Across the U.S. health care system, groups of people representing varying perspectives are uniting around the common goal to advance health equity by improving unjust health outcomes and addressing the structures that perpetuate them. This complex work requires collaboration among teams that include multiple types of stakeholders in public health, health care, social services, and community-based organizations. These cross-sector partnerships are made up of people with differing perspectives, skills, and backgrounds. As a result, teams can frequently face challenges with power dynamics, status-quo bias, and lack of trust, all of which can impair team functioning and progress toward health equity goals.

Emergent Strategy uses facilitation and mediation practices to emphasize relationship building and creativity as modes of coming together to make change and advance equity. This tool explores the concept of Emergent Strategy, and how it can apply to cross-organizational teams supported by Advancing Health Equity (AHE), a national initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that is working with states to pursue payment innovations that support health equity. The initiative is led by the University of Chicago in partnership with the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, and the Justice Collective.

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In this episode of Advancing Health Equity’s (AHE) Small Bytes series, Vicki Quintana, CHCS senior program officer and author on Engaging Emergent Strategies in Facilitating Multi-Stakeholder Health Equity Collaboration, shares how the AHE teams are applying Emergent Strategy principles to transform their approach to care and payment transformation.