Episode 14 of the More than Health Care: A Community Health Conversation podcast is now available on the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ website and on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. Every other week, a new episode uncovers keys to collaboration and holistic health in pursuit of improved health outcomes and lower costs for all.  

Collaborative Consulting is a boutique firm working at the intersection of the health care and social service sectors. But being small doesn’t mean its vision and impact can’t be significant. From promoting cross-sector partnerships to defining strategy, Lori Peterson and her team are driven to encourage nonprofit organizations to tweak their current service delivery models to meet the needs of the demanding and ever-changing dynamic between large healthcare providers and smaller, community-based organizations (CBOs).

To help ensure a successful association between cross-sector organizations that are looking to collaborate, Peterson first makes sure each is ready to fully commit to the changes needed for success while also determining if a partnership is even in their respective best interests. “When we enter into projects, we want to make sure that [a] partnership is the right strategy for the organizations that we’re working with,” said Peterson. “We learn that the capacity to partner is actually not a natural skill set … and so, a lot of our work has fallen in the realm of capacity building and helping organizations prepare, ready, design, and launch those partnerships.”

And Peterson emphasizes that partnerships are especially important now as the healthcare system is in a transition from “more is better to better is better.” Meaning, that the focus is shifting to provide a better patient experience with optimal performance to achieve better outcomes rather than just using the number of individuals served as a measure of success. It’s a philosophy of quality over expansion, and Peterson believes that the close community ties regularly cultivated by CBOs are extremely valuable to large health care providers who need that type of connection for long-term, positive, client outcomes within this new perspective.

Peterson feels that a CBO's focused expertise more than its size is what’s essential in this new collaborative dynamic, “I don’t see small as a weakness, I actually see it as an asset … in the ability to be more fluid, more flexible, more responsive, [with] not as much bureaucracy,” she states. However, she advises that this also means CBOs must become better self-promoters to let healthcare providers know who they are and what assets they can provide. And when all is aligned, these types of partnerships will strengthen each sectors mission and goals.

Listen as Peterson provides a deeper insight into cross-sector partnerships and why community-based organizations are well-positioned to benefit in Episode 14 of the  More than Health Care Podcast  available through the Alliance website or subscribe on the Apple Podcast, Google Play, or Spotify apps

About the Podcast

While many are realizing that collaboration and holistic approaches are the solution, the health care and human services sectors are struggling to find the right formula to realize the full potential. The More than Health Care podcast is designed to help organizations overcome barriers to partnerships resulting from cultural differences, financial pressures, and rules and regulations. 

In addition to showcasing inspiring examples of integration from across the country, featured experts will expose the myths, misconceptions, and shortcomings of efforts to address the social determinants of health through collaboration across sectors. 

This podcast is presented by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Ascentria Care Alliance, and Beech Acres Parenting Center. Cohosts Jill Huynh, vice president of new business development at Beech Acres, and Tim Johnstone, executive vice president of community services at Ascentria, work at the intersection of health and human services, bringing the expertise and practical experience to uncover key takeaways for improving health care and human services integration. 

Subscribe on  Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify

Learn more about the Alliance's efforts to improve population health and well-being.