10 Grantees Selected for Cross-Sector Innovation Initiative

Grantees are implementing innovative multisector partnerships between governmental public health, healthcare, and social service organizations, along with the engagement of their communities, with the ultimate goal of aligning the three sectors’ work to improve population health, well-being and equity for all.

The Center for Sharing Public Health Services and the Public Health National Center for Innovations has announced grant awards totaling nearly $1.5 million to support collaborations between governmental public health, healthcare and social services. Provided as part of the Cross-Sector Innovation Initiative (CSII), the funds will advance the efforts of 10 grantees to implement innovative multisector partnerships between governmental public health, healthcare, and social service organizations, along with the engagement of their communities, with the ultimate goal of aligning the three sectors’ work to improve population health, well-being, and equity for all.

The initiative breaks new ground as it seeks to create an unprecedented effort toward achieving systems alignment between public health, healthcare and social services, supporting strategies that address both population-focused efforts and the social needs of individuals. Through their support of community-based efforts, the collaborations will elevate the focus on population health, thereby improving the health and well-being of the people they serve and the communities in which they operate.

“This new trend holds promise, and this initiative can be even more far-reaching and impactful with additional partners and long-term commitments. Bringing these three sectors together for this grant opportunity – along with the engagement of the community – has the potential to achieve unprecedented improvements in health and equity, and innovative solutions to complex problems that impact the health and well-being of communities everywhere.”

Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP
Chief Innovations Officer, Public Health National Center for Innovations

The grants, made possible with support from the Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provide up to $150,000 to each of the 10 grantees to implement alignment innovations over the next 24 months. The initiative will emphasize the role and value of health departments in cross-sector collaborations while increasing understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that these collaborations represent for health departments.

“The level and complexity of the work required to advance the health of communities is far beyond what any one sector can achieve alone. We can achieve far greater results by working together and using innovation to make lasting improvements in population health outcomes. Working together means not only working across sectors, but also ensuring the community is engaged as an equal partner.”

Gianfranco Pezzino, MD, MPH
Director, Center for Sharing Public Health Services

The alignment innovations being implemented by the 10 grantees vary widely by focus, partner involvement, and level of collaboration. However, all involve high levels of partner trust, a shared vision and goals, community involvement, strong support from governance, and a specific goal to improve population health and achieve health equity. Funded initiatives will address a range of topics, including structural racism through policy, creating sustainable financing structures, and the root causes of inequitable birth outcomes. One initiative aims to develop a set of strategies to engage housing residents to improve physical and mental healthcare coordination, while another will work to infuse community voice in governance and leadership structures.

In addition to receiving funding to support their collaborative efforts, each grantee will also receive technical assistance and the opportunity to participate in a CSII Learning Community designed to facilitate peer exchange and share expertise. As learnings are captured, they will be evaluated and widely disseminated to the field through a variety of tools, resources, stories and other communication materials.

“This is a truly groundbreaking effort that will help us to better understand what facilitates or impedes cross-sector collaborations, the unique role of governmental public health in these efforts to align different sectors, and the value of this work to all partners involved.”

Monique Shaw, MPH
Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The 10 grant recipients and their project titles are:

  • Better Health Together (Washington): A Collaborative Approach to Community Equity in Spokane County, Washington
  • Cabarrus County Partnership for Children (North Carolina): Substance Use Network: A Collaborative System of Care for Pregnant Mothers with Substance Use Disorder, Their Infants, and Families
  • Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) (pending execution of grant agreement): The Health Improvement Partnership: (pending execution of grant agreement): Cuyahoga’s Quest to Achieve Equity: Applying Community-Based System Dynamics to Tackle Structural Racisms in Greater Cleveland
  • Chatham County Public Health Department (North Carolina): Equity for Moms and Babies Realized Across Chatham (EMBRACe)
  • Health Education Council, Serving Populations at Risk (California): West Sacramento Accountable Community for Health: Working Together to Promote Healthy Lives & Happy Hearts: A Multi-Sector Alliance of Health, Local Government, and Community Partners Dedicated to Health Equity Focused on Access to Healthy Food, Improved Walkability, Community Connection, and Tobacco Prevention
  • Hennepin County Public Health Department (Minnesota): Community Health Improvement Partnership in Hennepin County: Focus on Community Mental Well-Being and Housing Stability
  • Ledge Light Health District (Connecticut): Engaging Community to Pursue a Healthy and Equitable Future by Addressing Structural Racisms
  • Minneapolis Health Department (Minnesota) (pending execution of grant agreement): Minneapolis Highrise Health Alliance: Leadership and Action for Healthier Minneapolis Public Health Authority Residents
  • Mountain Area Health Education Center (North Carolina): Mothering Asheville: A Community-Centered Health Movement to Address Institutional Racism, Implicit Bias, Access to Care, and Social Determinants of Health as Root Causes of Birth Inequities
  • Napa County Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Division (California): Aligned Through Design: Improving Health Equity in Napa County Through Shared Data and Human-Centered Strategies

Learn more about the Cross-Sector Innovation Initiative.