TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - ProMedica, along with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, will be going beyond the hospital room and into the communities to help improve the overall quality of life for those who live within Toledo and the surrounding region for the next 10 years.
The announcement for this new partnership took place Tuesday at 10 a.m. in downtown Toledo at 18th and Madison Street in a packed room where community stakeholders listened to the bigger picture the head of ProMedica and LISC are working to paint.
Together, ProMedica and LISC plan to mobilize tens of millions of dollars for under-invested communities beginning with a $45 million effort to improve economic opportunity and health outcomes.
New investments and grants will focus on helping families grow employment skills and boost incomes and education. This includes a $20 million pool of grants and a new $25 million loan fund for development projects.
The goal is to improve community safety, finance healthy homes and vibrant businesses, and to ensure communities have quality greenspace and jobs.
The partnership also aims to leverage funds for the major initiative, Ebeid Neighborhood Promise. The initiative was announced last year to help revitalize Toledo's UpTown community.
But this opportunity is not just for the uptown area but throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
"Health care has traditionally invested heavily in high-tech clinical care and state-of-the-art facilities, yet we under-invest in programs to improve socioeconomic factors. This is despite scientific evidence of how these factors greatly influence a person's health status," Randy Oostra, ProMedica president and CEO said. "For several years now, ProMedica has been devoting more resources to address social needs. Now through this partnership with LISC, we will maximize the impact of our efforts, starting in UpTown, and demonstrate the power of partnering with other sectors to accomplish a shared goal."
The research done by ProMedica is the driving force behind this effort. According to their studies, ProMedica found that financial strain, employment, behavioral health, and access to healthy food are critical indicators in relation to their patients' health.
"Your zip code should not determine your prospects in life," Maurice Jones, president and CEO of LISC, said. "But, right now, your community is the single largest predictor of how well and how long you will live. We have to focus on social, economic and health challenge all in the same place at the same time, if we want to give families the best chance possible to thrive."
By evaluating data on financial, educational and clinical outcomes, the partners will work with health researchers to develop a framework that will work for target communities for the next decade.
"Health care institutions can wield remarkable influence over social determinants, not just by the care they provide but by the data they have on place-based health challenges," Jones said. "When we connect their talent and their resources to the expertise of community developers, we have an opportunity to drive changes that help people live better, literally adding years to their life. That's incredibly powerful."
Local LISC Representatives say this partnership will work by having boots on the ground, getting the word out to communities that this resource is available.
"These resources will help add to that pot to be able to create more opportunities in neighborhoods," Executive Director of LISC Kim Cutcher said. "So it's working with a whole host of partners in creating change in creating change."
ProMedica says the investment effort is built upon the partnership's long-time commitment to these issues.
However, some community members are skeptical of this partnership because they feel like they have not always had a seat at the table when these big investments are made.
LISC and ProMedica will begin working with community partners and stakeholders in UpTown this month to engage residents.
If you are interested in the program, you may call the local LISC office at 419-419-0196.