Bridging Public Health and Health Care

Breaking silos and narrowing gaps for collaborative and meaningful health system transformation.

About the Bridging Public Health and Health Care Portfolio

Our organization and network facilitates collaborative work on public health system transformation, building partnerships across sectors to improve population health outcomes and the quality of health care. In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the deBeaumont Foundation, NNPHI’s Bridging Public Health and Health Care Portfolio focuses on:

  • Creating a platform and opportunity for members and partners to develop innovative approaches, address common challenges, share ideas, and develop a shared language through which the professionals and organizations that make up our national public health system can work together.
  • Identifying novel ways to advance population health by supporting the mutual goals of reducing costs, improving quality of care and improving population health.
  • Developing and sharing learning and technical assistance opportunities that help our local, state, and federal stakeholders to improve the health of communities.

Our Work

NNPHI hosted a convening of nine public health institutes with demonstrated innovations in bridging between clinical health care practice and population health. This convening lead to 1) the development of a two-year action plan, 2) creation of a concept paper and 3) formalization of NNPHI collaborative business ventures to position public health institutes as resource partners in the implementation of the ACA.

NNPHI’s growing portfolio of work in this area includes:

Identifying and Advancing Successful Policy Strategies to Improve Health in Rural Communities

In collaboration with CDC’s Office of the Associate Director for Policy and HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, NNPHI and member institute Georgia Health Policy Center provided technical assistance, subject matter expertise and facilitation services to support efforts to address factors underlying the main drivers or disparities in rural health outcomes.  NNPHI and GHPC facilitated a workshop regarding rural-urban disparities in the leading causes of death;  conducted a rapid evidence review of best practices for addressing the underlying causes of rural health disparities and published a compendium of the results.  NNPHI established Thought Leadership Groups based on highest leverage themes from the December 2017 meeting to provide opportunities to rural stakeholders for ongoing engagement, peer learning, and resource sharing.

Advancing Tobacco Prevention and Control in Rural America

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.  Rural communities continue to bear a disproportionate burden of tobacco-related health harms.  To address the high prevalence of commercial tobacco use in rural populations, NNPHI collaborated with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and HealthMaine Public Health Institute, and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors to develop an authoritative report on how to advance tobacco prevention and control in Rural America.  Despite the disproportionate impact tobacco has had on rural communities, the report highlights a variety of examples of tobacco prevention and control efforts underway in rural communities across America that can be replicated and scaled to reduce the prevalence of commercial tobacco use and improve public health.  The report also emphasizes the core strengths of rural communities that can be leveraged to support rural tobacco prevention and control, including strong social networks, high levels of community engagement, and experience in forming cross-sector collaborations.  The full report and executive summary are available here.

Data for Health

The Data for Health initiative explored how health information can be better harnessed to improve people’s lives. Led by an advisory committee, co-chaired by David Ross, ScD, of the Public Health Informatics Institute, and Ivor Horn, MD, M.PH, of the Children’s National Medical Center, Data for Health included a series of listening sessions in five cities across the United States with participation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NNPHI coordinated the initiative’s planning, activities, and events, supported by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Committee members heard from local leaders, consumers, and professionals from a wide range of sectors on what data is important to them, and how they might use it to help people lead healthier lives. In response, the advisory committee published an analysis, including recommendations, in their report, “Data for Health: Learning What Works.

Driving Innovation to Improve Population Health Meeting January, 2014. Washington DC

Supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NNPHI helped coordinate this event, which focused on defining population health and identifying strategic opportunities for integrating population health into healthcare delivery systems.

State Forums to Advance Health Systems Transformation

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010 created an unprecedented opportunity to catalyze health system transformation with an emphasis on shifting toward prevention and value-based care. In 2014, National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) co-created the State Forums to Advance Strategies to Align Public Health and Health Care project which was designed to develop practical strategies to achieve the goal of aligning health care and public health towards prevention. From 2014-2018, NNPHI supported 14 members in primarily rural, Southern and non-Medicaid expanding states to facilitate a series of state or regional meetings that advanced practical strategies for bridging public health and health care. Each forum developed a shared definition of population health, designed mutual goals, strategies, and activities between public health and health care and created a path for meaningful collaboration in achieving reduced health care costs and improving population health outcomes.

View the Final Report here: State Forums to Advance Health Systems Transformation
Check out the Blog on creating shared language, here.

Universal Health Insurance Access Efforts in Massachusetts: Lessons Learned for Public Health Systems across the United States

Working with our member institute, Health Resources in Action (HRiA) and the CDC, NNPHI explored the impact of Massachusetts health care reform on the state’s health insurance landscape, public programs, and public health system. See HRiA’s literature review and case study offering a comprehensive analysis of our findings and their impact.

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