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How Collaboratives are Transforming Population Health

Six Key Take-aways from our Virtual Roundtable

In a recent virtual roundtable, “Working Together Beyond Your Walls: How Collaboratives are Transforming Population Health,” we brought together a panel of experts to take a closer look at some of the key challenges hospital systems, state agencies, and local health organizations are tackling as they co-lead collaboratives to transform population health. The panel also shared important lessons learned from their own experiences:

  • Lisa Bell, MPH, Manager Community Benefit, BayCare Health System
  • Jane Chai, MPH, Community Health Expert, Conduent Healthy Communities Institute
  • Ashley Wendt, MPH, Public Health Consultant, Conduent Healthy Communities Institute


Here are six key take-aways from the discussion:

  1. Trust is the foundation of successful collaborations. Establishing a level playing field where all voices matter and are heard, where there’s an agreed-upon purpose, shared power and most importantly, trust — is key. Creating this foundation will take you from wondering, “What if we could collaborate?” to reaping the benefits of actual collaboration and fruitful working relationships. Some catalysts to help you get there:
  • Identify and move away from incentives keeping people in silos
  • Establish a common language around data
  • Use performance-based reimbursements to cultivate multi-sector collaborations


  1. Leverage the strengths of multidisciplinary and multi-sector partners. There are a lot of people doing amazing work in community and public health. But doing that work in parallel limits or even negates its potential impact on population health. Collaboration, on the other hand, enables real magic to happen — leveraging the strengths of partners with varying disciplinary backgrounds and across sectors will compound the strengths of partners in affecting positive change. Using the Collective Impact approach, collaboratives can embody sound public health practice at its best.


  1. Getting hospitals and health departments on the same CHNA/CHIP/CHA timeline can be a game changer. As shared through the example of the All4Health Collaborative spotlighted in the roundtable, it was when the hospital system and health department stakeholders got on the same page that collaboration began to take shape. Even with a host of competing priorities across four different counties they were all able to come together — with a lot of time and patience — behind a single survey tool that enabled broad-scale progress on shared goals.

From that came the collaborative’s first win — going from a previous average of 500 community survey responses to more than 20,000 responses. This exponential increase yielded extremely robust data while spurring the development of a strict methodology to ensure representation. In turn, the sophistication of the collaborative’s work was elevated along with community respect for the collaborative process as a whole.


  1. Robust community data is critical in the shift from reactive to preventive care. Research and COVID-19 have driven home how much social and economic factors influence individual and community health. We have witnessed how much health is tied to where people live, work, learn and play — and how a holistic view of individuals and communities is crucial to being able to fully address and improve public health.

While more clinical data is being captured than ever before, correlating and integrating community and public health data is needed to achieve a holistic view. It creates the ability to understand disparities and identify, for instance, people who are returning to the hospital at a higher rate or address disparities or systemic factors in the community that could negatively impact individuals’ health.


  1. Collaboration and shared data open pathways to positive change. The future presents an opportunity to meaningfully address the more difficult issues related to population health such as health equity, social justice and systemic racism. Collaboratives are poised to become a leading voice in discussions and ongoing work to effectively address disparities as well as shape and positively influence community and population health.

They bring a wide range of partners together around shared priorities, aligning data and efforts to mutually affect and drive results. Here are some examples of programs launched through collaboratives:

  • Community leadership academies that train community residents on how to look at health and advocate for their needs.
  • Hospital-sponsored chronic disease management programs in communities with higher prevalence.
  • Wellness programs in schools identified by districts as having populations at higher risk for obesity or diabetes.


  1. Conduent Community and Population Health Management Solutions are paving the way for collaboratives. As noted during the roundtable discussion, Conduent’s HCI team and technology played a key role in helping build, shape and launch the successful All4Health collaborative in Florida. Outside of this, our HCI Consulting Services team has completed hundreds of community health needs assessments and implementation strategies and brought their top-notch expertise and experience to bear for numerous community and public health initiatives across the country.

The HCI Platform, which brings together more than 150 health, social, and economic indicators, and the ability to integrate local and clinical data, can serve as the technological heart of a collaborative. Through our platform and services users can swiftly gain insights from data, identify disparities, plan and implement initiatives, and collaborate and communicate to make a difference.  And the HCI Strategy Tracking Solution combines the expertise and support of public health consultants with the power of the leading strategy-tracking software. 

Listen as the panelists give advice for building successful collaboratives that sustain a long-term impact outside the walls of your hospital and into your community.