U3 Advisors was engaged by the Hyde Family Foundations beginning in 2014 to understand the economic and physical impact of eight major anchor institutions in the Memphis Medical District including Baptist College of Health Sciences, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Methodist/LeBonheur, Regional One Health, Southern College of Optometry, Southwest Tennessee Community College, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/ALSAC, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Together, these anchors employ 16,000 people, educate 8,000 students, have $1.2 billion in collective purchasing, and control 250 acres of property. U3 Advisors found that despite the significant size of these anchors, their potential impact within the Medical District has not been fully realized.
U3 Advisors first began working in Detroit in 2009, when a group of local philanthropies engaged U3 to assess if there was an opportunity for Detroit’s anchor institutions — its Eds and Meds — to have a greater economic impact on the city. Together, Detroit’s three largest anchors institutions - Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System, and Wayne State University - employ over 30,000 faculty and staff, enroll over 27,000 students, and spend nearly $1.6 billion in goods and services annually. Through a data driven approach, U3 Advisors concluded that there was tremendous potential to capture the anchors’ economic impact within the city, and accordingly created a place-based economic development strategy that defined Midtown as the urban core of the city. Subsequent analysis and visioning resulted in several major initiatives.
Funded by the Kresge Foundation, a team from U3A spent a week at the University of Pretoria to advise on strategies to strengthen the precinct around the UP Hatfield campus. U3A subsequently provided additional support and advisory to UP leadership during meetings with foundations and leaders in the U.S.