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Katie Parker

Senior Research Associate

Katie Parker joined The Democracy Collaborative in 2014 and works as a Senior Research Associate. Her work focuses on advancing strategies that build community wealth and democratize ownership and control. A primary area of focus has been on how anchor institutions can leverage their business practices, such as procurement, hiring and investment, to support inclusive economic development. She is co-author of the Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities toolkit series, and has provided facilitation and content support to The Democracy Collaborative's healthcare and higher education anchor networks. Her current body of work is focused on regional economic development. Katie is editor of the newsletter and coordinates The Democracy Collaborative's internship program. 

Katie has a B.A. in environmental studies from Brown University, where she focused on the political economy of food systems and natural-resource based industries. Prior to moving to DC, she worked for a community-based conservation non-profit in the Swan Valley of Montana. She has a background in local food procurement, working as the purchasing coordinator of the Brown Market Shares Program in Providence, Rhode Island. 

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.

Recent blog posts: