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Portfolio Design for Healthier Regions

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Meet Our Project Team

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Anna Creegan

Project Director
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Ella D. Auchincloss

Project Director
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Bobby Milstein

Director of System Strategy
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Nina Burke

Senior Program Associate
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Bethlihem Gebremedhin

Administrative Associate
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Katherine Wright

Senior Program Associate 
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Stacy Becker

Vice President, Programs
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Kim Farris-Berg

Director, Communications

Resources

External Resource

Human Systems Dynamics Institute

Human systems dynamics offers powerful theory and practice to transform intractable problems into patterns of possibility.

External Resource

Well Being Legacy: The Vital Conditions

How is our well-being affected by the legacies of policy and investment choices made by prior leaders? What are we doing now to shape the vital conditions that we all depend on to reach our full potential? What legacies will our choices leave to the next generation?

Publication

Health Affairs Commentary: A Balanced Investment Portfolio for Health is Within Reach

In this commentary, David Kindig and our own Bobby Milstein summarize the evidence that a major reason US health investment performs poorly is that it’s out of balance, with too much spent on certain aspects of health care and not enough spent to ensure social, economic, and environmental conditions that are vital to maintaining health and well-being.

Publication

Cultivating Health and the Economy, Side by Side (Case Study 1 of 3)

This origin story of THRIVE (an initiative for transforming both the health and economy of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region) details how we helped them map their health ecosystem and plan their “Whole System Approach to Change”—which emphasizes learning and planning before acting, to avoid hasty “fixes that fail.”

ReThinkers’ Blog

No More Fragmentation: Crafting a Comprehensive Strategy for Regional Health and Well-Being

America’s health systems are hyper-fragmented—and here, we explore how a comprehensive regional strategy can be useful to counteract that fragmentation, as illustrated by the success of the Marshall Plan in revitalizing Europe post-World War 2.

Tool

Negotiating a Well-being Portfolio: A Toolkit

ReThink Health created these detailed instructions for a visually rich group exercise to help stewards create a balanced and impactful set of policies, programs, and practices that will transform the system that produces health and well-being in their region.

ReThinkers’ Blog

How System Stewards in Washington’s King County are Turning the Tide Toward Equitable Health and Well-Being

When stewards in Washington’s King County gathered, they recognized how their many strong, pre-existing initiatives could combine efforts across silos to find single solutions to multiple problems. One example is You Belong Here, a novel venture meant to increase belonging and social responsibility by building alignment and shared ownership of a common set of priorities and solutions to build a more equitable and thriving region.

ReThinkers’ Blog

The Essential Components of a Comprehensive Transformation Strategy for Regional Health and Well-Being

A comprehensive regional strategy requires a credible, shared theory of system change and a plan to put that theory into action (a portfolio of interventions). Here are some key lessons about those essential components we learned through our work, including an example from our partnership with New Jersey’s Trenton Health Team.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Prototyping to Solve Complex System Challenges in Health and Health Care

Prototyping (purposefully testing out options with a learning mindset) is a great way for stewards to get a sense of how effective their portfolio of interventions might be. In this guest blog, Stacey Chang and Beto Lopez of the Design Institute for Health expand on the idea of prototyping and present a real-world example of its success.

Tool

Integrative Activity Assessment Tool

Stewards can use this ReThink Health tool to more effectively coordinate integrative activities, whether as broadly as across all sectors and organizations in their entire region, or simply for those involved with a down to the level of a specific regional project. The tool can help stewards identify which activities are already being handled well, and which ones have room to improve.

Tool

Beyond the Grant: A Sustainable Financing Workbook

Long-term, sustainable financing is a challenge for stewards (and their multisector partnerships and organizations) in regions across the country. So ReThink Health wrote this workbook, which offers modules with practical, user-friendly tools to answer common financing questions and develop action plans for moving beyond the grant.

Publication

Going Big: Addressing Big Challenges in Health and the Economy (Case Study 2 of 3)

This case study shares lessons learned and helpful strategies from THRIVE (an initiative for transforming both the health and economy of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region) based on their work to design big, bold plans to transform their health ecosystem using the ReThink Health Dynamics Model.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Regional Stewards: Nudging Systems Toward Health and Well-Being

Stewards can’t control outcomes in a complex adaptive system, but they can nudge them in the right direction. Using the ReThink Health Pathway, stewards can contribute to shifting mental models away from health care alone and toward the full range of factors that produce health and well-being.

Publication

Stepping Out: Launching the First Stage of Interventions to Transform a Regional System for Health and Well-being (Case Study 3 of 3)

This case study shares lessons learned from the story of how THRIVE (an initiative for transforming both the health and economy of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region) developed, fine-tuned, and began to launch an interdependent portfolio of interventions based on a strategy we helped them develop and test using our Dynamics Model.

ReThink Health’s Portfolio Design for Healthier Regions project is an initiative of The Rippel Foundation, conducted with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of RWJF.