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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards IHI $4.8 Million to help communities become national and global models of health

  |  January 29, 2015
Cambridge, MA  – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded a $4.8 million grant to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to help communities develop capability to improve health and to spread effective community-driven approaches to help build a Culture of Health.
The two-year initiative, SCALE (Spreading Community Adopters through Learning and Evaluation), will involve up to 30 communities from across the U.S., aiming to match up to 10 “mentor communities” – those with a recent track record of achieving better health – with 20 “pacesetter communities” that are seeking to accelerate their pace of change. With multiple sources of support, communities will seek to spread effective, best practices as quickly as possible, in order to realize improvements in health. Together, all the communities intend to stand as beacons and resources for any community, anywhere, striving to obtain the best health possible, especially those most vulnerable to poor health due to poverty, violence, or lack of social supports.
This RWJF grant marks the first community-based phase of the recently announced global initiative, 100 Million Healthier Lives, led by IHI and 90 founding project partners. Through unprecedented collaboration, this initiative aims to achieve an audacious goal: 100 million people living healthier lives by 2020. To date, more than 200 patients, community members, leaders, and implementers across the domains of public health, community health, health care, policy, academia, business, and financing have joined the 100 Million
Healthier Lives initiative, with additional members welcome to join here.
IHI has convened a team of partners to help the mentor and pacesetter communities engage in transformative work. Community Solutions, Communities Joined in Action (CJA), and the Collaborative Health Network (CHN) each bring unique capabilities and expertise to strengthen, measure, and spread the efforts of local communities.
In addition, the initiative will tap into the expertise of Abraham H. Wandersman, PhD, from the University of South Carolina, who will lead a team of experts in formative evaluation across institutions. “I am pleased to be leading up the evaluation of the SCALE initiative because of the opportunity to learn from this work, starting right at the outset,” stated Wandersman. “A major purpose of the formative evaluation is to provide important lessons learned throughout the grant period that can then contribute to spreading what communities are doing well to build a culture of health. Learning what it takes to ignite and sustain peer-to-peer support and learning among and between communities will yield new strategies that all communities can tap into. The hope is that determining best practices by communities will add to data-informed decision making about health, and will have a snowball effect on the journey toward widespread improvement.”
“Community Solutions is thrilled be a partner in SCALE to improve the health of 100 million people by combining our deep experience working with distressed neighborhoods with our proven improvement and community-building methodologies,” said Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions.