Cross-Sector Collaboration

NASDOH’s mission is to seek material improvement in the health of individuals and communities and, through multi-sector partnerships within the national system of health, advance holistic, value-based, person-centered health care that can successfully impact the social determinants of health. Below we identify important examples from our partners and members of multi-sector partnerships within communities across the nation. Please refer to our resources page where you can read more about the tools available to support multi-sector partnerships. We encourage you to check back as we regularly update this page with new and emerging examples.

California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI) Wellness Funds

The California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI) is developing Wellness Funds as an important component of Accountable Community for Health (ACH) multi-sector collaboratives. These Wellness Funds operate by pooling and aligning a variety of resources and develop financial management capacity to allow for innovation and infrastructure building. They are intended to support the goals and vision of each site, including supporting backbone organizations. CACHI recently published an issue brief that highlights early insights on their work to develop Wellness Funds including components of governance, funding sources, administrative models, and key capacities. In addition, the brief lays out important recommendations for policymakers and funder’s including:

  1. Providing flexibility in foundation and government programs and grants to support an ACH backbone and overall infrastructure
  2. Supporting wellness fund pilots
  3. Designating that local wellness funds manage specific resources
  4. Encouraging blending and braiding of resources within and across public agencies to address priority outcomes
  5. Supporting shared-savings’ arrangements that encourage health plan investment in community-health improve strategies
  6. Encouraging technical support of wellness funds by financial institutions such as community development financial institutions (CDFIs)

The BUILD Health Challenge – Healthy Homes Des Moines

The BUILD Health Challenge focuses on multisector, community-driven partnerships to reduce health disparities caused by social inequity. The Healthy Homes Des Moines (HHDSM) initiative worked on reducing pediatric asthma-related hospital visits through improving social, economic, and environmental factors with the greatest impact on asthma. The goal of the initiative was to improve housing, health education, and indoor air quality, while promoting self-care and lifestyle changes. The approach included a four-step process beginning with referrals by examining patient and housing data. Referrals were made by hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, and school nurses’ offices. Next, a home inspector identified asthma triggers in each child’s home which was followed by contractors making home repairs. Finally, community health workers conducted education programs for participants on how to control asthma symptoms.

HHDSM experienced a handful of successes including the development of a robust, integrated partnership between fifteen partners including the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, three competing nonprofit hospitals, the local health department and school district, and several community organizations and a comprehensive, online data system providing health care providers a method of referring patients. One key of HHDSM’s success was the ability to integrate data throughout the program. The overall referral process was critical and allowed physicians and hospitals to make direct referrals and track patients’ clinical and nonclinical services received through the home intervention, as well as allowing access to data for all partners. Overall, shared data was used to unify all partners involved, to inform and develop the initiative activities, and to measure project impact on return on investment (ROI). The initiative provided 62 families in-home asthma education, 42 homes were repaired including $150,000 worth of repairs, 38 families completed all intervention steps, $17,000 in supplies were given to families, and 6.2 more asthma-free days per month for children was achieved.

Michigan Health Improvement Alliance (MiHIA)

The Michigan Health Improvement Alliance (MiHIA) is a multi-stakeholder, community collaboration with the aim to take action and drive system change that effectively advances health for a 14-county region. MiHIA utilizes a proven combination of elements called “The Quadruple Aim”: better care experiences, better health, affordable care while improving the work life of health care providers. MiHIA recognizes that the overall success of communities or regions cannot be separated from a clear strategy with focus on the interdependence of health and the economy. Achieving health advancement requires attention to its determinants and critical system aspects including structural and cultural living conditions supporting health, fluid health care delivery for everyone, effective use of technology, innovation, and appropriate industry sector growth. Recently, MiHIA has successfully partnered with the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance (GLBRA) creating a join initiative, THRIVE. THRIVE’s vision is significant improved health and sustained economic growth in the 14-county region.

MiHIA’s foundation of more than a decade of regional collaborative efforts position it for the current initiative targeting both health and the economy. With partners across the health ecosystem, MiHIA selects intervention levers that make meaningful changes.  For example, MiHIA’s Regional Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has achieved the goal of preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 Diabetes while providing very significant health care cost savings. The program model utilizes broad screening to identify and enroll eligible individuals and facilitate reducing risk factors of diabetes. In developing the regional programming, utilizing the CDC recommended model, MiHIA engaged federal agencies, community-based organizations, employers, insurers, health care professionals, academia, and other stakeholders for the support of this program. With MiHIA committed to sustainable system level change, the DPP initiative required broadly transforming the health ecosystem to create new norms which included: achieving an understanding and urgency of the provider community; utilizing new referral and scheduling systems, and convincing payers to make DPP benefits reimbursable. In just two years after implementation, the program enrolled 483 individuals, resulted in over $1.1 million in current health care savings, with a predicted $3.2 million in health plan savings annually going forward. Additionally, over 128,000 individuals were enrolled in a health insurance plan that added DPP as a covered benefit.

RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health’s leadership is at the forefront of ensuring a movement from merely implementing basic community-level involvement and benefit projects to implementing policies, procedures, structures, and resources that drive positive social change as a core component to its system operations. The health system incorporates public policy efforts to encourage healthy communities and continuous evaluation to track and measure change. Through this method, leaders can plan and determine future opportunities for collaboration with many government and community stakeholders in order to achieve a more equitable future for all. RWJBarnabas Health has recently focused on food security initiatives including the Beth Greenhouse and Farmers Market and the Newark Food Security Project.

The Beth Greenhouse and Farmers Market

Healthy communities are food secure. People have opportunities to make healthier food choices if communities produce, rather than import, their own food and have more local food distribution centers (farm and retail).

  • The Greenhouse provides access to healthy, affordable produce to residents of the greater Newark area.
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center became the fi­rst New Jersey-based hospital to accept SNAP benefits.
  • The Farmers Market sells our own and locally-grown produce at affordable prices.
  • Newark Beth Greenhouse continues to provide educational programming, job training, internships and employment opportunities
  • Food is also donated to local soup kitchens and youth community organizations such as Greater Life, located in the South Ward of Newark.
  • 2,100 pounds of food were donated to local food banks by the Greenhouse.

Food for Thought Documentary

The Newark Food Security Project is an initiative aimed at identifying opportunities to enhance, and create greater access to, Newark’s healthy food supply. The project is a collaborative initiative being spearheaded by Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, the Greater Newark Community Advisory Board, and partner community-based organizations. Food for Thought: The Path to Food Security in Newark, NJ is a documentary that was created in 2017 by young adults (ages 12 to 21) from Newark area schools and community-based partner organizations.  23 youth were trained as citizen journalists to chronicle the spectrum of food resources and food availability in the city.

  • The documentary highlights community-based assets and ideas about solutions to addressing food insecurity. It features interviews with community activists, urban farmers, public health experts, city officials, and local youth ambassadors.
  • Long-term Outcome: Increase utilization of urban gardens, green house and farmers markets; develop generation of community advocates.
  • Currently: Screening the documentary throughout the city over the next few months. The goals of the community conversations are to:
  • Raise awareness about the importance of having access to high quality, affordable food.
  • Collect community wisdom and recommendations about what can be done to advance total food security in Newark.
  • Create an action plan to address food security issues.