Community Economic Development & Healthcare Playbook
- Colleen Flynn, Susanna Penfield, Ruth Thomas-Squance, Frank Woodruff
How can community developers partner with healthcare institutions to create career pathways in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods?
Created by PHI’s Build Healthy Places Network in collaboration with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, the Community Economic Development & Healthcare Playbook offers a roadmap for collaboration between community economic development practitioners and healthcare institutions to create training opportunities, forge career paths, and foster support for local entrepreneurs’ success.
CASE STUDY: Community Development for All People + Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH
In 2008, Community Development for All People (CD4AP), a faith-based organization grounded in a strong, asset-based vision of community development, began a pivotal partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio. Together, they formed the Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families Realty Collaborative to revitalize 31 square blocks in the Southern Orchards Neighborhood. The neighborhood was geographically isolated from downtown by the construction of interstate highways in the 1960s, creating a combination of inaccessible employment, racial segregation, and disinvestment that resulted in high rates of poverty less than a mile from the Nationwide’s main campus.
Partnering on Training and Job Placement
By ensuring Nationwide Children’s Hospital was involved, CD4AP was able to best align the training with the employment opportunities of the largest local employer in the area. Nationwide also invested financially and partnered to provide a wide variety of training opportunities. Additional partners include Goodwill, Columbus Works, and Dress for Success. They offer a week-long boot camp, where participants experience training to prepare for patient assistance, food service, janitorial, and hospitality roles. The hospital provides additional training and development on topics like hospital culture and linguistic training, with the possibility for specialized IT training.
During the first year of the pilot program, the Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families residents hired at Nationwide increased by 15%. Class cohort attendance increased from 60% to 98%. Nationwide contributed expertise from their professional development department to facilitate early conversations, emphasizing soft skills and building trust through joint seminars.
A Guide to Cross-Sector Partnerships
Find cross-sector strategies, on-the-ground examples, and a four-step pathway to partnerships that are advancing health and wellness in low-income and BIPOC communities across the country.
This playbook can help community economic developers and social enterprises partner with the health sector to:
- Foster an environment for local entrepreneurs’ success
- Leverage capital to develop local health facilities
- Develop training and career pathways that lead to economic mobility
- Create access to healthy food and advance food sovereignty
- Leverage assets from health institutions
In addition, public health departments, hospitals, and healthcare systems can use this playbook to learn more about the assets that community economic developers and social enterprises bring to partnerships—and how to leverage these assets for sustained impacts on racial justice and community health.
Originally published by Build Healthy Places Network