Cross-Sector Innovation Initiative

The Center for Sharing Public Health Services 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. Alignment of these three sectors can be conceptualized according to the Cross-Sector Alignment Theory of Change. The CSII 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.

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.

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.

In addition to receiving funding to support their collaborative efforts, each grantee also will 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.

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