The Role of Anchor Institutions in Restoring Neighborhoods: Health Institutions as a Catalyst for Affordable Housing and Community Development

Janet Viveiros and Lisa Sturtevant
National Housing Conference

While the bio-medical definition of health focuses on the absence of disease, when asked what makes them feel healthy, communities often identify many other factors ranging from financial security to nourishing relationships. This new report from the Creating Health Collaborative, a national community of practitioners, puts forth principles for “creating health beyond healthcare” and identifies key drivers shifting the field. Notable principles include embracing complexity, measuring what matters, acknowledging power imbalances, and sustainability. The report is drawn from the Creating Health Collaborative’s July 2015 convening:

Field Guide: The Future of Health is Local

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

This field guide, produced by The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, connects the dots between the social determinants of health and the framework of strategies that both BALLE and MIT's Presencing Institute have identified as the path forward in building thriving local economies:

How Hospitals Can Help Heal Communities

Ted Howard and Tyler Norris
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

In this article for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's blog, Democracy Collaborative President Ted Howard and Kaiser Permanente Vice President for Total Health Partnerships Tyler Norris discuss the immense potential of hospitals to build wealth in their surrounding communities. In the article, Howard and Norris delve into issues addressed in their co-authored report, Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities?. The Build Health Places Network also featured the article on their blog.

Growing Healthcare’s Anchor Mission

Public Health Institute web forum focuses on ways that hospitals and health systems can—and must—leverage their business practices to improve community health
University Hospitals, Cleveland OH

18% of U.S. GDP is dedicated to healthcare. To some, this statistic might make the idea of healthcare transformation a daunting prospect, but to Tyler Norris, Vice President of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente, it is an opportunity: “18% of our GDP can become part of driving the economic, social, and environmental drivers of health,” Norris explained excitedly on a recent Dialouge4Health web forum hosted by the Public Health Institute. Read more about Growing Healthcare’s Anchor Mission ...

Making the Case for Linking Community Development and Health

Edmonds et al

This report, published in partnership by the Center on Social Disparities in Health, the Build Healthy Places Network, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a "resource for those working to improve low-income communities and the lives of the people living in them." Despite growing recognition that social and economic conditions are the primary drivers of health, the fields of community development and public health remain siloed. This new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Build Healthy Places Network outlines specific opportunities to integrate the two fields and overcome barriers to collaboration. It also includes recommendations on how to measure the impact of cross-sector collaborations and refine programs accordingly.  

Stepping Up to Make a Difference: The Vital Role of Anchor Institutions in Community Health Improvement

January 27th, 2016

Ensuring lasting community health and equity calls for innovation, collaboration and a multifaceted approach that addresses underlying determinants of health, including economic conditions. From hospitals and health systems to universities, ‘anchor institutions’ are organizations with deep roots and longevity as major employers in their communities. This Web Forum will feature a keynote presentation by leadership from University Hospitals Cleveland and a moderated panel discussion by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with insights about the benefits they see in this approach. Read more about Stepping Up to Make a Difference: The Vital Role of Anchor Institutions in Community Health Improvement...

Hospitals adopt anchor institution economic development strategies

Betsy Taylor
Catholic Health World

David Zuckerman, the Democracy Collaborative's Healthcare Engagement Manager, speaks with Catholic Health World about how and why hospitals and health systems are devising anchor institution strategies to strengthen local economies. 

Community Health Network

Based in Indianapolis, Community Health Network (Community) is a nonprofit healthcare system with 200 sites across central Indiana.  Since beginning to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments in the 1990s, Community has recognized the importance of addressing social and economic factors that impact health. One initiative is Project Search/Indiana, a high school transition program for students with disabilities that provides participants with worksite-based training.  Initiated in 2006 with an investment of $92,000, Community also supported an Individual Development Account program designed to help area residents build assets through matched savings.  To promote nutrition, Community sponsors farmers’ markets in neighborhoods and within its hospitals, helped develop the Community Heights garden where it maintains a medicinal herb garden, and provided technical assistance to the Indy Food Co-op, which opened the city’s first community-owned grocery store, Pogues Run Grocer, in a food desert at the end of 2010.

Improving Community Health through Hospital – Public Health Collaboration: Insights and Lessons Learned from Successful Partnerships

Lawrence Prybil et al.

A new IRS requirement that tax-exempt hospitals conduct community health needs assessments encourages hospitals to work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders. The authors of a recent report, published by the Commonwealth Center for Governance Studies, Inc., argue that this federal mandate presents an opportunity to improve community health and reduce health care expenditures. The report offers several case studies of effective and sustainable partnerships in California, Minnesota, Maryland, Florida, and elsewhere throughout the country. 

