Meet Erin Morton, a steward.
In healthcare philanthropy, moving resources away from a health system and into the community that surrounds it can be challenging. Erin faced this challenge head on as she set out to transform the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s aspiration to address health equity in Philadelphia. The goal: to create an effective community health equity plan that would also inspire the hospital’s benefactors to invest differently.
As a Senior Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships at Jefferson Health’s Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity (P-CHE), Erin was uniquely positioned as a steward to influence Jefferson’s health equity work and improve community health outcomes.
Erin sought out collaborators to work with P-CHE to build an actionable strategic plan focused on addressing Philadelphia’s health disparities. Together, they analyzed the status of P-CHE’s current partnerships with existing community-based anchor sites. These anchor sites, critical extensions of Jefferson via P-CHE, were responsible for deploying resources directly to the community.
To reframe Jefferson’s relationship with the community, they had to start by re-examining how Jefferson showed up in meaningful, tangible ways. ReThink Health helped P-CHE view this work through the lens of building belonging and civic muscle, and by providing a safe space for honest dialogue to occur. They also strategically redefined P-CHE’s goals, values, and internal and external communication norms to promote health equity in an action-oriented way, centering on promoting stewardship ideals and bringing community members to the table.
Erin is now a stewardship champion within Jefferson and oversees capacity building efforts and catalyst grants that funnel resources back into the community. In the future, Erin and her colleagues will continue using their strategic plan, rooted in shared stewardship ideals, to support a richer definition of health – a definition that inspires benefactors to impact health disparities and build a legacy of better health for all.
To learn more about the current efforts and the Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity, visit p-che.org/.