ATLANTA—Lessons learned during a national initiative to improve coordination and collaboration among the health and social services sectors in the U.S. are encompassed in a new book published by the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC), Aligning Systems for Health: Two Years of Learning.
The book advances understanding of how people and organizations across health care, public health and social services can work together in new and sustainable ways to improve health and well-being. It features findings made during the Aligning Systems for Health: Health Care + Public Health + Social Services initiative supported by the Robert Would Johnson Foundation and based at the GHPC in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.
“To create sustainable positive change that has lasting impacts, systems providing health care must put aside the silo mentality and align to be authentically successful,” said Donyel Barber, community-centered health director at Kintegra Health. “This book is the roadmap for health care providers seeking to create positive change that leads to generational impacts.”
Insights and evidence-informed approaches gleaned from research and practice can help diverse partners align around a common goal of improving health, equity and well-being. Key learnings include:
- The core components—shared purpose, finance, data and governance—are central to the success of health-oriented, cross-sector collaboration.
- Equity and community voice are integral at all points of aligning—not just as an endpoint.
- Changes in mindsets, practices and policies that support distal goals should be measured and evaluated along the way.
“This book offers a timely assessment of what we know and still need to learn about aligning health and social systems,” said Professor Glen Mays, chair of the Colorado School of Public Health’s Department of Health Systems, Management and Policy. “It goes far beyond platitudes about why sectors should work together by carefully examining the theories and complex realities of multisector work. As such, it is a must-read for leaders in the practice community as well as health and social sciences researchers.”
Download the eBook or request a free copy of Aligning Systems for Health: Two Years of Learning at https://ghpc.gsu.edu/aligning-systems-for-health-book/.