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Anchor Institutions

Fostering the Power of Universities and Hospitals for Community Change

New federal policy strategies can help cities leverage the economic might of their anchor institutions to benefit communities

Crossposted from Talkpoverty.org blog - a project of the Half in Ten Education Fund, a project of the Center for American Progress.

Communities across the country are recognizing the tremendous resources nonprofit anchor institutions—such as hospitals and universities—can provide as engines of inclusive and equitable economic development. Increasingly, cities—often led by Mayors—are launching comprehensive strategies to leverage these institutions to address challenging problems of unemployment, poverty, and disinvestment. In 2014, several cities, including Chicago, Baltimore and New Orleans, have launched community building and job creation strategies that revolve around anchor institutions; and in Cleveland, a decade old collaboration of philanthropy, anchor institutions, and the municipal government continues to rebuild economies in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.

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. [...]

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