Eds, Meds, and the Feds How the Federal Government Can Foster the Role of Anchor Institutions in Community Revitalization

Tracey Ross
Recognizing that anchor institutions are the largest employers in 66 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, mayors across the nation are working with universities and nonprofit hospitals to foster economic growth in disinvested communities. In this new report from the Center for American Progress, author Tracey Ross explores how federal officials can further enhance the role of such anchor institutions in promoting community economic development. She recommends the use of a framework based on The Democracy Collaborative’s Anchor Dashboard to hold anchor institutions accountable and to help illustrate to Congress and other stakeholders the extent of their impact in communities.

Fostering the Power of Universities and Hospitals for Community Change

New federal policy strategies can help cities leverage the economic might of their anchor institutions to benefit communities

Crossposted from blog - a project of the Half in Ten Education Fund, a project of the Center for American Progress.

Communities across the country are recognizing the tremendous resources nonprofit anchor institutions—such as hospitals and universities—can provide as engines of inclusive and equitable economic development. Increasingly, cities—often led by Mayors—are launching comprehensive strategies to leverage these institutions to address challenging problems of unemployment, poverty, and disinvestment. In 2014, several cities, including Chicago, Baltimore and New Orleans, have launched community building and job creation strategies that revolve around anchor institutions; and in Cleveland, a decade old collaboration of philanthropy, anchor institutions, and the municipal government continues to rebuild economies in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.

Case Study: Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH)

David Zuckerman
Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission

Despite Cleveland Clinic’s global presence, the vast majority of the system’s operations are based in Ohio, where the system is the largest employer in the northeast part of the state and second largest in the state. Cleveland Clinic’s main campus alone employs more than 26,000 people, has revenues of nearly $4 billion, and procures more than $1.5 billion in goods and services annually. In recent years, it has adopted a variety of anchor strategies, including shifting a percentage of procurement locally and to minority-owned businesses, participating as an anchor partner in a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization effort, implementing childhood wellness programming in local school districts, and positioning itself as a leader in sustainability.

Case Study: University Hospitals (Cleveland, OH)

David Zuckerman
Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission

University Hospitals System comprises the 1032-bed, former academic medical center of Case Western Reserve University, and six community hospitals across Northeast Ohio. The system employs more than 24,000 people and generates revenues in excess of $2 billion annually. A key initiative has been University Hospital’s Vision 2010 project, a $1.2 billion, five-year strategic growth plan that started in 2006. As part of Vision 2010, University Hospitals set separate goals to procure from local, minority- and women- owned businesses, and actively aimed to create new supplier capacity within the city. It also hired a third party to hold it accountable, voluntarily entered into a unique Project Labor Agreement, and has now started to apply this vision to its entire supply chain purchasing. Further still, University Hospitals is involved in other job creation and wealth building initiatives in the community.

Case Study: Henry Ford Health System (Detroit, MI)

David Zuckerman
Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission
Anchored by the 802-bed Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Henry Ford Health System has revenues of more than $4.2 billion, employs more than 10,000 people within the city and procures more than $650 million from its Detroit institutions. Henry Ford actively recognizes its position as an anchor institution, working with many partners to increase its impact in the community. Through a multi-institution partnership, Henry Ford has coordinated with Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University to help revitalize Midtown Detroit by encouraging their employees to live, work, and invest in the same community. It has also helped found a local business incubator at Wayne State, set active goals to procure from local and diverse suppliers, and used its purchasing power to persuade suppliers to relocate to Detroit. Further still, Henry Ford has helped finance education partnerships for high-risk youth, is focused on acquiring and rehabilitating reclaimed properties, and has helped push local infrastructure improvements.

Greening Healthcare: How Hospitals Can Heal the Planet

Kathy Gerwig
Oxford University Press

Authored by Kaiser Permanente’s Environmental Stewardship Officer Kathy Gerwig, this new book provides a roadmap for healthcare institutions aiming to help build healthy and sustainable communities. Gerwig’s case studies of current hospital best practices identify environmentally preferable purchasing policies, investments in local food systems, and other green strategies that provide powerful examples of how healthcare institutions can meet existing community benefit requirements and reduce health disparities, thereby improving health outcomes while building wealth in low- to moderate- income communities. 

Community Wealth Building Conference

September 27th, 2014
Aurora, Colorado

Breakout session topics fall under the following themes:   Read more about Community Wealth Building Conference...

2014 South Carolina Community Economic Development Conference

August 21st, 2014
Charleston, South Carolina

Research Associate David Zuckerman will present findings from the report Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Investing Outside Institutional WallsRead more about 2014 South Carolina Community Economic Development Conference...

Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Investing Outside Institutional Walls

David Zuckerman
Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence

Democracy Collaborative Research Associate David Zuckerman participated in an American Hospital Association-sponsored webinar through its Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence platform.The presentation featured practitioners from Bon Secours Health System, University Hospitals in Cleveland, and Catholic Health East/Trinity Health discussing opportunities for hospitals to promote health through economic development and community investment.