FITCHBURG — Keeping employment and revenue local is at the forefront of the North Central Massachusetts Anchor Collaborative’s mission.
That mission was also at the forefront of a conference held Wednesday at Great Wolf Lodge, which brought together regional stakeholders. NCMAC is currently funded by UMass Memorial Health Alliance-Clinton Hospital and Executive Director Chelsey Patriss said their goals and aspirations for this program are indeed attainable.
Patriss also works as the Executive Director for CHNA9, Community Health Network of North Central Massachusetts.
While Patriss said the grant is for three years, “this is not a three year project.”
Healthcare Anchor Network focuses on improving community health and well-being in order to “create the biggest gain for your community.” said President and Founder of Healthcare Anchor Network, David Zuckerman. Through their partnership with North Central Massachusetts Anchor Collaborative, they are working on joining economic engines with an embedded social mission, in order to keep the community thriving and its citizens healthy.
Zuckerman plans on doing this through a business model he created which keeps revenue within communities, something he calls, “community wealth building.” This idea connects the large places of revenue for cities and towns and partners them with locally employed or locally founded businesses such as; local governments, universities, hospitals and community foundations.
“Bring external resources into our community,” and “create economic security for everyone in our communities,” Zuckerman said.
More often than not, people’s healthcare and services are limited by their income and economic stature. This can mean communities just miles apart will have dramatically different life expectancies. This organization plans on combating that, through partnerships at a local level. Instead of paying someone’s way to good healthcare, which helps, their attention lies more on the cause. Why can’t these individuals afford good healthcare?
“Address the root causes of why people don’t have the money,” Zuckerman said.
One organization that has adopted this method is Western Massachusetts Anchor Collaborative, which was formed in 2020. WMAC works on developing career pathway programs by hiring local citizens and developing talent.
Zuckerman believes this strategy “brings external resources into our communities.”