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Katie Parker

Research Associate

Katie Parker joined The Democracy Collaborative in 2014 and works as a Research Associate within the healthcare engagement division. Her work focuses on how hospitals and health systems can leverage their business practices, such as hiring, purchasing, and investment, to support inclusive economic development. She is co-author of the Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities toolkit series and conducts research on promising practices in the field of anchor institution strategies. In addition to research, Katie provides facilitation support for the Healthcare Anchor Network and is editor of the community-wealth.org newsletter.

Katie has a B.A. in environmental studies from Brown University, where she focused on the political economy of food systems and natural-resource based industries. Prior to moving to DC, she worked for a community-based conservation non-profit in the Swan Valley of Montana. She is experienced in local food procurement, working as the purchasing coordinator of the Brown Market Shares Program in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Selected Publications: 

Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Inclusive, Local Hiring

David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

Every day, we learn more about how patients’ health outcomes are tied not only to the healthcare they receive but also to the conditions in the communities where they live. Social and economic inequities, amplified by race, often emerge as the leading factors explaining differences in health outcomes and life expectancies.

Through local and inclusive hiring, health systems can invest in an ecosystem of success that lifts up local residents; helps create career pathways for low-income, minority, and hard-to-employ populations; and begins to transform neighborhoods. In the process, health systems can develop a more efficient workforce pipeline, meet sustainability and inclusion goals, and ultimately improve the health of their communities. Establishing a local and inclusive hiring strategy is an important first step towards rethinking your health system’s role in the community. This toolkit can help you get started.

Recent blog posts:
  • Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Place-based Investing

    David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

    Nationally, health systems have an estimated $400 billion in investment assets. Redirecting even a small portion of these resources to place-based investments would shift billions of dollars toward addressing economic and environmental disparities in local communities. It would allow institutions to more effectively improve community health and well-being, even as they continue to earn a healthy rate of return. This toolkit outlines a range of strategies for how health systems are using their investment assets to help address the resource gaps that keep communities from achieving better health and well-being.

    As we learn more about what families and children need to lead healthy lives, it is clear that adverse social, economic, and environmental factors, coupled with racial disparities, prevent communities from building a culture of health. The good news is that hospitals and health systems are recognizing that they have significant, untapped assets at their disposal to help address these challenges: their investment portfolios. Through place-based investing, institutions can leverage these resources to improve their communities’ overall health and well-being. This toolkit will help you get started.

  • Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Inclusive, Local Sourcing

    David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

    Across the country, healthcare institutions are recognizing that they can creatively leverage their supply chains to address the upstream economic and environmental conditions that have the greatest impact on the health of local residents. In doing so, they can create family-supporting local jobs and build community wealth. This toolkit on local and diverse purchasing showcases examples of how hospitals and health systems are reevaluating their roles as their community’s largest purchasers, understanding that a thriving local economy is fundamental to a healthy community.

    The sourcing of goods, services, and food that your hospital or health system does every day, when aligned with your mission, can help build local wealth in the communities you serve. By supporting diverse and locally owned vendors and helping to incubate new community enterprises to fill supply chain gaps, hospital and health systems like yours can leverage existing resources to drive local economic growth and build a culture of health in their communities. This toolkit can help you get started

  • Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healthcare

    Nancy Martin, on behalf of the Healthcare Anchor Network

    In December 2016, leaders from 40 health systems gathered in Washington, DC to explore the potential to more fully harness their economic power to inclusively and sustainably benefit the long-term well-being of American communities. Together, they discussed best practices and strategies to advance the Anchor Mission of healthcare.

    At the conclusion of the convening, the Healthcare Anchor Network was formed to support health systems collaborating nationally to accelerate learning and local implementation of economic inclusion strategies.

    This report summarizes the events of that convening and next steps, inviting your hospital or health system to join the Network and help advance the Anchor Mission of healthcare in your institution, in your community, and nationally. 

  • Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healthcare

    Inaugural convening brought together health system leaders dedicated to reimagining role of healthcare

    This past December, the Democracy Collaborative joined eight sponsor health systems and organizations to host Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healthcare, a two day convening of over 80 health system leaders and key stakeholders, representing 40 health systems from across the U.S. Read more about Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healthcare...

  • Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Inclusive, Local Hiring

    David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

    Every day, we learn more about how patients’ health outcomes are tied not only to the healthcare they receive but also to the conditions in the communities where they live. Social and economic inequities, amplified by race, often emerge as the leading factors explaining differences in health outcomes and life expectancies.

    Through local and inclusive hiring, health systems can invest in an ecosystem of success that lifts up local residents; helps create career pathways for low-income, minority, and hard-to-employ populations; and begins to transform neighborhoods. In the process, health systems can develop a more efficient workforce pipeline, meet sustainability and inclusion goals, and ultimately improve the health of their communities. Establishing a local and inclusive hiring strategy is an important first step towards rethinking your health system’s role in the community. This toolkit can help you get started.

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