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Meds As Anchors: The Role Of Health Systems in Community Development

by The Berks Alliance

May 18, 2021

In recent years, growing attention has been paid to the nonmedical factors that affect individual and population health. As nonprofit hospitals pursue their mission to promote health and well-being, it is clear that many opportunities for high-impact interventions exist outside the traditional clinical setting. The recent report Exploring Hospital Investments in Community Development provides a national analysis of nonprofit hospitals’ reported spending on community building activities, examining how this spending varied by geography and hospital characteristics from 2012 to 2016. This quantitative landscape analysis is followed by a qualitative examination of the types of community development–related activities in which hospitals described participating, focusing on the three states of the Third Federal Reserve District (Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania). The report’s findings provide both baseline information on the scale of hospitals’ investments in these activities and concrete examples to help inform conversations between hospitals and community partners.

Join us for a discussion about the ways in which hospitals and health systems can creatively use their resources to create a healthier, more vibrant community.  Eileen Divingri from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve will present her research “Exploring Hospital Investments in Community Development.  Health systems can have a dramatic impact on their communities.  For example, Lancaster rates in the top 10 in the country terms of average annual per capita spending by its hospitals on community building at $3.68 per person. (2012-2016)

Eileen Divringi is a community development research specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. She focuses on creating actionable information on issues related to housing, access to credit, and household financial well-being to help facilitate a more impactful community development sector throughout the Third District. Eileen has master’s degrees in city planning and public administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in political science and environmental studies from the University of Michigan.

Both Penn State St. Joseph’s and Tower Health have committed to improve the health and well-being of Berks County.  Eileen will be joined by James Bennett, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Penn State St. Joseph’s Medical Center and Taneka Mason, Data Manager for Community Wellness at Tower Health System, to speak about the work of these two organizations in our community.


When: Jun 17, 2021 11:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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