Grant: #74315

Grantee: Northwestern University 

Principal Investigator: Megan McHugh, Ph.D., M.P.P.

Grant Period: 02/01/2017 – 08/31/2018

Budget: $249,873

This project is funded as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s solicitation, “Engaging Businesses for Health,” which seeks to build the evidence base for private-sector investment to help build a Culture of Health. The goal of the study is to identify specific examples of how poor local health outcomes negatively influence anchor companies, and the costs associated with those negative outcomes. The comparative case study will focus on four small or medium-sized cities that have an anchor company in the manufacturing sector. “Anchor” companies are companies that employ a large share of local residents and dominate the economic activity of the city. For the purposes of this study, two cities were selected for inclusion for having relatively good health outcomes based on data from the 2016 County Health Rankings; two were selected for having relatively poor outcomes. Through site visits, telephone interviews, document reviews, and a cost analysis, the applicants will test the following hypotheses: 1) Anchor companies in cities with relatively poor community health outcomes experience greater organizational stress; 2) The greater organizational stress is driven, in part, by the health status of employees; and 3) Employee health-related organizational stress is costly. Deliverables will include a project work plan and a final narrative and financial report. The grantee will also produce paper(s) suitable for publication and present findings at national research meetings and to other stakeholder audiences as appropriate, including the business sector and federal and state policymakers, as part of the deliverables for this grant.



Study Snapshot: Manufacturing Companies are Investing in Community Health, but Collaboration with Local Public Health Leaders Could Maximize Their Impact
AcademyHealth | May 2018

Corporate Philanthropy Toward Community Health Improvement in Manufacturing Communities
Journal of Community Health | June 2018

Community Health and Employee Work Performance in the American Manufacturing Environment
Journal of Community Health | Sept 2018

Study Snapshot: Poor Community Health and Employee Mental Stress Linked to Poor Job Performance at US Manufacturing Plants
AcademyHealth | Oct 2018