Investing in Community Health: A Toolkit for Hospitals

Decades of structural racism and disinvestment have resulted in places of concentrated poverty and significant health inequity. When crisis hits, as we have seen with COVID-19 and its economic fallout, the people who live in these communities, especially Black and Latinx people, suffer disproportionately and recovery is lengthy and uneven.

This toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Catholic Health Association, is designed to help health care organizations look at their resources in a different light, expand their efforts to support their communities, and maximize their impact on community health by harnessing the power of their investment capital. In addition, it delves into a number of key topics: distinguishing between financial contributions and investment strategies, understanding the value of investment strategies for addressing the social determinants of health, and mobilizing investment capital to improve community health.

Full Toolkit

Toolkit Sections

To make this resource easier to digest, we've split it into its three main sections. Explore each of them and their elements below.

1. Why Community Investment?

Community investment is a critical strategy for effecting deep, long-term improvement in the social determinants, and increasing numbers of health care organizations are adding it to their toolbox.

In this section, we cover:

  • Community investment and investable opportunities
  • Six steps that will help health institutions develop an investment strategy for community health
  • The impact that investment can have on the social determinants and community health outcomes

2. How Health Care Organizations Can Address the Social Determinants of Health

A comprehensive approach to addressing the social determinants of health can integrate financial contributions, procurement, recruitment, and investment to make a greater impact.

In this section, we cover:

  • The difference between spending and investing
  • The importance of understanding financial instruments, risk, and return

3. Developing an Investment Strategy for Community Health

Adding a strategic community investment approach to complement your community health improvement activities and financial contributions can improve health equity and outcomes in your community.

In this section, we cover:

  • CCI's capital absorption framework and how it can help hospitals and health care organizations create community investment strategies that maximize impact
  • How to access and determine a priority sector for investment and a target geography
  • How to map out investment action plans and collaborate with partners, including community investment stakeholders and health care departments
  • How to identify investment opportunities in your community

Presentation: Investing in Community Health

The presentation below offers a high-level overview of content from the toolkit, as well as some additional lessons learned from CCI's Accelerating Investments for Healthy Communities program.

A Note about Printing these Resources

All elements of this toolkit and its supplemental materials have been designed in full color. We acknowledge that more people are working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which might mean that you don't have access to a professional or home office printer. To ensure that you're able to access and print these resources if you desire to do so, we've made grayscale versions of all of them. All of the materials are available for download below.

Copyright and Attribution

© 2020 Center for Community Investment and Catholic Health Association 

CCI and CHA are committed to sharing our learning and making our resources available to everyone. With that in mind, we give you permission to use, copy, and distribute any information contained within these materials for any nonprofit educational purpose without fee, provided that the copyright notice and attribution appear in all copies. 

Transforming investment in communities

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CCI is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The California Endowment.

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