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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CCI Leads Capital Absorption Workshop in Miami

In opening remarks to a group assembled for a capital absorption workshop at the Beacon Council on July 11, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava proclaimed, “When we do this right, we will not only have solved transportation problems, but will also have built economic opportunity—and will have done it in a way that addresses resilience challenges in Miami-Dade County.”  

Facilitated by the Center for Community Investment and coordinated by local leaders Gretchen Beesing of Catalyst Miami and Shekeria Brown of the South Florida Community Development Coalition, the workshop brought together a cross-sector group of Miami-Dade County leaders to consider how to move forward with the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit Plan (SMART) in a way that aligns with their community priorities.   

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