Recognizing the need to address poverty, unemployment, and other social factors that have been shown to worsen health, UC Davis Health launched the Anchor Institution Mission for Community Health – AIM for short – in January 2020.  “Anchor Institutions” are large, place-based organizations such as universities and hospitals that make a long-term commitment to invest in their local communities. As a leading health institution in higher education and health care, UC Davis Health is committed to supporting the economic vitality of the Sacramento region through local hiring, investing, purchasing, and volunteering strategies. 

UC Davis Health’s AIM initiative works to empower economically disadvantaged communities in the Sacramento region, with a specific focus on 13 zip codes: 95817, 95820, 95824, 95828, 95811, 95814, 95815, 95822, 95823, 95838, 95818, 95832 and 95833. These communities were selected based on the Community Needs Health Assessment and align with Aggie Square geographies. For more information about either document, click here.

Supporting locally matters

Hendry Ton, associate vice chancellor of the Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (HEDI), oversees the overarching AIM strategy and is passionate about supporting communities at the local level.

Ton said, “Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible – regardless of whether you live in a richer or poorer neighborhood. This requires addressing the social determinants of health and removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences – including lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.”

Since its inception, AIM team members have partnered with multiple internal and external entities, such as Human Resources, Aggie Square, Supply Chain Management, the city of Sacramento, several community-based organizations, and many others. For a complete list of AIM partners, click here.

Khoban Kochai, director of AIM, stresses the importance of collaboration at the local level and highlights the partnership with other UC systems.

Kochai said, “We are not alone in this work. We are incredibly grateful for all our partners in this difficult work. In addition to regional partners, three other UC Health campuses have adopted the Anchor Institution Mission model, including UCLA, UC San Francisco, and UC San Diego. These campuses and UC Davis Health have created the UC-wide AIM group.”

The inaugural UC AIM Summit took place in September 2023, showcasing how various UCs collaborate and share best practices concerning their AIM strategies. Click here to view the recording.

Leslie Fritzsche, economic investment manager for the city of Sacramento, is one of many external stakeholders excited to be involved in moving AIM forward.

Fritzsche said, “The city of Sacramento is excited to partner with UC Davis Health. The city’s commitment to inclusive economic development directly aligns with the Anchor Institution Mission’s philosophy. Through engagement, leveraged investment, and collaboration, we can strengthen our collective impact and provide increased social and economic opportunities for our community increase our community social and economic opportunities.”

Stay tuned

To help keep our communities informed about what’s happening with AIM, each segment – hire, volunteer, invest and purchase locally – will be highlighted throughout 2024.

For general information about AIM updates and upcoming events, visit the AIM website or email the Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UC Davis at