Supporting Healthy Communities through Collaboration: The Healthcare Anchor Network

Last December, 40 health systems gathered at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington DC, to explore together how we can advance thriving, inclusive economies in the communities we serve across the country. This week, we’ll gather again to officially launch the Healthcare Anchor Network.

This collaboration represents a critical milestone in mobilizing our sector towards action and collaboration, and we are so proud to be a founding member.

Other founders include Advocate Health Care, Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health, Henry Ford Health System, ProMedica, Providence St. Joseph Health, RWJBarnabas Health, UMass Memorial Health Care, Rush University Medical Center and Trinity Health.

And the Network continues to grow – new members include Adventist Health System, Bon Secours Health System, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Christiana Care Health System, Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Gundersen Health System, HealthEast Care System, Mercy Health, Northwell Health, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Partners Healthcare (Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s), Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Presence Health, Seattle Children’s Hospital, UC San Francisco and VCU Health.

The lessons from the December meeting, and the vision of the Healthcare Anchor Network are presented in a report produced in partnership with the Democracy Collaborative and the founding members of the Network. The report reflects our collective voice calling our sector to action. It also provides useful examples and tools, to help health systems across the country become familiar with the policies and practices they might adopt to more intentionally support inclusive economic development in their communities. The examples and tools (produced with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) focus in particular on how healthcare providers can hire, buy goods and services, and invest capital in ways which benefit communities and residents most effectively.

These efforts are not easy—at Kaiser Permanente, we are working day-by-day to overcome the obstacles to adopting an anchor approach cross-functionally across our organization. We believe that our individual and collective journey in this important work will be greatly improved and our positive impacts amplified, if we work together.

The new Healthcare Anchor Network will convene health systems in order to share best practices, address common challenges, and identify areas where collaborative efforts may be possible. Our initial efforts will focus around:

1.     Making the case for adopting an anchor strategy;

2.     Effective collaboration with community stakeholders in these efforts;

3.     Shifting incentives to reward upstream health investments;

4.     Aligning approaches for scale;

5.     Building evidence of impact; and,

6.     Developing a shared policy agenda around addressing upstream determinants of health.

The Center for Total Health—an interactive learning destination committed to supporting innovation in how healthcare is delivered and experienced—provides the perfect venue for these conversations. We’re looking forward to gathering again at the Center this week to continue advancing healthcare sector innovation and collaboration for inclusive, thriving communities. We hope you and your health system will join us!

To learn more about the Healthcare Anchor Network, including how to join, contact David Zuckerman at the Democracy Collaborative, dave@democracycollaborative.org.

Leave a Reply

Anti-Spam Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.