Improving Community Health

Collaborating Across Sectors to Improve Community Health

This winter, RESOLVE partnered with the Health Care Transformation Task Force (HCTTF) to lead a high-level group of public health and health care professionals in developing an actionable framework for cross sector collaboration. The resulting whitepaper, Partnering to Catalyze Comprehensive Community Wellness: An Actionable Framework for Health Care and Public Health Collaboration, was just released and featured by the New England Journal of Medicine’s Catalyst Blog.

It’s widely accepted that to truly improve health outcomes in the U.S. we must address acute health conditions and the upstream social determinants that contribute to wellbeing, such as nutritious food, transportation, safe housing and neighborhoods, education, and employment. Moreover, there’s mounting recognition that doing so requires enhanced collaboration among our health systems, social services, and community-based organizations.

This was the impetus that drove development of the new framework and white paper recently released by the Public Health Leadership Forum (PHLF), RESOLVE’s long-standing forum for public health leaders to address emerging issues in the field, and HCTTF, a group of leading health care payers, providers, purchasers and patient organizations. The framework outlines essential elements, tactics, and strategies for forming or reshaping partnerships between health care and public health organizations. Doing so with the belief that high-functioning collaborations between health care and public health are an important step toward realizing the multi-sector community networks needed to provide seamless care and prevention services to all.

The framework’s collaborative orientation is reflective of the cross-sector cooperation that produced it. Members of the PHLF and HCTTF worked in partnership for over eight months to develop this resource and accompanying message. Together they articulated and endorsed a vision for “comprehensive community wellness;” described in the white paper as an approach “that values and supports all people achieving their highest possible levels of health by simultaneously addressing all determinants of health. […] When assuming such an approach, the health department, hospital, and housing authority share at least one common goal: to improve the health and well-being of the people they serve. They work in concert, each leveraging their own skillsets and that of their partners, to accelerate and achieve the shared goal.”

Meant to help realize this vision, the framework draws on the collective expertise and experience of those involved to provide a roadmap for public health and health care collaboration. The PHLF-HCTTF partnership, and the combination of insights from health care and public health leaders, helped ensure the tool is resonant, understandable, and useful to both professional communities.

With the collaborative framework as a starting point, the PHLF-HCTTF partners invite others to join them in fostering the cross-sector relationships that make comprehensive community wellness possible, recognizing that it will require action from key stakeholders. They invite:

• Public health and health care leaders to use the framework to convene collaborative groups, commit the time and resources needed to effectively collaborate on a shared vision, and grow a generation of health professionals who view multi-sector collaboration as the norm.

• Local, state, and federal policy makers to learn from the examples of effective cross-sector collaboration that informed development of the framework to advance policies and programs that create the catalysts and conditions in which collaborative wellness approaches thrive.

• Health practitioners to identify opportunities to engage and support community-based organizations in structured partnerships to ensure health interventions can truly take hold.
For more information and to download the framework and white paper, please visit:

The Public Health Leadership Forum
The Health Care Transformation Task Force
The New England Journal Catalyst

About Public Health Leadership Forum
The Public Health Leadership Forum is a collaborative platform, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and managed and facilitated by RESOLVE, which engages a diverse set of public health leaders, practitioners, and other stakeholders in dialogue on current challenges to public health and opportunities for leadership, partnership and transformation within the field. The Forum has undertaken tasks including: defining a set of foundational public health services; articulating a vision for high achieving governmental health departments in the year 2020; and housing an initiative to cast the Department of Health and Human Services as the nation’s Chief Health Strategist.

About Health Care Transformation Task Force
Health Care Transformation Task Force is a unique collaboration of patients, payers, providers and purchasers working to lead a sweeping transformation of the health care system. By transitioning to value-based models that support the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs, the Task Force is committed to accelerating the transformation to value in health care.

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