This project is funded as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Understanding and Supporting Anchor Businesses to Build a Culture of Health” program, which seeks to understand the ways that for-profit anchors advance health and well-being in the communities where they are located. The goal of this project is to identify which for-profit businesses across the country are potential anchor institutions and determine why some businesses have invested in the development of their respective communities while others have not. This project will establish economic characteristics of existing anchor businesses, then use this criteria to screen for additional potential anchor businesses nationally. The analysis will include close examination of community development efforts among a random sample of potential anchor businesses. The results of this research are important to understand the decision-making processes of anchor businesses regarding whether, why, and how they choose to invest in their communities. This will be useful to support and leverage business’ efforts to promote a culture of health and community development. Anticipated deliverables will include: peer-reviewed journal publications, conference presentations, or blog posts. These deliverables will be disseminated to researchers, public health professionals and policymakers, as well as business sector and lay person audiences.

Principal Investigators:

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Harry Liu

Senior Policy Researcher - RAND Corporation

Harry Liu is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate Schoo... Read Bio

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Catherine Cohen

Associate Policy Researcher - RAND Corporation

Dr. Catherine “Katie” Cohen is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Read Bio

Grantee Institution: RAND Corporation

Grant Number: 76909

Grant Budget: $249,000


Conceptualizing and Defining Anchor Businesses to Facilitate Investments in Community Health and Well-Being
Population Health Management | October 2021