Catalyzing alignment and systems transformation through cross-sector partnerships: Findings from the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative.

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Health services research


oregon; core


OBJECTIVES: To describe the impact of Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs) on organizational and community partnerships and explore how ACHs contribute to systems change.

DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SETTING: The California Accountable Communities of Health Initiative (CACHI) was a 5-year, $17 M investment in community health transformation in 13 ACH sites. Data sources include two surveys, key informant interviews, small group conversations, and ACH meeting observations and document review.

STUDY DESIGN: This was a mixed-methods, observational study. Surveys conducted in 2021 and 2022 focused on ACH progress in building organizational and community partnerships and ACH impact on partners and systems, respectively. Interviews and small group conversations were conducted toward the end of the CACHI grant period and designed to complement the surveys.

DATA COLLECTION: Survey respondents included ACH backbone agency staff and partner organization representatives (n = 141 in 2021 and 88 in 2022). Semistructured individual interviews and group conversations were conducted with 40 ACH backbone staff and partners. Documents were collected via grant reporting and directly from ACH staff. Data were analyzed descriptively and thematically.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: ACHs appear to have supported organizational partnerships and collaboration. Seventy-six percent of survey respondents reported that their ACH had strengthened organizations' ability to work together and 65% reported developing new or deepened connections. While ACH participants reported a better understanding of community needs and priorities, progress on community relationships, and greater attention to equity and racial justice, many saw room for improvement on meaningful community engagement. Systems changes and precursors of systems change observed across ACH sites included strengthened partnerships, enhanced knowledge, increased capacity, more collaborative ways of working, and new funding streams.

CONCLUSIONS: The ACH model is effective at strengthening organizational partnerships and catalyzing other systems changes and precursors including enhanced knowledge, increased capacity, more collaborative ways of working, and new funding.


Population Health