Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Author: Stacey Chazin, Bianca Freda, Deborah Kozick, and Anna Spencer, Center for Health Care Strategies

October 2017 | Profile


Health care and community-based organizations (CBOs) across the country are increasingly working together to address social needs that may be contributing to poor health outcomes. These cross-sector relationships are occurring under a variety of partnership models, yet little is known about the factors that contribute to their success. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nonprofit Finance Fund, the Center for Health Care Strategies, and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities worked together through the Partnership for Healthy Outcomes to capture insights on partnerships between health care organizations and CBOs, particularly those that serve low-income and/or vulnerable populations.

The following case studies illustrate the potential for diverse and effective models between CBOs and health care organizations. They provide important lessons for how successful partnerships deliver services, share information, secure funding, engage their communities, and evaluate success:

Ensuring Healthy Outcomes for Louisville’s Vulnerable Children: Health Access Nurturing Development Services Program – This case study looks at a partnership between Family & Children’s Place and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness that provides home visitation services for new and expectant parents to equip them with the skills to support a healthy family.

Housing is a Health Intervention: Transitional Respite Care Program in Spokane – This case study explores a collaboration among Catholic Charities Spokane, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center (part of the Providence Health & Services health system), and Volunteers of America that provides post-hospitalization care and tailored, coordinated services to homeless clients to give them a better chance at healing.

Collaborating to Reduce Hospital Readmissions for Older Adults with Complex Needs: Eastern Virginia Care Transitions Partnership – This case study features a collaborative in Virginia including more than 80 health care and social services organizations, which is designed to reduce hospital readmissions and improve quality of care by using evidence-based care transition coaching and in-home assessments.

Meeting the Health and Social Service Needs of High-Risk LGBTQ Youth in Detroit: The Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Center – This case study looks at a partnership between the Ruth Ellis Center and the Henry Ford Health System, an integrated health care organization, which aims to improve the long-term health outcomes for one of the region’s most vulnerable populations.