Investing in the Future of Healthcare: Improving Housing, Individuals, & Communities
October 16, 2018 | Blog Post
If you lead an organization with 200 million dollars in surplus, what would you do with it? Would you invest in employee development, invest in new technology, build a new corporate office?
Kaiser Permanente recently did none of that, but they did invest in their future. Recently, Kaiser Permanente announced a $200 million investment in addressing homelessness and housing stability (1).
Kaiser Permanente is not the only healthcare provider to invest in housing. Recently, Nationwide Children’s Hospital invested $6.6 million into housing (2) and Boston Medical Center announced a $6.5 million investment in December 2017 (3).
These efforts are part of a new movement lead by healthcare providers: address social determinants such as housing with the hopes of driving down healthcare costs. The premise is that better housing can lead to a variety of benefits such as reducing the number of people afflicted to health problems living in lead-painted homes and improving the mental and emotional state of some people struggling with housing instability. These changes in individual lives can trigger a cascade of effects that ultimately keep people healthier and out of hospital beds.
An aspect of the investments is to improve community health because a thriving community can provide many benefits: camaraderie, belonging, and support. However, people must be secure within their own lives before they are truly able to support and bond with others individuals. Thus, these investments are a potential win for the providers that serve these communities, the individuals whose lives are considerably improved, and the communities that experience greater pride and esteem.
Although these significant investments in housing may lead to more stability, not all healthcare entities have millions in surplus to address housing and for some entities, addressing housing might not fit an organization’s core values and goals. Nevertheless, healthcare leaders can explore improving many other critical components of healthy living. For example, one crucial component is job security. Economic security is often a major component contributing to housing instability, and thus, healthcare leaders should consider investing in developing a work-ready pipeline. For example, a healthcare entity’s investment in a community education center does not have only to prepare people for healthcare jobs, but individuals can be trained in plumbing, construction, and electrical work that serves and benefits everyone. Ultimately, leaders have a plethora of topics they can explore addressing such as community safety, resource availability, and influencing social norms and attitudes.
Healthcare Analyst at CHI
Joseph Gaspero is the CEO and Co-Founder of CHI. He is a healthcare executive, strategist, and researcher. He co-founded CHI in 2009 to be an independent, objective, and interdisciplinary research and education institute for healthcare. Joseph leads CHI’s research and education initiatives focusing on including patient-driven healthcare, patient engagement, clinical trials, drug pricing, and other pressing healthcare issues. He sets and executes CHI’s strategy, devises marketing tactics, leads fundraising efforts, and manages CHI’s Management team. Joseph is passionate and committed to making healthcare and our world a better place. His leadership stems from a wide array of experiences, including founding and operating several non-profit and for-profit organizations, serving in the U.S. Air Force in support of 2 foreign wars, and deriving expertise from time spent in industries such as healthcare, financial services, and marketing. Joseph’s skills include strategy, management, entrepreneurship, healthcare, clinical trials, diversity & inclusion, life sciences, research, marketing, and finance. He has lived in six countries, traveled to over 30 more, and speaks 3 languages, all which help him view business strategy through the prism of a global, interconnected 21st century. Joseph has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. When he’s not immersed in his work at CHI, he spends his time snowboarding backcountry, skydiving, mountain biking, volunteering, engaging in MMA, and rock climbing.