The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities envisions a society where all children, adults and families can enjoy health, safety, and well-being. However, this vision remains elusive for many Americans due to social inequities and complex health and social needs. On a national scale, the U.S. has the most expensive health care delivery system and some of the worst health outcomes among industrialized nations.

Human services community-based organizations can play a critical role in:

  • Improving health outcomes for all people
  • Reducing health disparities
  • Bending the health care cost curve

Working Together for Better Health and Well-Being

The Alliance and our strategic action network of thousands of social sector leaders and partners are working to advance improved health care that is holistic, preventive, and focuses on the social determinants of health. This is what it will take:

  • Address Health Holistically. Many factors determine an individual’s health: Genetic, behavioral, medical, and social. Behavior, for example, influences about 30 percent of a person’s health. But 50 percent of health outcomes are affected by socioeconomic factors and physical environment factors, known commonly as the social determinants of health. There is growing evidence that addressing both social and medical conditions yields better results for individuals.
    Learn more about the social determinants of health.

  • Champion the Return on Investment of Robust Human Services and Social Care. Poor health and the demand for medical services are primarily driven by behavioral and social factors. Because human services has expertise in cost-effectively providing evidence-based services for individuals who experience challenges due to socioeconomic and environmental factors, they can reduce the financial burden to America’s health system.
    Advocate for investments in human services.

  • Build Partnerships between Health Care and Human Services Systems. As a key part of America’s health and human services continuum, community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of individuals with complex social and health care needs. When health care providers and community-based organizations work together, the health of individuals improves and costs are effectively managed.
    Discover how community-based organizations contribute to successful health outcomes.

Our Work: Promoting Partnerships between Community-Based Organizations and Health Care

The Alliance has undertaken a comprehensive set of strategies and projects to advance population health and well-being, including practical tools and resources.

  • Podcast: More than Health Care: A Community Health Conversation
    During this podcast, presented by the Alliance, Beech Acres Parenting Center, and Ascentria Care Alliance, cohosts Jill Huynh and Tim Johnstone, who work at the intersection of health and human services, interview experts across sectors to uncover the keys to collaboration and holistic health in pursuit of improved health outcomes and lower costs for all. Listen for the latest on best practices, policy, and opportunities for integration and innovation. 

  • Partnership for Health Outcomes
    With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Alliance, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Center for Health Care Strategies captured insights on partnerships between community-based organizations and health care organizations, particularly those serving low-income and vulnerable populations. The report, case studies that explore a subset of these leading partnerships, and resources like the Partnership Assessment Tool for Health identify examples and lessons from current partnerships to inform funding and policies that advance effective practices across the nation.

  • Innovation Design Summit on Leading Through the Integration of Health and Human Services (Event Archive)
    With funding from the Kresge Foundation, the Alliance convened more than 100 social sector and health care leaders to identify and develop solutions to improve collaboration between sectors and health outcomes.

  • Alliance Peer Exchange: Health and Human Services Intersection
    To facilitate ongoing learning, collaboration, and problem solving, The Kresge Foundation supported the Alliance in launching the Health and Human Services Intersection Alliance Peer Exchange group. A core team of members and Alliance staff work collaborate online and through regular meetings to set goals, share expertise, and engage the broader peer group and network.

  • The Effectiveness of Peer-to-Peer Community Support to Promote Aging in Place
    A study funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and conducted in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and three Alliance member organizations investigated peer-to-peer support programs in preventing hospital emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and nursing home placements in older adult populations and how peer supports promote health and wellness.

  • Change in Mind Institute
    Toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences have been shown to impact neurodevelopment, leading to higher incidence of chronic diseases. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Alliance focused on working with community-based organizations to instill brain science-informed evidence to policies, programs, and systems to produce better outcomes for children, youth, and families.

  • Aramark Building Community
    To support community-based health and wellness efforts, the Alliance provides its members with access to Healthy For Life® from the American Heart Association, developed in partnership with Aramark. The easy-to-follow tips, resources and videos from the online portal provide a full suite of health and wellness content and resources, ready to share with community members.

Other Partners

  • Root Cause Coalition
    The Alliance is affiliated with Root Cause Coalition, a collaborative fostering cross-sector partnerships and collective impact of its member organizations through research, education and advocacy to improve health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health.

  • Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network (SIREN)
    The Alliance serves on the National Advisory Council of SIREN at the University of California, San Francisco, whose mission is to catalyze and disseminate high-quality research that advances efforts to address social determinants of health in health care settings.

More Information

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