Regardless of what type of Community Health Collaborative you are, the framework for getting started, or growing stronger remains the same. As with anything that is cyclical in nature, you have to start somewhere. But once you begin, each phase informs the next in one continuous loop, as demonstrated in the model to the below:
The Community Health Collaborative Framework
The Community Health Collaborative Framework is designed to provide a simple ‘at-a-glance’ overview of the process your collaborative can expect to implement when getting started or growing stronger. As with anything that is cyclical in nature, you have to start somewhere. But once you begin, each focus area informs the next in one continuous loop, as demonstrated in the model below:
Timeline, Tools, & Resources
Community Health Collaborative Timeline
To further break down the process of creating or strengthening a Community Health Collaborative, the timeline to the left outlines key characteristics of collaboratives in different stages of development. Use these characteristics to determine what stage your collaborative is in, whether it be Initiating, Emerging, or Established. As you explore each focus areas from the Framework above, pay particular attention to the activities listed in the corresponding timelines for your collaborative’s current stage.
Keep in mind that the years listed are just a guideline based on our research and the experiences of the collaboratives we have worked with. Many factors can impact the amount of time it takes a collaborative to transition from one stage to the next. Factors that speed up the process include a leader who inspires trust, instills confidence, is inclusive, and adept at managing conflict; funding and/or staffing provided by the initiating organization; membership with previous experience collaborating; clear definition of roles and responsibilities; frequent communication; and flexibility and adaptability. Collaboratives lacking some of these characteristics can still be successful; however, transition from one stage to another may take a little more time.
Tools & Resources
As you explore each focus area, in addition to the timelines, you will also find links to helpful tools and resources. Some of these tools and resources apply more broadly to multiple focus areas or have been widely requested. These are also included here.
To request assistance with identifying additional resources or to submit a resource your collaborative has found to be helpful, email Kara Prior at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Framework Explained
Community Health Collaborative Framework
Use the tabs below to read a brief description of each focus area in the Framework. More detailed information, as well as the corresponding timeline and tools and resources, can be found by clicking the “Learn More” button for each focus area.
This focus area is all about assembling your team and creating a positive working process. It is located in the center of the framework because it both lays the foundation for the rest of your collaborative’s work and guides it as your collaborative continues to grow and change. Having a dynamic, well-rounded team and a strong organizational structure are key to your success.Click Here To Learn More
Focus Area: Develop
This focus area is all about assembling your team and creating a positive working process. It is located in the center of the framework because it both lays the foundation for the rest of your collaborative’s work and guides it as your collaborative continues to grow and change. Having a dynamic, well-rounded team and a strong organizational structure are key to your success.
Focus Area: Define
Understanding what you mean by ‘community’ and determining who is included in your target audience are important steps when seeking to impact health outcomes. Take time to get to know your community: its members, what needs are present, and what assets are already available.
Focus Area: Prioritize
It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of needs uncovered by a community health needs assessment. Remember, you can’t do everything at once. Keeping your vision in mind as you prioritize which needs to address first will help you maintain focus and progress towards your goals.
Focus Area: Plan
Proper planning is essential to the success of any endeavor. With a strong foundational knowledge of your community’s needs, assets, and barriers, you will be prepared to identify the best course of action to achieve your vision.
Tools & Resources
- NACCHO: Strategies
- Best practices
- Cultural appropriateness
- Affinity Diagram
- Current ITT Toolkit
- ACHI Implementation Strategies
- ACHI Implementation Process
- Community Health Improvement Toolkit
- US Community Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations
- Center for Health and Learning
- Community Health Online Resource Center
- MAP-IT: A Guide to Using Healthy People 2020
- RWJF Health Data Evidence-Based Practices
Implement and Monitor
Focus Area: Implement and Monitor
Some of the most exciting work a collaborative does happens here. This is where the action takes place. The advanced preparations completed in the focus areas already discussed create a foundation for the successful implementation of your plan.
Evaluate, Celebrate, Sustain
Focus Area: Evaluate, Celebrate, Sustain
While this is listed as the ‘last’ focus area, it could really be a second central hub like Develop. Evaluation is an ongoing process and needs to be considered as you set goals, create your action plan, and implement that plan.
In 2019 we will be conducting a number of training workshops across the state of Texas. Please leave your contact information if you would be interested in attending one of these workshops.