PHNCI and the Center for Sharing Public Health Services (CSPHS) are supporting 10 collaborations’ implementation efforts of innovative multi-sector 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. Collaboration and alignment efforts are underway while the grantees are in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and as they determine how best to work together, how their systems can and are supporting them, and how to continue to focus on equity.
From agencies offering mini-grants directly to community members with local ideas and solutions to improve mental well-being and housing stability to agencies stepping in to assist food banks and restaurants with meal delivery, cross-sector partnerships are especially important now, with many relying on each other to meet the needs of all communities impacted by the pandemic.
Aligning Systems for Health, led by the Georgia Health Policy Center and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), is hosting a virtual session on May 27th as organizations share the work they are engaged in around cross-sector alignment: What is it? What does it mean? Why does it matter? How can we use these lessons in light of the current fight against COVID-19? Using the analogy of a pixel, which is any of the small, discrete elements that together constitute an image (as on a television or digital screen), the session will bring the pixels together to form a more complete picture of cross-sector alignment efforts.
PHNCI and CSPHS will present on the Cross-sector Innovation Initiative (CSII), funded by and with support from RWJF. The story, titled Digging into Public Health: Public Health as a Foundation of Community Health, describes the CSII goals, including the role of local public health departments as they are key partners working towards systems alignment and a foundation to the body of community agencies that contribute to health. Health departments are strong and flexible, providing a foundation that supports moving parts and significant weight pressing down on it. In short, they are the foundation of the local public health system. And they play critical roles in collective efforts to improve health and health equity (e.g., providing leadership and cultivating shared leadership, analyzing and sharing data, and engaging the community). Many public health roles are designed to be invisible and require partnerships with health care, social services, the community, and others, in order to leverage resources, set and pursue collective health goals, and share data. How can public health be the most effective in this work? The Cross-sector Innovation Initiative is finding out. We hope you will learn with us as we adjust to the “current normal” and support continued efforts to elevate innovative practices in governmental public health, healthcare, and social service organizations.