Document Type



Master of Arts


American Studies

First Adviser

Simon, Roger D.


After many American urban areas lost industrial jobs during the last half of the 20th century, the largest local private employers often became large non-profit hospital systems. From the 1980s to the present, these hospitals went on frequent building sprees to provide more services while competing with their regional competitors. Local governments often encouraged the hospitals' expansion as a way to improve economically depressed neighborhoods and bring greater prestige to the area through highly rated health care. Scholars and economists argue that the large amount of public investment placed in non-profit hospital campuses reduces the likelihood of vacancies in its surrounding neighborhoods and improves these areas' ability to be a stable community. Focusing on neighborhoods surrounding growing hospitals in the Cleveland and Lehigh Valley metropolitan areas, this paper rebuts that theory, finding hospitals encroaching onto housing and census tract data that that does not suggest viable communities.