The indelible link between community health and economic well-being has never been more clear than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses rely on healthy employees, consumers, and partners to reach their full potential and optimize their bottom lines. Meanwhile, our communities need employment opportunities, stability, and equitable economic prosperity to ensure that all people can achieve their best possible health.

To support this shared vision of health, equity, and prosperity, businesses and governmental public health departments must move toward changing systems, investing in cross-sector relationships and collaborations to advance community health. 

Innovative, Multi-Sector Partnerships for Community Transformation (IMPACT) in Public Health, launched in 2022, fosters such collaboration by catalyzing and supporting partnerships between governmental public health departments and the private sector. This program aims to: 

  • Develop a cohort of public-private partnerships to strengthen the economic prosperity of communities by advancing public health and equity 
  • Identify where interests align and pursue opportunities to demonstrate shared value between and within the business and public health sectors 
  • Spotlight partnerships and document their role in driving sustainable improvements in public health

Applications closed in October 2022 and the program’s first cohort was announced in February 2023.

Maximizing Impact Through Partnership Teams

Applicant partnerships representing governmental public health departments and business partnerships with big ambitions, strong commitment, and a desire to work together differently to advance community health and equity were invited to apply. All partnership teams included leadership as well as staff who could support implementation, and many included other sectors and/or coalitions of businesses, such as chambers of commerce, and representatives from community-based organizations serving communities experiencing health inequities.  

Prior to participating in IMPACT in Public Health, teams shared some history of working together, ambitions to increase and improve their collaborative capacity, and a systemic, upstream vision for what they could achieve together. The program’s first cohort began work in January 2023 and will continue through March 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

All partnerships must include at least one governmental public health department and at least one private sector business, with representation from each sector to include a leader with decisionmaking authority. Partnerships that include other sectors, multiple public health or business partners, and community-based organizations are also encouraged to apply.

Members of each partnership should have some experience working together and be eager to build on past successes by undertaking an upstream, systemic goal to advance community health and equity.
We are open to applications from small and large businesses and encourage applicants to apply with a team that is equipped to meet the scale of their vision.

Participation in the first cohort of
IMPACT in Public Health
will run from January through December 2023. During that period, each partnership will identify a team of 5-7 individuals to lead their participation in the initiative (3-4 representatives from the private sector partner and 3-4 representatives from the public health partner).
should include both leadership and individuals who can execute on the collective goals of the partnership. Members of this team will participate in:

  • Monthly coaching calls
  • Twice-quarterly webinars
  • A community site visit
  • An in-person convening planned for spring 2023

In addition, all partnerships will participate in an onboarding process that will include assessing teams’ data-related needs and capabilities (to inform the creation of a data dashboard) and an evaluative process that will include an initial baseline assessment, questionnaires, and interviews. We expect the total commitment for the team to be approximately 5-10 hours monthly.

All participants in
IMPACT in Public Health
will receive dedicated teaching assistance (TA) to strengthen their collaborative capacity, develop their leadership capabilities, and advance their collective goals. Each partnership team will meet monthly with their dedicated TA and participate in one-on-one leadership coaching calls on a quarterly basis, as well as receive a site visit from their TA lead during the initiative.
All participants will benefit from peer learning through the
IMPACT in Public Health
cohort, which will gather twice quarterly for webinars and once for an in-person cohort convening.

Benefits of participation include:

  • Individual and group coaching to build each partnership’s collaborative capacity and advance shared goals 
  • An action plan to advance shared goals for improving community health and equity 
  • A data dashboard, created by a team at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, to inform strategic priorities for each partnership and to support ongoing evaluation 
  • A $100,000 award to the participating public health department to support implementation 
  • Sharing and peer learning from a cohort of 4-6 other business and public health collaboratives 
  • Opportunities for visibility, including media 

IMPACT in Public Health
seeks to catalyze collaboration and innovation between businesses and public health departments in service to systemic, upstream goals for community health and equity. During the one-year engagement as part of a cohort, we anticipate that all partnerships will advance their collaborative capacity, strengthen their ability to work together across sectors, and begin to make progress toward their ambitious goals.

For private sector partners: IMPACT in Public Health
will provide a roadmap for responding to the business implications of poor community health by investing in public health partnerships that can foster a healthier workforce, a more appealing and vibrant community, and a stronger local economy. Businesses will receive dedicated support to identify strategies to remove barriers to better health in their communities, including through data.

For public health partners: IMPACT in Public Health
will enable public health departments to connect the public and private sectors through partnerships designed to address underinvestment from public institutions and distrust in the community. Public health partners will receive dedicated support and resources to focus specifically on cultivating relationships with the private sector and to build capacity within staff to foster new organizational processes that meet the needs of these partnerships.

A data dashboard is an important tool for:

  • Assessment: understanding current community health and economic status
  • Planning: informing and setting goals for initiatives to address pressing community health equity issues
  • Implementation: monitoring progress

  • Evaluation: determining impact on community health and economic outcomes

Each partnership will gain knowledge and skills regarding the “why, where, what, when and how” of measurement and evaluation, access and availability of sources of data, metrics that should be measured, and framework for creating a measurement and evaluation plan to ensure accountability and track impact and success.

We invite participants to use this opportunity to lay the groundwork for an ambitious, upstream, systemic goal. Therefore, we anticipate that teams won’t have “solved” the problem they identify during their year-long participation in this program. The technical assistance, concentrated collaborative work, and peer support offered through the initiative should serve as a catalyst for work that extends far beyond the year-long commitment.

We are exploring ways to continue to engage partnerships in the long term, both to support ongoing work and to highlight successes and achievements that build on the progress made in the first year.

The $100,000 grant to participating public health departments is designed to support the collective aims of the partnership.
As a result, partnerships have significant flexibility in how they choose to allocate those resources, including to community engagement efforts or convenings, additional technical assistance,
incentives to small businesses or chambers of commerce
, or other needs as they arise.