Collaborating Where Health Happens

This article from Senior Program Officer Jane Isaacs Lowe about focusing efforts on where health starts appeared as "Views from the Field" in the March 9, 2009 GIH Bulletin.

At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), our mission is to improve health and health care for all Americans. But improving health for the most vulnerable requires acknowledging that factors such as poverty, violence, inadequate housing, and education contribute to poor health. No one knows this better than the grantmakers and nonprofit organizations working within the heart of their own communities. The field of philanthropy has embarked on many local collaborative efforts surrounding these issues.

Twenty years of being part of community collaborations has helped us reinforce our strategy to reach out and address the barriers that stand in the way of good health, and open up new pathways for improving the health of America’s most vulnerable. This article will describe how the original concept of partnerships between local funders and a national foundation has evolved in a way that continues to support local innovation and advance strategy.

With permission of Grantmakers In Health, Washington, D.C.