Take a look at this New York Times story, A Steady Paycheck Is Good Medicine for Communities, to get another view on how the medical industry can help improve the health not only of individuals, but of entire communities.
The piece describes the work of Healthcare Anchor Network, a consortium of 41 medical systems spread across the US, plus four government providers. Locally, Fairview is a member. The group’s goal is to find more ways of doing business with local communities that these providers serve. They’re “investing in the notion that ample paychecks, stable housing and nutritious food are no less critical to well-being than doctors, medical equipment and pharmacies,” the Times’ reporter Peter S. Goodman observes.
The initiative has resulted in redirection of contracts from large national firms to locally-owned companies, housing programs that assure stability, job training, subsidized day care and more. “The basic goal among the participants in the Healthcare Anchor Network is to shift their spending to local companies, keeping the wealth close by,” Goodman writes.
The complete text is worth checking out for a close description of how health institutions can reach beyond their walls and into nearby central city communities where residents are often scrambling for a path toward decent housing and employment that pays better than peanuts.