LEARNING AREA: Health Equity
Annotation 2019-09-10 165112.jpg

Improving Community Health by Strengthening Community Investment: Roles for Hospitals and Health Systems


Robin Hacke, Executive Director, Center for Community Investment; Katie Grace Deane, Assistant Director, Initiative for Responsible Investment; Preface by Donald Schwarz, MD, MPH, MBA, Vice President, Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation




This paper is the result of interviews with a dozen such institutions, as well as a literature review that looked more broadly at social determinants of health, how hospitals were fulfilling their anchor mission through procurement and recruitment, as well as investment, and how population health initiatives were engaging hospitals in the communities outside their clinic walls. We found that health institutions utilized a wide variety of strategies to invest in improving social determinants of health in their communities. They used a range of resources, selected a variety of types of investment vehicles, targeted diverse interventions, and partnered with a range of other organizations, from community groups and nonprofits to other anchors, foundations, and local government. By looking systematically at the early examples of hospitals that are making community investments, we hope to ease the way for other institutions to tread this path, ultimately to arrive at healthier communities.