On February 28, 2019, the Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) convened its members in Washington, D.C. for "Housing for Health" Policy Day, an inaugural event on Capitol Hill which saw Congressional and Administration staff, national healthcare associations, housing advocacy groups, and philanthropy organizations attend a federal policy briefing about the impact of economic determinants on health and the universal need for stable, affordable, and healthy housing. 17 HAN member health systems attended the event, and 21 health systems signed onto a Principles for Healthy and Affordable Housing document that was shared with Congressional members. Together, these health systems represent more than 500 hospitals in 37 states.
HAN members spoke powerfully about the connection between housing and health outcomes. Dr. Samuel Ross, Chief Community Health Officer with Bon Secours Mercy Health; Dr. Thea James, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Mission, and Director of the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program with Boston Medical Center; and Dr. Bechara Choucair, SVP and Chief Community Health Officer with Kaiser Permanente presented on the work their health systems are leading to invest in housing in the communities they serve and the need for further funding of affordable housing programs.
Two Congressional members spoke about the need for affordable housing: Rep. Jim McGovern, Chair, Rules Committee and Co-Chair, House Hunger Caucus, and Rep. Katie Hill, Co-Chair, New Democrat Coalition’s Housing Task Force.
Here are some highlights about Policy Day from Twitter.
Read the Healthcare Anchor Network's "Principles for Healthy and Affordable Housing" document.
Read about how HAN members are investing in affordable housing.
Geisinger, a member of the Healthcare Anchor Network, will provide a $300,000 forgivable, interest-free loan to fund fully the start of a new groundbreaking high-speed broadband internet access project which is expected to serve about 90 percent of Montour County, Pennsylvania's population. The funding will build the infrastructure for internet service in the area:
"This week, Geisinger and Driving Real Innovation for a Vibrant Economy — DRIVE, the economic development entity for Montour and Columbia counties — announced a partnership to put broadband into 90 percent of homes in the county and neighboring areas.
“This has never been done before around here,” DRIVE executive director Jennifer Wakeman said. “I am over the moon about this. It’s very exciting. This is as important as water and sewer and good electrical services when companies look to come here.”
“Geisinger has actively supported the communities we serve since our founding with both health care services and broader programs,” said Timothy Fitzgerald, vice president of treasury and financial systems for Geisinger. “We know that healthy economies support healthier communities and this project does just that. Among other benefits, it will allow providers and patients to better connect remotely to health services and address many social determinants of health.”
Read the article now.
Kaiser Permanente's Bernard Tyson: "Housing security is a crucial health issue for vulnerable populations."
Healthcare Anchor Network member Kaiser Permanente's chairman and chief executive Bernard Tyson, along with other Kaiser Permanente leaders and joined by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, announced three major initiatives to improve health outcomes by creating safe, stable, and affordable housing in Oakland and across the country, explaining that "access to affordable housing is a key component to Kaiser Permanente's mission to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve and to advance the economic, social and environmental conditions for health."
In addition, Kaiser Permanente is a member the Partnership for the Bay's Future, a new group that is creating two funds and will be committing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the availability of affordable housing in the Bay Area.
Read more about these exciting initiatives: CNBC | Fast Company
An article in Shelterforce article details how Healthcare Anchor Network member Dignity Health (now CommonSpirit Health – a merger between Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives completed on January 31, 2019) stepped in to fund a stalled affordable housing project in San Bernardino’s core neighborhoods. This is a part of Dignity's participation in the Accelerating Investments for Healthy Communities initiative, for which it worked to design interventions to improve the community investment system. Dignity Health committed a $1.2 million bridge loan to help fill the affordable housing project's funding gap—and helped spur further support from other community stakeholders.
According to Pablo Bravo Vial, vice president of community health at Dignity Health, “As a large employer and anchor, we understand that investing in projects like Arrowhead Grove can help bring stability to San Bernardino neighborhoods and transform lives.”
Read the Shelterforce article now.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) News covered how medical schools and teaching hospitals are increasingly collaborating with local communities to improve health by dealing with economic barriers. HAN and HAN members Rush University Medical Center, University Hospitals and Evergreen Cooperatives (formed by University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland Foundation) were highlighted.
"Rush is among a growing number of academic medical leaders that are taking a broader approach to improving health. These institutions are training residents of nearby communities, investing in local businesses, improving housing stock, and more. Additionally, in 2017, several academic systems joined with other health care leaders to help launch the Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN), a group of more than 40 health systems working together on anchoring efforts that is supported by the Democracy Collaborative."
Read the article now.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is an anchor institution member of the just-launched Philadelphia Anchors for Growth & Equity (PAGE)
PAGE is a recently-launched partnership between the Economy League, the City of Philadelphia, Healthcare Anchor Network member Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and more than a dozen Philadelphia-area institutions. PAGE looks to "increase local purchasing by large institutional buyers to grow Philadelphia businesses, strengthen the local economy, create jobs, and build wealth."
PAGE points out that the 34 universities and hospitals located in Philadelphia together spend $5.3 billion on goods and services every year, with nearly half of these dollars spent outside of the city and an estimated $530 million of anchor dollars that can be aligned with local market supply. Capturing just 25% of this half-billion dollar opportunity would translate into 1,250 new manufacturing jobs and 4,000 indirect jobs in Philadelphia.
Read more: Philly.com | Nonprofit Quarterly | Philadelphia Tribune
ProMedica's "Market on the Green," a full-service grocery store, offers fresh and affordable healthy food choices in a designated food desert
The Opportunity Atlas, a new data tool, allows us to answer the question: Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty? The big news is that the data found no association between job growth and economic mobility for poor residents. What ended up happening when there were hiring booms is that disadvantaged local residents were bypassed.
Baltimore's “Old Town” neighborhood near Johns Hopkins Hospital is an example of the myth of job growth curing poverty: "Connecting its residents with employers has proved problematic, as it has in poor communities across the country. The disparity between residents and workers in the neighborhood suggests that the jobs have gone to people who either live in other, more prosperous neighborhoods or who commute from the surrounding suburbs."
Healthcare Anchor Network members are utilizing targeted inclusion strategies for local hiring and purchasing, and place-based investing, to support local economic ecosystems and help generate community wealth.
Read the article now.
In a new article published in The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly, David Zuckerman and Bich Ha Pham of The Democracy Collaborative discuss the smart, bold leadership that Healthcare Anchor Network members are engaged in with their anchor mission work. The Democracy Collaborative urges other health systems from across the country to join the effort to do forward-thinking work in order to address the systemic nature of economic inequities and their impact on health and well-being.
Read TDC's article in The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly now