New Collective Impact Coalition Getting Legs in Guilford County
This year, The Duke Endowment named Healthy Guilford among the newest cohort of counties to receive a Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas (HPHC) grant. HPHC uses a collective impact model to address chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by focusing on healthy eating and active living. The Collective Impact Forum describes this model as “a network of community members, organizations, and institutions who advance equity by learning together, aligning, and integrating their actions to achieve population and systems-level change.”
“We’re excited about this work because it aligns with our interest in seeding meaningful, action-oriented, and community-driven collaborations that seek to influence policies and systems, both big and little, that impact community health,” said Whitney Davis, program officer with the Foundation for a Healthy High Point.
HPHC will enhance community capacity to implement and sustain evidence-based interventions, incorporate equitable community engagement strategies, and use data to track the coalition’s impact over time. “This work will support a multi-sector effort to identify shared goals and measures for impacting health at a community level, and it dovetails nicely with the County’s goals to create integrated data systems across our departments,” said Anita Ramachandran, assistant health director at Guilford County Division of Public Health.
In the fall of 2022, the Foundation for a Healthy High Point supported an effort in partnership with Atrium Wake Forest Baptist High Point Medical Center, High Point Regional Health Foundation, the Guilford County Division of Public Health, and the Greater High Point Food Alliance to bring a group together to pursue this opportunity to improve community health outcomes and reduce health disparities. The initial planning team grew to include: Cone Health, Cone Health Foundation, Weaver Foundation, NC Cooperative Extension, Senior Resources of Guilford County, YWCA High Point, and both High Point and Greensboro Parks and Recreation Departments.
“We know this group is only the beginning of the coalition,” said Carl Vierling, executive director of the Greater High Point Food Alliance. “During this planning year, we will reach out to additional stakeholder organizations and deeply engage the community to inform the specific issues and interventions that this coalition will eventually focus on.”
The initial one-year grant supports planning efforts for the Coalition, such as hiring an executive director to oversee the day-to-day operations and building the infrastructure. This first grant also positions Healthy Guilford to pursue a second multi-year grant that will support the implementation of projects identified by the Coalition.
“We are pleased to be a part of a collaboration that will deepen the hospital’s engagement in the community and create partnerships across county agencies,” said Leigh Ann Venable, director of High Point Regional Health Foundation.
Healthy Guilford joins 28 coalitions across the Carolinas in this collective impact journey. The Duke Endowment provides technical assistance and training and fosters co-learning from other coalitions throughout the process to enhance community capacity to implement evidence-based and informed interventions.