Big Questions



What does “local” mean to your institution?

Factors to consider:

  • Where does your patient population come from? Where does your patient population with the greatest health needs reside?
  • What areas do local business development organizations already work in?
  • Are there any high-poverty zip codes in your service area? Are they any zip codes with significant health disparities?
  • Have specific areas of need been identified in your strategic plan or community health needs assessment?
  • Has “local” been defined in any other area of your institution such as hiring?
  • Is there an established business district or business corridor? Are there existing distribution centers and transportation networks to build off of? Shared business or warehouse space to leverage for business creation/expansion?
  • Will residents with employment and transportation needs be able to access job opportunities that are created?


What does “community” mean to your institution?

Factors to consider:

  • How is “community” defined in your mission statement? Your strategic plan? Your community health needs assessment?
  • Are their any particular populations identified in your community health needs assessment as underserved or with health disparities?
  • What are the demographics of your surrounding area? How does this compare to the demographics of your current vendor base?
  • What populations struggle the most with unemployment or underemployment?
  • Who are the major actors in the local business community?


Mission alignment? Long-term business case? Both?
  • What are your pressing supply chain needs? Are there any existing gaps? Quality concerns? Upcoming contracts or capital projects?
  • How does the long-term vitality of your city, region and local economy impact your institution’s long-term success and reputation?
  • Is diversity identified as a priority for your institution? Are there any regulations you must follow in regards to diverse purchasing?
  • Is sustainability identified as a priority for your institution? Any particular items that you are focusing on “greening”?
  • How does focusing on inclusion and equity grow the local economy and improve community health?
  • Does your institution participate in any collaborative economic revitalization efforts? Is there a city-level initiative around hiring and employment?
  • Has unemployment been identified as a concern in your community health needs assessment? Do patient populations you serve struggle with unemployment or underemployment?