Building Enduring Healthcare Partnerships

Experience, Practice, and Tools for Success

February 2, 2023
10:30am to Noon

Hosted Virtually Via Zoom

Silos to Collaboration: Building a Health Partner Investment Strategy is a new toolkit from NeighborWorks and Center for Community Investment. This toolkit presents frameworks and tools for leaders who seek to build sustainable, deep partnerships with health partners to address systemic inequities in disinvested communities. The toolkit was created through the experience and learnings of leading community development and healthcare organizations.

Join us as we hear from practitioners on what it took to build enduring and strong partnerships to advance investment in social determinants of health and affordable housing. Then learn how to use the toolkit and its readiness assessment developed by Success Measures and NeighborWorks (The toolkit is targeted for community development organizations, but the conversation will cover both a healthcare and a community organizations point of view).

Event Agenda
10:30 am

Welcome and Introductions — Overview

Elena Gaarder

Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers

Elena joined MCCD in May 2020 as the Chief Executive Officer. A trusted leader in the nonprofit community, Elena Gaarder is known for her holistic approach and ability to build successful partnerships that advance community wealth building. She started her 26-year career as a community organizer and continues to apply organizing values and strategies in the CDFI world. Prior to coming to MCCD, she was the Director of Community Wealth Building at Nexus Community Partners where she developed the Worker Ownership Initiative, an effort to expand employee ownership in BIPOC communities.

In 2015, Elena was awarded a Bush Leadership Fellowship, where she studied national and international cooperative economic models. She has also served as the Executive Director of several non-profit organizations and has operated a consulting practice for over 20 years, serving small family Foundations and community development organizations. Elena holds a BS in Community Development and Urban Planning from St. Cloud State University and an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Eric Muschler

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund

As Director of Housing & Health Equity for Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Mr. Muschler works to explore the multiple connections and benefits of housing with social determinants of health. Eric has experience working for 15 years, toward driving and expanding economic opportunity for people of color and low-income communities. Eric believes that housing stability is the foundation for opportunity especially when connected with other economic supports like education, workforce, asset and wealth building, and community economic development.

10:40 am

Framing up – Health & Housing Partnership

Robin Hacke

Center for Community Investment

Robin Hacke is Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Community Investment (CCI), which is dedicated to overcoming disinvestment so that everyone has a fair chance to lead a healthy and productive life. CCI has developed a framework that leading health systems have used to accelerate investments in affordable housing in their communities.

CCI was incubated during Robin’s tenure as a Senior Fellow at The Kresge Foundation. Previously, she served as Director of Capital Innovation at Living Cities. A former venture capitalist and investment banker, Robin holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Harvard-Radcliffe College.

Kevin Progar

Center for Community Investment

Kevin Progar started in January 2023 as an Initiative Director at the Center for Community Investment. Previously, Kevin worked as the project director for the UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Center for Social Impact’s Homeward initiative, which improved affordability and access to housing for UPMC Health Plan members and the communities where they live. From 2019 to 2022, this portfolio aligned $30,000,000 of resources ranging from charitable giving, in-kind services, state tax credits, value-based purchasing agreements, land donations, and mission related investments to address housing needs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

11:00 am

NeighborWorks Healthy Homes & Communities

Romi Hall

NeighborWorks America

Romi Hall comes to NeighborWorks with more than 10 years of experience working at the intersection of health, housing and community development. She’s spent much of her career with two NeighborWorks organizations: Beyond Housing and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corp. (EBALDC).

Most recently, Hall was director of neighborhood collaborations at EBALDC, where she led partnerships to generate a pipeline of nearly 400 units, attracted a full-service grocery store, secured more than $5 million from arts and culture and health /hospital funders, supported resident-led placemaking projects, and launched two new collaboratives. During her time at Beyond Housing, she helped plan and launch the 24:1 initiative.

Kim Strahm

Community Housing Partners

Kim Strahm is Vice President of Strategic operations for Community Housing Partners (CHP), based in Virginia and serving the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions with affordable housing. Kim provides direction and leadership for many of CHP’s cross-departmental strategic initiatives and collaborative partnerships that include CHP’s decarbonization goals, its commitment to improving health outcomes, and the advancement of equity and inclusion priorities throughout all operations. Kim works to identify new markets, partnerships, and other resources that are critical to achieving these organizational priorities. Kim’s recent work with healthcare institutions is of increasing importance and will be the topic of focus for this virtual event, Building Enduring Healthcare Partnerships. Before joining CHP in early 2010, Kim was with Cornell University’s Real Estate Department and spent six years at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle . Kim holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


The Toolkit

Rachel Fischer

NeighborWorks America

Rachel Fischer has worked to advance the mission and goals of NeighborWorks America for more than seven years. As the Senior Manager of Special Projects with the Community Initiatives team, Rachel plays a key role in developing new, innovative programs to support Comprehensive Community Development (CCD) efforts across the network. She also partners with the Heathy Homes & Communities initiative to advance both NeighborWorks and network goals around health partner investment and health equity. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and will complete her Master of Public Administration from New York University in May 2023.


Closing Comments

Eric Muschler


End of Session

Event Co-Hosted By



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