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RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America

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Collaboration to Build Healthier Communities

A Report for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America

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Collaboration between the health sector and other sectors might generate new opportunities to improve health, but we need to understand the degree to which such cross-sector collaboration occurs, whether it has positive effects, and if so, the factors that underlie successful cross-sector, health-improving initiatives.

This report by Wilder Research and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis provides new information on collaborative action to improve the health of communities across the United States. It addresses the following questions:

  • What collaborative activity is occurring between the health and community development sectors in the United States?
  • What factors underlie successful cross-sector initiatives to improve community health?
  • What obstacles prevent collaboration between health and community development organizations from occurring?
  • What actions can help optimally support additional collaboration between health and community development organizations that work to improve community health?


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Case Studies


Integrating Health Education, Community, and Health Care

Learn how the Brandywine Health Foundation of Coatesville, Pa. worked across sectors to improve health in their community.

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Collaboratively Empowering Parents

Learn how the Preschool Without Walls, in Los Angeles helps parents serve as their children's first and lifelong educator.

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Making Good Nutrition More Accessible

Learn how Healthy Foods Here of Seattle makes healthier foods more accessible by working with corner stores.

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What makes cross-sector collaboration work? Strong leadership, mutual respect, and common goals.

Minnesota Healthy Communities Conference

On November 1, the 2013 Minnesota Healthy Communities Conference explored ways to build a healthier country by connecting the health and community development sectors. RWJF's Elaine Arkin provided remarks on the Commission's upcoming recommendations.

Learn more about the conference