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Focus Area

Institutional Investments in Community Health

Institutions such as hospitals often serve as anchor institutions in low-income communities. As these communities struggle with disinvestment, housing instability and limited access to financial capital, it is critical that such institutions expand their equitable community investment practices.

Through this work, we aim to influence the policies and practices of health care institutions to leverage their assets and resources to invest in community health and wealth-building.

Recognizing that the health of their patients is shaped by the communities in which they live, learn and play, health care systems and health plans are now moving beyond community benefit obligations to deploy capital investments, purchasing power and other tools to create healthier, more equitable communities.

In this focus area, we work to create a larger movement of institutional leaders that are equipped with the skills and knowledge to change their organizations’ investment practices and policies to prioritize community health and equity. We support projects in U.S. cities that invest in more affordable housing and prioritize purchasing local food through improved procurement practices.

We also seek to better prepare community-based organizations to build partnerships with and leverage resources from institutions and deploy them to address social determinants of health and build community wealth.

When institutions direct investments to address the community conditions that lead to poor health, there is a positive and lasting impact on residents’ health, well-being and financial stability.

Kresge staff is working remotely, and our offices are closed until further notice.  See our promise to partners during COVID-19.