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David Zuckerman

Manager, Healthcare Engagement

David Zuckerman joined The Democracy Collaborative team in 2012 and serves as Manager for Healthcare Engagement for the organization’s Anchor Institution Initiative. David is the author of Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission and a contributor to Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities: "All in for Mission” is the Emerging Model for Impact. His work focuses on inclusive and equitable economic development strategies that build wealth in low-income communities, with specific attention on how hospitals and health systems can deploy the business side of their institutions to support community health improvement and strengthen their local economies. 

David has also assisted with multiple feasibility studies of anchor-led economic development projects. He is co-author of Building Community Wealth: An Action Plan for Northwest Jacksonville.

He currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Representatives for the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op. He received both his Master of Public Policy and B.A. degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Selected Publications: 

Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Inclusive, Local Hiring

David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

Every day, we learn more about how patients’ health outcomes are tied not only to the healthcare they receive but also to the conditions in the communities where they live. Social and economic inequities, amplified by race, often emerge as the leading factors explaining differences in health outcomes and life expectancies.

Through local and inclusive hiring, health systems can invest in an ecosystem of success that lifts up local residents; helps create career pathways for low-income, minority, and hard-to-employ populations; and begins to transform neighborhoods. In the process, health systems can develop a more efficient workforce pipeline, meet sustainability and inclusion goals, and ultimately improve the health of their communities. Establishing a local and inclusive hiring strategy is an important first step towards rethinking your health system’s role in the community. This toolkit can help you get started.

Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission

David Zuckerman, with contributions from Holly Jo Sparks, Steve Dubb, and Ted Howard

The Democracy Collaborative’s latest report, Hospitals Building Healthier Communities, provides an in-depth look at six hospitals in five cities that are rethinking their economic and community engagement strategies. These hospitals have recognized that health is more than just treating the patients that come through their doors and are beginning to adopt an “anchor institution mission” that can help build not only more prosperous, but also healthier communities.

Going outside the hospital walls to improve health

Gar Alperovitz and David Zuckerman
Baltimore Sun

Study after study demonstrates that poverty is a powerful driver of poor health. Many of America's leading hospitals exist in poor communities. Could these powerful institutions (in economic as well as medical terms) help overcome the deeper sources of failing health among the 46 million Americans living in poverty?

A little-known provision of Obamacare provides an unexpected opening.

Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities?

Ted Howard and Tyler Norris

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.  

Recent blog posts:
  • Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healthcare

    Inaugural convening brought together health system leaders dedicated to reimagining role of healthcare

    This past December, the Democracy Collaborative joined eight sponsor health systems and organizations to host Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healthcare, a two day convening of over 80 health system leaders and key stakeholders, representing 40 health systems from across the U.S. Read more about Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healthcare...

  • Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Inclusive, Local Hiring

    David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

    Every day, we learn more about how patients’ health outcomes are tied not only to the healthcare they receive but also to the conditions in the communities where they live. Social and economic inequities, amplified by race, often emerge as the leading factors explaining differences in health outcomes and life expectancies.

    Through local and inclusive hiring, health systems can invest in an ecosystem of success that lifts up local residents; helps create career pathways for low-income, minority, and hard-to-employ populations; and begins to transform neighborhoods. In the process, health systems can develop a more efficient workforce pipeline, meet sustainability and inclusion goals, and ultimately improve the health of their communities. Establishing a local and inclusive hiring strategy is an important first step towards rethinking your health system’s role in the community. This toolkit can help you get started.

  • New initiative provides tools for health systems to re-invest in impoverished communities

    Steven Ross Johnson
    Modern Healthcare

    The Democracy Collaborative's initiative to align hospitals in an effort to improve community health by increasing local hiring practices is taking root in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as the city engages with a team of large healthcare institutions committed to promoting and utilizing the strategies in the toolkits released as part of the initiative:

  • Inclusive, Local Hiring: Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities

    Every day, we learn more about how patients’ health outcomes are tied not only to the healthcare they receive but also to the conditions in the communities where they live. Social and economic inequities, amplified by race, often emerge as the leading factors explaining differences in health outcomes and life expectancies.

    Through local and inclusive hiring, health systems can invest in an ecosystem of success that lifts up local residents; helps create career pathways for low-income, minority, and hard-to-employ populations; and begins to transform neighborhoods. In the process, health systems can develop a more efficient workforce pipeline, meet sustainability and inclusion goals, and ultimately improve the health of their communities. Establishing a local and inclusive hiring strategy is an important first step towards rethinking your health system’s role in the community. Our new toolkit, the first in our new Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities series, can help you get started.

    Read more about Inclusive, Local Hiring: Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities ...

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