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Anchor Institutions

Place Matters: Partnerships between Higher Education and the Local Communities

September 12th, 2014
Reading, PA

Rresearch Director Steve Dubb, co-author of A Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads, will provide the keynote address.

This one-day conference is being sponsored by Albright, PA Campus Compact, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Read more about Place Matters: Partnerships between Higher Education and the Local Communities...

Case Study: Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN)

David Zuckerman
Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission

Representing the center of a $8.5 billion health system, Mayo Clinic’s hospital operations in Rochester employ more than 33,500 people and maintain 1,132 beds. Mayo operations here also procure more than $1 billion in goods and services annually, profoundly impacting the economies of the state’s third largest city and the greater region of southeast Minnesota. Recently assuming a larger role in spurring local revitalization of the surrounding region and Downtown Rochester, Mayo has begun to consciously target local and diverse suppliers in the area. It also served as the principal funder for First Homes, a community land trust that has to date developed 875 units of affordable housing available to all community residents.

Case Study: Bon Secours Health System (Baltimore, MD)

David Zuckerman
Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission

A 125-bed facility with more than 950 employees, Bon Secours Baltimore is the flagship of the nine-hospital Bon Secours Health System, a $3.3 billion not-for-profit Catholic health system stretching from New York to Florida. As Southwest Baltimore’s primary anchor institution, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System has adopted an approach to community and economic development since the 1990s that focuses on revitalizing neighborhoods and rehabilitating housing, providing family and women’s services, offering youth employment and workforce development, and expanding financial services. As a result, Bon Secours’ larger system has since institutionalized these practices through its Healthy Communities initiative, which is modeled on Baltimore’s approach and requires each system hospital to develop community-specific initiatives that reflect the social determinants of health. Bon Secours Baltimore has also refocused efforts to increase local purchasing from minority- and women-owned suppliers.

A Guide for Your Local Eds and Meds to Become Better Neighbors

Bill Bradley
Next City

Hospitals and universities hold a lot of sway in communities.They spend more than $1 trillion a year and employ 8 percent of the country’s labor force. But sometimes the success of so-called “eds and meds” can have an undesired effect: Gentrification and subsequent displacement.

The Anchor Dashboard — a new 40-page paper and not, sadly, an interactive dashboard with fun renderings — is trying to change that. Courtesy of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, the paper identifies 12 areas where anchor institutions can be more effective at the neighborhood level, from business incubation to local hiring.

“If you don’t do this work right, it can lead to the kind of gentrification that can blow a community apart,” said Ted Howard, executive director of the Democracy Collaborative. [...]

Report Proposes Ways to Measure Colleges’ Impact on Communities

Andy Thomason
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Universities need better ways to measure their impact on surrounding communities, according to a new report.

“The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs,” released on Tuesday by the Democracy Collaborative, a research center at the University of Maryland at College Park, seeks to provide the basis for such a methodology in the form of a broad set of goals for communities and indicators of progress toward those goals.

The report’s “dashboard” consists of 12 desired societal outcomes that “anchor” institutions like universities can work toward­, including affordable housing, educated young people, and a healthy environment. The report also offers specific ways to measure the progress being made toward each goal. For example, the amount of money an anchor institution spends on helping local residents file their income taxes can serve as an indicator for the goal of financially secure households. [...]


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