Collaborative Learning Communities

 Southwest (Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford) Connecticut

The Southwest Connecticut coalition will develop and refine an outcome measurement system to better assess their cross-sector interventions aimed at improving health. The Stamford Vita Collaborative is a 2015 Roadmaps Action Awardee that has achieved tremendous results through the implementation of a robust strategy to promote community health and reduce health disparities. The partners in Bridgeport and Norwalk have shared interests in cradle-to-career community supports that enhance quality of life for vulnerable populations. Through the Collaborative Learning opportunity, partners across the three communities will learn from each other’s experiences, and participate in training and capacity building to address current gaps in their measurement systems and tools. Improved measurement and evaluation approaches will be implemented in specific current priority areas of each community. This work will enable refinement of the Stamford Parents as Co-Educators program to improve outcomes for children from non-English-speaking, low-income families. LifeBridge Community Services in Bridgeport will build long-term outcome measurements for high school students who participate in the organization’s youth programming. The Norwalk Family & Children’s Agency will assess its academic and social-emotional program for at-risk middle and high school youth.

Joplin Area, Missouri

The Joplin Area Food Network (JFAN) will expand its efforts to improve access to healthy food and promote regional food equity by developing and supporting teams in three to seven communities that will lead local action projects within a 25-mile radius of Joplin. They will initially focus on collaborative learning and capacity building, leading to implementation and sustainability of the Missouri Council on Activity and Nutrition’s (MOCAN) best practice program Eat Smart in Parks. The learning network of community teams will influence both organizations’ approach to local policy development activities at organizational and municipal levels with lessons learned from the tailoring and implementation of Eat Smart in Parks in the focus communities.

Springfield and Southwest Missouri

For the first time, vested partners will work together to reduce tobacco use in their communities and throughout the region. The Healthy Living Alliance Tobacco Committee will guide the collaborative learning partnership in its efforts to: 1) convene regional partners to confirm the planned policies and programs of interest to reduce tobacco use, 2) develop plans and resources requested by communities to advance efforts in a coordinated and efficient manner, and 3) provide training so regional partners are able to take action in their respective communities.

Monadnock Region, New Hampshire

The Monadnock Living Wage Work group (MLWWG) developed a case and overall strategy and launched a “microburst” living wage campaign through the 2015-16 Roadmaps to Health Action Awards. MLWWG is now poised to align and leverage its efforts with at least two other New Hampshire communities, statewide organizations, and approximately 10 funders for impact at local and state levels. Collaborative learning activities will include: dialogue forums to engage diverse citizens in community action and build cross-community collaboration; development and implementation of a cross-community collaborative learning plan to advance the issue of living wages and its connection to health outcomes; and determination of funder interest in supporting projects to advance the issue of living wages in the state.

Orange, New Jersey-Niagara Falls, New York

Orange and Niagara Falls are both post-industrial cities that have lost their economic base and coherence of the built environment, experienced uneven investment and long-term consequences of policies such as redlining and urban renewal. Community organizing can be critical in communities like these that have been affected by processes of upheaval. The Collaborative Learning support will combine approaches that have been successful in each of the communities, resulting in the design and implementation of one curriculum that is applicable to Orange, Niagara Falls and other communities moving from fracture to health. Niagara Falls partners utilized the ReThink Health approach to develop Resident Leaders who are now steering the course of community health improvements and resident-led projects. Orange partners bring expertise in the principles of Urban Alchemy, a place-based approach to health improvement through experiential and collaborative methods such as walks, mapping and visioning. The project will culminate in resident-designed and produced projects in each of the communities.

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Partners from the Kensington community in Philadelphia and the Hill District in Pittsburgh will engage in collaborative exchanges that link community building and home repairs to positive effects on social cohesion, health outcomes, and increased capacity to conduct community engagement policies and practices in a trauma-informed way. The Kensington team includes staff of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, Impact Services, and Philadelphia LISC. The Hill District team includes partners from FOCUS Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, and community leaders. The Kensington partners bring a unique, longstanding history of successful community engagement strategies that focus on improving community health and well-being through social cohesion at multiple levels of the community’s diverse ecosystem. The Hill District partners will share their unique expertise of piloting and evaluating a trauma-informed service delivery model. From the cooperative learning experience, the partners will engage resident stakeholders to refine a trauma-informed community development model and evaluation design.

Knoxville, Nashville, and Cleveland, Tennessee

The Action Acceleration support will leverage the momentum that has been building to support walkability in three municipalities and at the state level. The newly created TN Walkability Collaborative Learning Community comprises walkability leaders from the Knox County Health Department, Cleveland Metropolitan Planning Organization, Walk Bike Nashville, Tennessee Department of Health, and Tennessee Department of Transportation. Leaders from the three municipalities will work with a local multi-sector team to improve walkability in their communities. The Collaborative Learning Partnership will engage in shared learning through conferences, trainings, and collaborative planning and implementation through in-person, web-based, and telephone exchanges. Lessons learned will inform other municipalities and help in the consideration of creating a state-level advisory team on walkability.

Cabarrus County, North Carolina and Lancaster County, South Carolina

The Cabarrus County, NC team was previously engaged in Roadmaps coaching through the NACo County Health Learning Challenge. During that time, the team focused on increasing healthy food options and decreasing food waste through a food recovery model implemented as a solution to help address the daily struggles of residents who experience unemployment and/or substandard housing. Lancaster County, SC is similar to Cabarrus County with respect to geography, economy, and community health initiatives. Lancaster County partners have also successfully implemented YouthBuild and other programs to address homelessness. Through the Collaborative Learning opportunity, partners from each community will learn from and with each other in order to address food recovery and substandard housing through site visits and ongoing communications. As a result of learning exchanges, Cabarrus County partners will create an action plan to address substandard housing and/or homelessness, and the Lancaster partners will implement a food recovery model with a school or food bank. The J. Marion Sims Foundation is also engaged, with interest in supporting mobilization of community health assessment and systems-level grantmaking efforts, collective learning around community transformation in former textile mill communities, and incorporating key concepts into Health Promotion courses with the University of South Carolina – Lancaster.

Four Regions in Virginia, Texas/Southern New Mexico, Ohio/Kentucky/West Virginia

Partners from the PATH Foundation, Danville Regional Foundation, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, and Interact for Health will commit and leverage resources for the Health Legacy Collaborative Learning Circle. The partnership intends to capitalize on the unique space that health legacy foundations occupy, not only as funders but also as conveners and policy makers. They will learn from and with each other about successful approaches, challenges, and lessons learned from community partners. The candid learning exchanges will influence each funder’s approach to community investments and inform the development of a concrete roadmap for better addressing identified needs in their communities. The Health Legacy Collaborative partners will also develop a new resource for health legacy foundations and other health-oriented funders and nonprofits that outlines their process, findings, and recommendations for evaluation practices and policy engagement.