Track: Health and Well-Being
Commitment: Partnering with Purpose
North Star: Strategic Partnerships

Format: Deep Dive
Level of Learning: Doer

Responding to the need for an evolving system of health that better addresses all needs related to improving the health of the community, the social sector has begun exploring ways in which to further integrate within the health care sector. Most notably, this is being achieved through the pursuit of cross-sector partnership.

While most social service organizations acknowledge the potential in partnering, the execution of securing a partnership is often met with many challenges. This is primarily due to the complexity of the partnership dynamics that must be addressed in the design process. Having historically operated in separate worlds, there is much to discover, change, and develop when seeking out and securing a partner in the health care sector.

Collaborative Consulting’s Lori Peterson and Erin Lockwood bring a unique, cross-sector perspective to the design of partnerships, having personally worked with dozens of health care and social sector organizations to forge and grow successful partnerships across the entire continuum of care.In this session, Peterson and Lockwood will open with a brief educational session that explores the key aspects of the preparation and design process for cross-sector partnerships, highlighting the common challenges that are often encountered in the process of identifying and securing an interested partner. They will also provide real-world examples that highlight successes that have been achieved through partnership while also detailing the ways in which these partnerships encountered and overcame challenges of their own when seeking a partner. Participants will be engaged in a peer-driven exercise allowing them to deeply explore the challenges they are experiencing within their own organization’s as they seek a cross-sector partnership.

Peterson and Lockwood will guide groups through a structure exercise that involves exploring and questioning the challenge, then ideating possible solutions that might address the challenge. Groups will be asked to summarize the challenge and ideas before presenting to the larger group for a final discussion, further capitalizing on the power of peer-learning.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand why partnerships must be “designed” and why every successful partnership stems from considerable work in preparation and design
  • Hear real world examples of other social services organizations that have succeeded in securing effective partnerships
  • Explore challenges in the process of securing a cross-sector partner with like-minded peers in attendance
  • Establish potential solutions, or steps to take, in addressing the partnership challenges identified that are currently hampering the pursuit of a partnership within one’s own organization
  • Network and connect with like-minded peers to learn of others’ ideas and efforts in cross-sector partnership


  • Lori Peterson, CEO and founder, Collaborative Consulting
  • Erin Lockwood, consultant, Collaborative Consulting

Lori Peterson
CEO and Founder
Collaborative Consulting

If Collaborative Consulting works at the heart of medical-social integration, Lori Peterson works at the heart of Collaborative Consulting. She launched the firm in 2010, when health care reform was still on the horizon and most leaders felt a deep sense of uncertainty. With massive changes looming, Peterson understood that the major challenge facing health and social care organizations would be reinvention, not the preservation of the status quo.

Given her 25 years of experience in the health care industry and a background in psychology and organizational development, Peterson’s expertise ranges from business development to strategic partnerships, cross-sector collaborative development to multi-stakeholder facilitation, new service design to change activation and implementation. She draws on her unique knowledge and experience to help health and social care providers achieve their potential amid complex change and translate new models of care and reimbursement structures into viable opportunities for growth. With her deep understanding of the dynamics of change, Peterson is adept at helping clients become comfortable with new ways of operating.

Peterson earned her bachelor's in physiology from Kansas State University and her master's in psychology from Sonoma State University.

Erin Lockwood
Collaborative Consulting

Erin Lockwood views the entire continuum of care as an opportunity to improve health and social integration. This drives her passion for helping clients collaborate on designing and implementing post-acute and community-based networks. She has extensive knowledge of health care reform and is a skilled researcher, writer, and project manager with expertise in analyzing data and systems and creating new programs and processes.

Lockwood’s ability to deconstruct big, complex ideas and translate them into actionable plans is critical to client success, whether they be health systems, social care leaders, post-acute providers, or foundation pioneers. She makes data and digital data platforms meaningful to any audience and can simplify what health organizations often see as overwhelming or even impossible challenges. Lockwood also employs interactive frameworks and tangible mechanisms to help clients remain accountable to their own performance.

Lockwood has master's degrees in public health and business administration from Benedictine University. She holds a bachelor's in biology from Wittenberg University and is a certified associate in project management.