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. This 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.

The CSII has released a call for proposals (CFP) seeking collaborations aimed at aligning and supporting partnerships among public health, healthcare, and social services sectors.

Up to 10 grantees will be selected to receive awards of up to $150,000 each for projects that will last between 18 and 24 months, starting in early 2020. Eligible applicants must be part of established collaborations, although it is anticipated that selected collaborations will have reached different levels of maturity. The collaborations must include, at a minimum, partners from multiple organizations representing public health, healthcare, and social services. Applicants may be governmental or non-profit organizations from the public health, healthcare, or social services sectors, and one or more health departments must have a leading or prominent role in the collaboration.

Proposals will be submitted in a two-phase process and must be submitted through the RWJF online system. The deadline to apply is September 5, 2019, by 3PM ET. Interested applicants are encouraged to view a webinar hosted by CSII that outlined the CFP and where questions were answered.

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.