Anchor Institutions

Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Place-based Investing

David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

Nationally, health systems have an estimated $400 billion in investment assets. Redirecting even a small portion of these resources to place-based investments would shift billions of dollars toward addressing economic and environmental disparities in local communities. It would allow institutions to more effectively improve community health and well-being, even as they continue to earn a healthy rate of return. This toolkit outlines a range of strategies for how health systems are using their investment assets to help address the resource gaps that keep communities from achieving better health and well-being.

As we learn more about what families and children need to lead healthy lives, it is clear that adverse social, economic, and environmental factors, coupled with racial disparities, prevent communities from building a culture of health. The good news is that hospitals and health systems are recognizing that they have significant, untapped assets at their disposal to help address these challenges: their investment portfolios. Through place-based investing, institutions can leverage these resources to improve their communities’ overall health and well-being. This toolkit will help you get started.

Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Inclusive, Local Sourcing

David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

Across the country, healthcare institutions are recognizing that they can creatively leverage their supply chains to address the upstream economic and environmental conditions that have the greatest impact on the health of local residents. In doing so, they can create family-supporting local jobs and build community wealth. This toolkit on local and diverse purchasing showcases examples of how hospitals and health systems are reevaluating their roles as their community’s largest purchasers, understanding that a thriving local economy is fundamental to a healthy community.

The sourcing of goods, services, and food that your hospital or health system does every day, when aligned with your mission, can help build local wealth in the communities you serve. By supporting diverse and locally owned vendors and helping to incubate new community enterprises to fill supply chain gaps, hospital and health systems like yours can leverage existing resources to drive local economic growth and build a culture of health in their communities. This toolkit can help you get started

Boston Foundation

Founded in 1915, the Boston Foundation is a community foundation with $1 billion in assets.  Committed to building and sustaining a prosperous city and region characterized by justice and opportunity, the foundation focuses on making grants that address critical community challenges, partnering with donors and other funders to achieve high-impact philanthropy, and serving as a civic hub from which information, ideas, and agendas can be developed and shared. The foundation awards about $16 million in grants on an annual basis to efforts focused on five impact areas:  Education, Health & Wellness, Jobs & Economic Development, Neighborhoods & Housing, and Arts & Culture.  To respond quickly to community needs, the foundation also has an Action Fund that provides grants of up to $10,000 to grassroots organizations.

Bridging the Two Americas: Employment & Economic Opportunity in Newark & Beyond

Demelza Baer and Ryan P. Haygood

While Newark, New Jersey is home to several major Fortune 500 companies, local residents are largely excluded from this economic growth and hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city. This new report, published by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, explores the origins of this economic divide, which predominantly affects communities of color, noting a history of discrimination and an absence of pathways to middle-skill jobs. The report calls on the City to implement local hiring provisions for city contracts and calls on anchor institutions to develop local hiring and procurement strategies.

Colorado Impact Report: Will Denver Become America’s First ‘Community Wealth’ City?

Ted Howard
Colorado Impact Report

In cities across America, a new form of local economy is emerging. Many call this growing movement “Community Wealth Building,” a framework for economic development built on principles of democratizing wealth, broadening ownership over capital, leveraging existing institutional assets to benefit place, and preventing money from leaking out of our communities. The goal is to reinforce core values such as equity, inclusion, local stability, and sustainability. A range of corporate and institutional forms, involving millions of Americans as owners and consumers, are part of this movement, including cooperatives, employee-owned companies, community financial institutions, land trusts, municipal and state ownership, impact investing, and social enterprise.

Read Ted Howard's contribution to the Colorado Impact Report

Homestead Hospital

Established in 1940 with just 10 beds, Homestead Hospital is now a full-service, 142-bed facility. To help promote healthier lifestyles, the hospital created a three-acre organic garden on an adjacent vacant plot. With the potential to grow 30,000 pounds of produce a year, Grow2Heal community garden provides fresh, nutritious food to area residents and healthy food that can be served to hospital patients, visitors, and staff.  The garden is also used as a site for educational programs, including school fieldtrips, health fairs, cooking demonstrations, wellness workshops, and support groups. Future plans include the development of an on-site greenhouse, farmers market, and handicap-accessible “healing trail” lined with scented fruits and flowers.

Health Foundation South Florida

Health Foundation South Florida aims to improve the health of all South Floridians. Since its establishment in 1993, the foundation has awarded more than $120 million in grants. To help address the social determinants of health, the foundation catalyzed a special Community Building and Economic Prosperity Initiative that is encouraging area anchor institutions to support community wealth building by creating new vehicles for community engagement, supporting local businesses, developing quality educational and health services, adopting mechanisms for local hiring and contracting, and boosting community economic development through direct capital investment.

Yale New Haven Health

Founded in 1862 with just 13 beds, Yale New Haven Health has grown into a 1,541-bed nonprofit teaching hospital with more than 12,000 employees, making it the second largest employer in New Haven.  Committed to diversity and inclusion, the hospital has a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion team focused on promoting and supporting diversity within the hospital’s workforce, patient and community work, and supply chains. Read more about Yale New Haven Health...