Cross-Sector Innovation Initiative

The Center for Sharing Public Health Services (CSPHS) and Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), are co-leading the Cross-sector Innovation Initiative (CSII). The CSII is a three-year endeavor to identify and support public health, healthcare and social services organizations striving to build stronger, sustainable connections to better meet the goals and needs of the people they serve and ultimately improve health equity.

The goal of the CSII is to support, promote, and disseminate learning about the role of governmental public health departments in aligning efforts across the healthcare, public health, and social services sectors to improve population health. The project will emphasize the role and value of health departments in cross-sector collaborations and understanding the unique challenges and opportunities that these collaborations represent for health departments.

First Year Learnings (April 2021)

After a year of engagement with CSPHS and PHNCI, the CSII partnerships have shared learnings and further underscored the unique challenges and opportunities that cross-sector partners face as they work together to improve population health, wellbeing, and equity for all. Learn more in this blog from the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (JPHMP) Direct.

Conducting Equity Assessments (April 2021)

Advancing health equity is at the heart of CSII, and grantees are undertaking various initiatives to align public health, healthcare, social services, and community organization efforts to improve population health outcomes by advancing health equity. Four grantees that have conducted equity self-assessments and/or used tools to assess how their collaborative is functioning share their experiences in this new blog: Conducting Equity Assessments

Building Sustainable Collaborations Topical Brief Series (April 2021)

One year into their initiatives, Cross-sector Innovation Initiative (CSII) grantees share their learnings in the Building Sustainable Collaborations topical brief series:

Grantee Progress from January through June 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded across the United States, CSII grantees shifted priorities to address the immediate needs of their communities. Overwhelmingly, grantees reported that cross-sector partnerships positively contributed to their pandemic response. As the pandemic spread throughout the United States, disparities were further highlighted by the racial inequities unearthed by COVID-19. Increasingly, health departments declared racism a public health crisis and began having more conversations and taking action on racial inequities in their communities. Several CSII grantees had begun the year with projects focused on health equity, and events of 2020 spurred the remaining CSII grantees to incorporate racial justice efforts more explicitly in projects. Learn more in our Grantee Progress Report.

CSII Learning Community

To add to the body of knowledge, the CSII issued a Call for Proposals (CFP) to identify and support public health, healthcare and social services collaborations that are building stronger, sustainable connections to better meet the goals and needs of the people they serve. We are pleased to announce, 10 teams have been selected to participate in the initiative, which 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 10 teams are involved in initiatives to address a range of topics, including structural racism, 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.

Read more about their projects below:

CSII Environmental Scan

The CSII conducted an environmental scan to inform the development and implementation of the program. The scan was comprised of a literature review, key informant interviews and secondary data analysis and provides information on facilitators and barriers impacting collaboration between public health, healthcare and social services; continuums of collaboration; roles within collaborations; outcomes associated with cross-sector collaboration; and areas for future research. Information on the impacts associated with cross-sector collaboration and future areas of research also are presented.

The environmental scan also showed that, while cross-sector collaborations appear to be a promising way to address population health issues, more research is needed.

Check back here for future updates about the Cross-Sector Innovation Initiative .