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Health systems increasingly recognize the value of fostering health system and community partnerships that are built on trust, meaningful relationships, and community ownership. This is particularly critical for communities of color, where members historically have not had a voice in health care decision-making. Doing so helps inform the design of more responsive care and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. This cultural shift, however, requires time, investment, and a deep commitment in co-designing strategies and sharing power with communities.

This Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) webinar, made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shared opportunities to achieve engagement and trust between safety-net health systems and communities drawn from a national exploration of emerging best practices. It featured a panel discussion with representatives from health systems and community-based organizations who provided their firsthand experiences and insights on developing more community-driven and accountable health systems.


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: Hadley Fitzgerald, Senior Program Officer, Complex Care Delivery, CHCS

H. Fitzgerald welcomed participants and provided an overview of the webinar.

II. Uncovering Best Practices for Strengthening Community Partnership

Speaker: Zackiya Grant-Knight, Program Officer, Complex Care Delivery, CHCS

Z. Grant-Knight described CHCS’ work in partnership with the Center for Health + Justice Transformation (CHJT) to gain a deeper understanding of how safety-net health systems can be more accountable to the communities they serve. She shared insights from conversations with health systems and community representatives on how to create authentic and meaningful health system and community partnerships.

III. Panel: Health System Strategies for Building Accountability to Their Communities

Moderator: Zach Gross, Project Coordinator, CHJT


  • Whitney Buchmann, Social Impact Consultant and Founder, Illustra Impact
  • Karen McIntire, Vice President of Workforce, Southcentral Foundation Nuka System of Care, Anchorage, AK
  • Imam Sharif Mohamed, Co-founder, Open Path Resources, Minneapolis, MN
  • Dan Swayze, VP of Community Services, UPMC Health Plan

Z. Gross facilitated a panel discussion focused on how health systems and community partnership efforts can lead to greater opportunities for accountability, including strategies to build trust and create structures for community decision-making. Participants shared on-the-ground examples of community engagement and tips for how health systems can move toward more meaningful community partnerships.

IV. Moderated Q&A 

Moderator: H. Fitzgerald