Anchored by health care: Strategies for health systems

A modeled approach to health care organizations’ role in building equitable relationships that power community health, wealth, and climate resilience

Main Resource

Published: 5/16/23

2.78 MB PDF

Language: English

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Anchored by health care: Strategies for health systems supports health care organizations in thinking critically about a specific project or initiative while shifting the work to focus on community engagement to drive more systemic change. We believe that communities know what is best for their community, and the involvement of local stakeholders and partners from the start is critical to equitable processes and lasting progress.

The question we continue to challenge ourselves with as we gather experiences and information across all of these models is: Are the anchor strategies that health care systems and hospitals are committing to the right pathways toward greater equity and community resilience?

Radical reimagination of our health care system requires transformative action. Our health care system requires a transformation from a “sick care” model to one focused on prevention and a community-centered approach to wellness.

This resource serves as a guide for health care anchor institutions to deepen their engagement with community partners to achieve goals for equity and resilience. It also allows you to assess where your organization’s work falls in this spectrum of strategic planning with community partners and anchor institutions, and commit to doing more.

Hospitals and health systems can evaluate, strategize, and operationalize their approach as anchors in creating ecologically sustainable, equitable, and healthy communities – with a focus on three models of engagement while reviewing our recommendations and case studies.

We explore these three models of engagement with Intermountain Health, the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, and Anchors in Resilient Communities and share collated, proven practices for foundational anchor engagement.

Learn more about 3 health care anchor engagement models:

  • Health care organizations create their own separate and independent anchor mission, bringing in community partners and other anchor institutions as needed.
  • Health care organizations collaborate around anchor tables to determine and operationalize impactful strategies. Equity and power-sharing are newly integrated into an existing framework.
  • Health care organizations, in partnership with other anchors and communities, convene an equitable table. Equity and power-sharing are centered from the outset.

Explore proven practices and recommendations:

  • Deepen systemic and accountable anchor engagement.
  • Co-create a definition of success – and share it.
  • Increase diversity in planning beyond community partners.
  • Build capacity and advocate for supportive policy changes that open opportunities for deeper anchor investments.
  • Test innovative solutions for co-ownership of anchor and community strategies and community-led and owned efforts.

For additional information

If you have questions related to this resource, or would like more information about any of the models or cases studies detailed, please email us at