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Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. These conditions, commonly referred to as social determinants of health, include access to healthy food, education, transportation, housing and economic development that influence health. A focus on health equity calls for addressing these determinants that put particular social groups at a disadvantage.

Our indicators within the Community Building and Economic Prosperity Initiative is to address social and economic determinants of health by activating regional, business, nonprofit and private organizations to participate in community development and wealth building best practices. Specifically, we seek to align our efforts with community and economic development goals including but not limited to the availability of affordable housing; access to educational, economic, and job opportunities; and neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Currently, Health Foundation of South Florida is focused on activating anchor institutions in community wealth building strategies. Anchor institutions are enterprises, such as universities and hospitals, that are rooted in their local communities by mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers, employees, and vendors. As place-based entities that control vast economic, human, intellectual, and institutional resources, anchor institutions have the potential to bring crucial, and measurable, benefits to local children, families, and communities. Acting like an anchor institution can take many forms—from creating new vehicles for community engagement, to supporting local businesses, developing high quality educational and health services, creating mechanisms for local hiring and contracting, or catalyzing community economic development through direct capital investment.

Assisting the Health Foundation in this important work is The Democracy Collaborative, a national leader in equitable, inclusive and sustainable development through our Community Wealth Building Initiative.

To learn more, please email: Jschoepp@hfsf.org