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Brownstone homes and parked cars line a city street.

Boston Children’s: Anchor Institution

Boston Children’s Office of Community Health is leading an effort with the Investment Office to advance the hospital’s Anchor Strategy. The Anchor Strategy is a collaborative effort with a few teams at Boston Children’s including the President’s Office, Community Health, Human Resources, Purchasing, Patient Services, and the Office of General Counsel.

Making investments that benefit the local community by building new housing or revitalizing an area is one of the key strategies to being an Anchor Institution. Read more on the Anchor Strategy here.

What is an Anchor Strategy?

Being an “anchor” refers to a framework for making business decisions around hiring, purchasing, and investing that consider the impact on the health of an institution’s local community. In 2018, Boston Children’s joined the Healthcare Anchor Network to officially become an anchor institution. This commitment is in addition to the hospital’s ongoing community efforts, partnerships, and investments made to fulfill its community mission.

Through Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health, also known as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Determination of Need Program, Boston Children’s has made two initial impact investments for a total of $1 million.

“The goal is to make these investments with an eye towards generating both a modest financial and a larger social return, which is the costs and benefits to society,” says Tara Agrawal, Director of Community Investment in the Office of Community Health. “This allows the hospital to reinvest the income generated to make other socially valuable investments in the future.”

The first is a $750,000 low-interest loan to The Community Builders, a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston and one of the largest and most innovative nonprofit developers in the United States. The hospital’s loan will support the development of a 110-unit, mixed-income rental housing development located in Boston’s Jackson Square neighborhood, near the Boston Children’s at Martha Eliot health center.

The second is a $250,000 contribution to new micro-equity loan fund managed by LISC Boston. LISC Boston is a national non-profit that works with community-based partners to make investments in housing, businesses, infrastructure, jobs, education, safety, and health. The Boston Children’s investment is intended to address a local racial wealth disparity.

Capital, typically cash or other assets, is critical to small business growth and success. Many minority-owned businesses often do not have enough because their communities have historically been locked out of economic opportunity. As a result, they often do not grow, may produce lower profits, or fail in higher numbers.

Boston Children’s is supporting the fund to bridge this capital gap by investing in the growth of minority-owned businesses. This investment model has the potential to increase wealth building in traditionally disenfranchised communities for years to come.

More updates on Boston Children’s as an Anchor Institution will be shared through Scope 360 and Look Now in the months ahead. Be sure to follow us on the Community channel.