Meet Our Team: Omar Carrillo Tinajero

Omar, you are a Center Fellow here at CCI. What does that mean?

I’m involved with our local systems change work, which focuses on working with communities across the country to help them advance their work to achieve community goals. As our work advances, I’ll be heading out into towns and cities to work closely with teams on the ground. In my fellowship, I’m exposed to all the pieces of the Center’s work, and get to forge relationships with practitioners in other fields, especially my specialties of urban planning and community development.

You recently graduated from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. Why did you choose the Center Fellowship as your next step?

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Health Institution Investments in the Determinants of Health: An Emerging Practice, Shaped By Health Care Industry Changes

One of the primary ways to increase the capital absorption capacity of a place is to expand the boundaries of the set of stakeholders who participate in the community investment system. In March, the Center published a paper that explored how hospitals and health systems participate in community investment activities by thinking broadly about their roles and resources.

Our research suggested that only a small number of health institutions are actively investing—with the expectation of a financial return—in improving the determinants of health. Over the course of this year, we’ve been focused on understanding the following questions:

  • What would it look like if health institutions considered investing in the determinants of health a strategic imperative—a necessary part of their work to remain competitive?
  • Who are the key decision makers who determine whether to invest in the upstream determinants of health and what are the considerations that matter to them?
  • What are the full range of resources a health institution may be able to use, and what are the constraints, return expectations, and level of risk for each of those sources of funds?

As part of an ongoing effort to answer these questions, we convened a roundtable of health institution experts in mid-September, which surfaced two important themes.

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The Center for Community Investment Introduces Its Inaugural Class of Fulcrum Fellows!

The Center for Community Investment is excited to announce the 12 members of its first class of Fulcrum Fellows.

The Fulcrum Fellowship, a 15-month program for rising leaders in the fields of population health, climate resilience, community development, urban planning, and community investment, is designed to position fellows to help disinvested communities achieve their environmental, social and economic priorities.

“Our first cohort of Fulcrum Fellows is a dynamic group of leaders ready to scale efforts that make positive differences in the lives of people in their communities,” said Robin Hacke, Executive Director of the Center. “The challenges and proposed solutions they shared with us during the application process were very impressive. I am confident that with the support of this fellowship, they will make significant strides to advance equity, health, and well-being in their respective communities.”

Participating in the inaugural class of Fulcrum Fellows are:

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Meet our Team: Alyia Smith-Parker Gaskins

Each month, we’ll be profile a new member of the CCI Team. First up: Alyia Smith-Parker Gaskins, Assistant Director of Programs/Health.

Welcome to CCI, Alyia! What’s your role here?

My role is to help the Center and the communities we work with rethink the ways they deploy their assets to promote the health and well-being of all residents. I’m am also helping the Center better engage the health system leaders in accelerating investments in building healthy communities.

What about CCI’s work most excites you?

I am most excited about working with people on the ground who are or might be engaged in community investment efforts, and the opportunity to help them transform the places they live and work into places with robust opportunities to thrive. I’m looking forward to working with leaders who are passionate about place and people.

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What’s Next for Pioneering Health Institutions Investing in the Social Determinants of Health?

Our research into how health institutions are participating in the community investment system suggested that only a small minority of health systems are actively investing in improving the upstream social determinants of health. Earlier this year, we took the opportunity to gather 10 of these leading institutions together to deepen our understanding of what it took these institutions to get where they are, what their next phase of work might look like, and what it would take to get there.

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