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Anchor Institutions

Engaging with eds, meds, and other anchor institutions to help them help communities.

Anchor institutions are enterprises such as universities and hospitals that are rooted in their local communities by mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers, employees, and vendors. As place-based entities that control vast economic, human, intellectual, and institutional resources, anchor institutions have the potential to bring crucial, and measurable, benefits to local children, families, and communities. All told, U.S. hospitals and universities combined spend over $1 trillion a year, have endowments in excess of $500 billion, and employ 8 percent of our labor force. Increasingly, anchor institutions across the nation are embracing the responsibility their economic impact entails and are expanding their public or nonprofit mission to incorporate what we call an “anchor mission”—consciously applying their long-term, place-based economic power, in combination with their human and intellectual resources, to better the long-term welfare of the communities in which they reside.

Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Investing Outside Institutional Walls

This webinar, organized by the Association for Community Health Improvement and the American Hospital Association, outlined opportunities for hospitals to promote health through economic development and community investment. The discussion used the findings of The Anchor Dashboard as a starting point to show how hospitals can broaden their impact on their surrounding communities.

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