Overview and History
In December 2016, leaders from 40 health systems across the U.S. gathered in Washington, DC to explore how their systems could more fully harness their economic power to inclusively and sustainably benefit the long-term health and well-being of the communities they serve. This convening led to the launch of the Healthcare Anchor Network in May 2017, representing a critical milestone in mobilizing the healthcare sector towards action and collaboration.
The Healthcare Anchor Network helps participants to more rapidly and effectively advance an anchor mission approach within their health institutions, the communities they serve, and across the healthcare sector.
The long-term goal of the Network is to reach a critical mass of U.S.-based health systems working to strategically improve community health and well-being by leveraging institutional assets, including intentionally integrating local economic inclusion strategies in areas such as hiring, purchasing, and investing, to powerfully impact the upstream determinants of health and help build inclusive and sustainable local economies.
The Network is supported through a backbone organization (The Democracy Collaborative, with support from CoCreative Consulting). Founding members of the Healthcare Anchor Network include Advocate Health Care, Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health, Henry Ford Health System, Kaiser Permanente, ProMedica, Providence St. Joseph Health, Rush University Medical Center, RWJBarnabas Health, Trinity Health, and UMass Memorial Health Care. Today, more than 30 hospitals and health systems are Network members.
Activities of the Network
The Healthcare Anchor Network convenes health systems in order to share best practices for advancing an anchor mission approach within their health institutions, address common challenges, co-develop new tools, and identify areas where collaborative efforts may be possible.
Network members have identified priority areas for the work they will advance together, with initial initiatives groups focused around:
- Defining the organizational imperative for adopting an Anchor Mission;
- Effective collaboration with community stakeholders in implementing anchor strategies;
- Building evidence of the impact of these strategies;
- Developing a shared policy and advocacy agenda around addressing upstream determinants of health; and,
- Implementing anchor strategies around inclusive, local hiring and internal workforce development; place-based investing; and inclusive, local purchasing.
Network members advance their work and shared learning through monthly peer-to-peer initiative workgroups, two in-person convenings annually, and deep-dive webinars on topics determined by members. Through the Network’s structured learning opportunities, members can share their experiences candidly with a group of like-minded peers and learn about challenges, innovations, and best practices from peer institutions.
Membership in the Healthcare Anchor Network is open to representatives of all health systems that can bring their energy, insight, and innovation to the collective work. We hope you and your hospital or health system will join us in advancing the Anchor Mission of healthcare — and, in the process, meaningfully improving community health and well-being outcomes for those we serve and across our nation.
For further information on joining the Healthcare Anchor Network, please let us know a little about you and your institution here or just reach out directly to Dave Zuckerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.