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Health Institutions as Anchors in Communities: Profiles of Engaged Institutions

A project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The main purpose of this project, which concluded in 2006, was to encourage health institutions to develop a strategic approach to their roles as anchors in their communities.

Through a literature review and telephone interviews with engaged institutional leaders, we sought to understand and report on these questions and issues:

  • What are the anchor roles that health institutions are currently serving in communities?
  • What are the expected and/or actual outcomes of these roles?
  • Why are health institutions serving in these roles?
  • What additional roles could they be serving?
  • What factors facilitate these roles?
  • What factors impede these roles?
  • What challenges and issues do health institutions face when engaging in these roles?
  • How can health institutions that are already engaged be supported in these roles?
  • How can health institutions that are not already engaged be encouraged to embrace these roles?
  • What are exemplary models of health institutions serving in these roles?
  • What lessons can be learned from these models that can be translated and applied by their peers?

The final report includes such sections as:

  • Introduction: Why was this report written?
  • Definitions: What do we mean by "anchors in communities?" Why are anchor roles important? What do we mean by "health institution", by "engaged institution?"
  • Framework: Health institutions as anchors in communities
  • Issues and challenges, including factors that facilitate and impede
  • Recommendations for actions that health institutions can take to develop/expand their anchor roles
  • Other recommendations that can advance the roles of health institutions as community anchors
  • Profiles of health institution anchor roles (drawn from literature, phone interviews and site visits), including contact information and links to supplementary materials
  • Citations
  • Additional resources (including literature and web sites)

For More Information

Click here to read the project final report, "Health Institutions as Anchors in Communities: Profiles of Engaged Institutions."

CCPH Program Director Jen Kauper-Brown and CCPH Partners Debra Wesley-Freeman (Sinai Community Institute and George Kleb (Bon Secours of Maryland Foundation) facilitated an interactive workshop on the project at Community Health Solutions - Keeping the Drive Alive, the second joint conference of the Association for Community Health Improvement and Communities Joined in Action in Tampa, Florida, March 3-5, 2005.

Click here for the PowerPoint presentation used during the workshop.

Click here for the workshop handout of the strategic framework for leveraging health institution assets for community economic development.

The Health Institutions as Community Anchors listserv was created to share information and resources related to the multiple roles that health institutions serve as instruments of community and economic development. To sign up, click here.

For questions related to this project, please contact Sarena Seifer, Executive Director, 206-616-4305 or

Click here to read the press release announcing the project.



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