses, and create a “new normal” for responsible, community-focused business practices in the region.
Justine Porter, Danny Fisher-Bruns and Bich Ha Pham
The Democracy Collaborative’s new report Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges with Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions discusses the role of anchor institutions and collaboratives in leveraging the power of their economic assets to address social and economic disparities and to revitalize local communities.
The report focuses on the work of anchor institutions and partner organizations that have joined to form place-based networks, or anchor collaboratives, to develop, implement, and support shared goals and initiatives that advance equitable and inclusive economic development strategies. Anchor mission work is not easy, but our hope is that this state of the field report will provide information and assistance to groups wanting to do anchor mission work or to create anchor collaboratives.
When health care systems invest in the provision of social determinants of health, including affordable housing and walkable neighborhoods, they produce long-term returns by way of better health and lower health care costs. The Democracy Collaborative's Healthcare Anchor Network aims to help healthcare groups understand how best to use their assets at the benefit of the community.
Wealth can be built from the ground up by restructuring the way that institutions and the people relate to one another.
The anchor institution strategy, developed by the US-based Democracy Collaborative, creatively expands the potential of procurement through working with anchor institutions, such as hospitals and universities, to maximise their social contribution through spending, employing and investing locally. This strategy captures, circulates and builds community wealth. In the US City of Cleveland, it has resulted in the successful Evergreen Cooperative network and the strategy was also picked up by Preston in the UK.
Tacoma is looking to model a community wealth and development program after the greenhouse built in Cleveland through Green City Growers.
“Plain and simple, it works,” Ted Howard, a Clevelander, told Tacoma’s anchor institution representatives last September. Howard now serves as president and co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative, which provides research, support, and evangelism around this idea of institutions pooling their power for their communities.
Many anchor institutions are also major landowners in their communities, and many are already engaged in housing programs such as employer-assisted housing. Anchor institutions can and should employ CLTs to maximize the impact of their long-term investments in housing for their workforce, and utilize and support CLTs to help build more inclusive communities around their institutions more generally.
The Democracy Collaborative is working with the Health Foundation and the Center for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) to research the role that the National Health Service (NHS) may play as an anchor institution in local communities.
Community investment strategies can root institutional capital in underserved communities and catalyze local energy democracy, making it a fitting next step for university fossil fuel divestment campaigns
Reinvestment presents a unique opportunity for universities to partner with their local communities to promote equitable economic development and energy democracy. Campaigns’ embrace of community investment would strengthen the crucial role that divestment movements play in fostering long-term system change. This strategy creates a powerful opportunity to engage young people in new economy work while leveraging the resources of some of our most powerful institutions to shift financial capacity from the extractive economy to a new energy system. Read more about The Student Divestment Movement’s Next Frontier: Community Investment ...