Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2024

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access


Dr. Melissa Nemon & Dr. Audrey Falk


Anchor institutions are large place-based organizations such as universities, hospitals, and forprofit and non-profit businesses that invest in their surrounding communities as a way of doing business. However, being an anchor is more than being present; it is a commitment to actively working to reduce disparities and engaging in mutually beneficial community partnerships and collaborations. This capstone is a qualitative case study that explores the dynamics and outcomes of the COVID-19 partnership between Johns Hopkins University and its surrounding community. By delving into the experiences, perspectives, and interactions of the stakeholders involved, this study aims to identify the factors that contribute to a successful partnership or coalition. Data for this case study was collected through interviews with staff from partnering organizations. The nine interviews included conversations with seven community partners and two university employees. Based on the interviews, the initiative embodied seven principles for successful partnerships: specific purpose, shared vision, shared leadership and decision-making, mutual benefit, trust, communication, and evaluation, and demonstrated how a university in the role of an anchor institution can partner with a diverse group of community organizations to achieve more than any single organization could have done on their own.