Patients, Providers and Employers Working Together to Improve the Quality of Health Care

Aligning Forces for Quality takes root in Humboldt County, Calif.

    • August 8, 2011

The experience of Humboldt County, Calif., with Aligning Forces for Quality illustrates what can happen when diverse constituents are brought together to address a significant challenge. From publicly reporting performance measures to establishing Pathways to Health, a chronic disease self-management program, and a system redesign call Primary Care Renewal, Humboldt County is implementing innovative programs and approaches that can serve as models for collaborative efforts everywhere.

Aligning Forces for Quality is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national reform. Aligning Forces for Quality asks the people who get care, give care and pay for care to work together toward common, fundamental objectives to lead to better care. The $300 million commitment to improve health care in 16 communities, together covering 12 percent of the United States population, is the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken by a U.S. philanthropy.

Each of the Aligning Forces for Quality communities has built its initiative around a core, multi-stakeholder leadership alliance working to advance the goals and activities of Aligning Forces for Quality at the local level. These alliances include participation from physicians, nurses, patients, consumers and consumer groups, purchasers, hospitals, health plans, safety net providers and others.