ImpactAlpha, March 3 – West Side United, a non-profit focusing on health, wellness and economic opportunity in Chicago’s underserved West Side neighborhoods, is encouraging medical facilities to invest in the social determinants of health. West Side United has recruited six local hospitals, the American Medical Association, Illinois Medical District and Northern Trust to invest $6 million in community development financial institutions in Chicago’s West Side.
West Side United is aiming to reduce the life expectancy gap between Chicago’s West Side and wealthier areas by 50% by 2030.
Hospitals can play a bigger role in “improving the economic conditions that drive poor health” by directing investments to small businesses and community organizations, said Omar Lateef of West Side United partner Rush University Medical Center. In Washington, D.C., Socially Determined raised $7.3 million in November to help healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and community organizations understand what are known as social determinants of health. Catholic health provider Bon Secours is among a half-dozen healthcare providers investing in affordable housing. Healthcare network Kaiser Permanente has earmarked $200 million for supportive housing and homelessness prevention.