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Anchor Institutions

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.  

Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis

Jessica Bonanno, Steve Dubb, and Ted Howard

Our newest report, Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis, prepared in partnership with New Orleans based DMM & Associates on behalf of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), outlines procurement practices and supply chain needs of New Orleans healthcare institutions and the capacity local business to fulfill those needs. The report provides recommendations on how to leverage New Orleans’ hospitals’ $1.5 billion in procurement spending to promote greater local procurement and economic inclusion in a city where only 48 percent of African American adult males are in the formal labor force. This report is based on interviews with nearly  50 representatives from area hospitals, additional anchor buyers, technical assistance organizations, small businesses, and other public stakeholders.

The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs

Steve Dubb, Sarah McKinley and Ted Howard

This study seeks to introduce a framework that can assist anchor institutions in understanding their impact on the community and, in particular, their impact on the welfare of low-income children and families in those communities.

Download the report and learn more about our work to help anchors measure their impact on community wealth.

 

The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth

Farzana Serang, J. Phillip Thompson and Ted Howard

This report from The Democracy Collaborative and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT focuses on the path-breaking Vision 2010 Program implemented in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio by University Hospitals System. Over a five year period, the initiative targeted more than $1 billion of procurement locally to create jobs, empower minority- and female-owned businesses, and create a “new normal” for responsible, community-focused business practices in the region.

Harvard School of Public Health Highlights UMass Memorial's Anchor Journey

Hospitals and health systems, particularly nonprofit ones, are challenged with providing top healthcare in ever changing and challenging financial, regulatory, and service environments. They manage thousands of staff and provide care to nearly every American at some point in their lives. Read more about Harvard School of Public Health Highlights UMass Memorial's Anchor Journey...

Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges With Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions

Justine Porter, Danny Fisher-Bruns and Bich Ha Pham

The Democracy Collaborative’s new report Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges with Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions discusses the role of anchor institutions and collaboratives in leveraging the power of their economic assets to address social and economic disparities and to revitalize local communities.

The report focuses on the work of anchor institutions and partner organizations that have joined to form place-based networks, or anchor collaboratives, to develop, implement, and support shared goals and initiatives that advance equitable and inclusive economic development strategies. Anchor mission work is not easy, but our hope is that this state of the field report will provide information and assistance to groups wanting to do anchor mission work or to create anchor collaboratives.

Putting Health Care Dollars to Work

Amanda Abrams
Shelterforce

When health care systems invest in the provision of social determinants of health, including affordable housing and walkable neighborhoods, they produce long-term returns by way of better health and lower health care costs. The Democracy Collaborative's Healthcare Anchor Network aims to help healthcare groups understand how best to use their assets at the benefit of the community. 

How to finance our future

Lavinia Steinfort
Red Pepper

Wealth can be built from the ground up by restructuring the way that institutions and the people relate to one another. 

The anchor institution strategy, developed by the US-based Democracy Collaborative, creatively expands the potential of procurement through working with anchor institutions, such as hospitals and universities, to maximise their social contribution through spending, employing and investing locally. This strategy captures, circulates and builds community wealth. In the US City of Cleveland, it has resulted in the successful Evergreen Cooperative network and the strategy was also picked up by Preston in the UK.

Grit City Greens? Lincoln Park project could spark economic boost

Dan Voelpel
South Sound Business

Tacoma is looking to model a community wealth and development program after the greenhouse built in Cleveland through Green City Growers. 

“Plain and simple, it works,” Ted Howard, a Clevelander, told Tacoma’s anchor institution representatives last September. Howard now serves as president and co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative, which provides research, support, and evangelism around this idea of institutions pooling their power for their communities.

Health Anchor Institutions Investing in Community Land and Housing

Bich Ha Pham and Jarrid Green
Build Healthy Places Network

Many anchor institutions are also major landowners in their communities, and many are already engaged in housing programs such as employer-assisted housing. Anchor institutions can and should employ CLTs to maximize the impact of their long-term investments in housing for their workforce, and utilize and support CLTs to help build more inclusive communities around their institutions more generally. 

January 2019 Anchor Collaborative Convening

From January 16th to 18th, 2019 the second Anchor Collaborative Convening brought together 55 leaders and champions of anchor collaboratives from 25 communities across the US and Canada. The Democracy Collaborative would like to extend our immense gratitude to New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and to all of our participants who brought thoughtful, fun and creative energy throughout.

Memphis Medical District Collaborative: Catalyzing Change on a Community Level

Danny Fisher-Bruns and Nidia Logan-Robinson

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative is a community development organization working with partners to strengthen the communities in the Memphis Medical District.

Between July and September 2018, The Democracy Collaborative and Innovate Memphis conducted a review of MMDC’s work during its first two years of operation. This research process was composed of a review of baseline anchor data, stakeholder surveys, and current program data; stakeholder interviews with over 30 partners, anchor staff, board members, and funders; and facilitated work sessions with MMDC staff and board members.

The resulting case study summarizes themes from this review process, with the goal of painting an accurate picture of the scope of work currently undertaken by MMDC and its partners, and representing common themes articulated by key stakeholder groups. Document review and interview themes are supplemented by Innovate Memphis’ local context knowledge of Memphis’s economic development ecosystem and TDC’s national perspective on the field of anchor collaboratives and community wealth building.

Health Anchor Institutions investing to support community control of land and housing

Bich Ha Pham and Jarrid Green
Build Healthy Places Network

Many anchor institutions are also major landowners in their communities, and many are already engaged in housing programs such as employer-assisted housing. Anchor institutions can and should employ CLTs to maximize the impact of their long-term investments in housing for their workforce, and utilize and support CLTs to help build more inclusive communities around their institutions more generally. 

Anchoring Hospitals In The Community

Laurie Larson
Trustee Magazine

Laurie Larson writes the article Trusteee Magazine "Anchoring hospitals in the community." In this article, Larson covers the Healthcare Anchor Network, a project of the Democracy Collaborative: 

Theirs is just one example of the work emerging from the Healthcare Anchor Network, a blooming consortium of nearly three dozen health systems launched in May 2017. The network's overarching goal is to “reach a critical mass of U.S. health systems [that are] strategically improving community health and well-being by leveraging all of their institutional assets, including intentionally integrating local economic inclusion strategies in hiring, purchasing and investing.”

HAN is the brainchild of the Democracy Collaborative, an economic development agency in Cleveland, which was launched as a “democratic renewal” research center at the University of Maryland in 2000. The collaborative has since moved well beyond its research roots, offering field activities to expand community wealth-building, hosting nationwide roundtables to discuss transformative economic development solutions, and advising local governments, foundations and anchor institutions such as health systems on new strategies for addressing the root causes of socio-economic inequity in their communities.

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