Hospitals and health systems have been put under immense pressure, treating COVID-19 patients during the surges and throughout the year, while also facing financial challenges due to the precipitous drop in surgeries and elective medical procedures. Despite this, Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) member systems have looked to maintain and sometimes even strengthen their anchor mission activities. Kaiser Permanente, Intermountain Health, and Cone Health have continued focusing on affordable housing, training and hiring local workers, and purchasing from local and minority owned businesses. The pandemic’s impact on people of color, lower-income people, and other disadvantaged populations have made these and other HAN leaders only more determined and committed to address the upstream determinants of health. In HAN, this has shown up in increased levels of commitment and participation.
In an article in Shelterforce, David Zuckerman, director of the Healthcare Anchor Network, shared how HAN members are continuing to engage in these conversations: “In June, the network, which includes 52 health systems focused on investing in upstream determinants of health, held its bi-annual convening online . . . . Participants were hungry to talk about health disparities, and a session on racial equity was particularly popular.”