David Zuckerman joined The Democracy Collaborative team in 2012 and serves as Director for Healthcare Engagement. David leads the coordination of the Healthcare Anchor Network—a health system-led collaboration focused on improving community health and well-being by building inclusive and sustainable local economies. The Network includes more than 40 health systems to date.
David is the co-author of the Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities toolkit series. 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 is also the author of Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission and a contributor to Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities. He is the lead author of a National Academy of Medicine discussion paper, Building a Culture of Health at the Federal Level. He serves as Treasurer on the Board of Trustees for the Consumer Health Foundation.
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.
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.
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.
This report, prepared by the Democracy Collaborative and submitted to the City of Jacksonville, Florida, highlights key strategic opportunities to leverage existing assets to build wealth in a neighborhood facing concentrated poverty and disinvestment.
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.
Duluth’s Hillside neighborhoods face some of the worst health outcomes in the city — and the medical district aims to change thatDuluth News Tribune
The developing medical district is located in an area that struggles the most with health in Duluth. David Zuckerman, director of healthcare engagement for the Democracy Collaborative, studies how major entities, like hospitals, impact their nearby communities. The most effective way for hospitals to positively change their neighborhoods is by purchasing from local businesses owned by women or people of color; establishing hiring pipelines in the community; and investing in ventures or portfolios that then invest back into the communities, he said.
- Model D
With its recent commitment to join the Healthcare Anchor Network’s 2020 Leadership Agenda, Henry Ford Health System is “doubling down” and broadening its efforts to address economic and social conditions that can result in poor health outcomes. The agreement “is a journey, a step forward to help healthcare systems. We want healthcare systems to be constructive partners,” says David Zuckerman, director for healthcare engagement with The Democracy Collaborative who leads the coordination of Healthcare Anchor Network.
- The New York Times
In The New York Times, an in-depth profile of the Healthcare Anchor Network, highlighting how the Democracy Collaborative's work to help start the Evergreen Cooperatives led to a gamechanging collaboration between 45 leading hospitals and health systems to build community wealth.
- Commercial Observer
At a Washington, D.C., housing conference on Wednesday, representatives of several major corporations and nonprofits each spoke to a growing recognition of workforce housing supply as a critical issue, even for companies in unrelated fields like tech and health care. [...] Given that tech companies’ growth has helped create some of the country’s most acute affordable-housing crises in places like Silicon Valley and Seattle, addressing the problem is of obvious relevance for players like Google. But the issue falls just as squarely on the shoulders of health care networks, said David Zuckerman, an engagement director at Democracy Collaborative. That’s because in many cities and regions, hospital groups are the single largest local employer.
- Grantmakers in Health
Health care institutions, as anchors in their communities, have the opportunity to meaningfully invest in their communities. Local investments have the potential to help in the creation of a new, democratic economy.