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Ventures

The Ventures project engaged deeply with six pioneering partnerships from 2016-2018 to show changemakers the possibility and potential of breaking from business as usual.

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Doing Business Differently, Together: The Story of ReThink Health Ventures

The Rippel Foundation launched our ReThink Health initiative’s Ventures project over three years ago to better understand: What does it take to do business differently, together?

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Insights from Ventures

EVALUATION OF THE RETHINK HEALTH VENTURES PROJECT
Click 'Download' for the final Evaluation Report
VENTURES CASE STUDIES
Click to explore case studies from the 6 Ventures sites

We learned alongside six pioneering partnerships.

Central Oregon Health Council

location Central Oregon, OR

The Central Oregon Health Council facilitates collaboration, regional planning, and community governance across the counties that comprise Central Oregon.

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ReThinkers’ Blog

ReThink Health Ventures: Accelerating Progress at the Heart of Transformation

Introducing ReThink Health Ventures, a two-year program to discover some of what it takes to transform together as stewards in emerging multisector partnerships.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Accelerating System Transformation by Disrupting the Status Quo

We’ve selected multisector partnerships in six regions for our ReThink Health Ventures project, each with the ambition and appetite to move beyond business-as-usual to pursue bold solutions to the failures of the system that produces health and well-being. Alongside these stewards, we’ll learn more about what it takes to transform that system, together.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Six Communities Ready, and Able, to Take the (Transformation) Plunge

Meet the six regions participating in Rippel’s ReThink Health Ventures, a two-year program to discover some of what it takes to transform together alongside stewards in emerging multisector partnerships.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Why Strive for Inclusive Health Value?

We take a deep dive into an idea at the core of our ReThink Health Ventures project: inclusive health value. It’s a term that encompasses the many trade-offs—both economical and moral—necessary for improving health, and invites stewards to consider who’s health is valued, and through what means.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Big Tent, Big Insights: Exploring the Conditions Needed for Financing Success

Some insights from our Chicago Big Tent event, where we brought together stewards from our six ReThink Health Ventures sites to discuss topics like financing and how to enable and replicate success.

ReThinkers’ Blog

How Multisector Health Partnerships Evolve

In this cross post from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Blog, RWJF Program Officer Emmy Ganos breaks down the three distinct phases of multisector partnerships identified in the analysis of results from ReThink Health’s 2016 Pulse Check survey. Then, she describes ECOS Partnership of Chittenden County, Vermont, as a middle-phase example to illustrate the kinds of momentum builders and pitfalls that partnerships face when working to move from one phase to another.

ReThinkers’ Blog

How Being Vulnerable Can Lead to Transformative Change

In this guest blog, Kirsten Wysen of Public Health-Seattle and King County, tells her story of how sharing a painful life experience helped her build trust with colleagues—and how being vulnerable can help organizations build trust as well.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Multisector Partnerships Have the Potential to Transform Health, but Most Aren’t There Yet

In this cross post with the Health Affairs Blog, learn about areas stewards can focus on to take their multisector partnerships to the next level. This blog summaries the key points revealed in our longer Health Affairs article detailing what we learned from our 2016 Pulse Check survey.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Lessons from the Frontlines: Transforming Health Requires Flexibility

In this guest blog, Trilby de Jung, CEO of Common Ground Health, shares how an ad hoc multisector partnership in her New York Finger Lakes region (one of the ReThink Health Ventures sites) benefited from adjusting their plans to the realities in their region—even being flexible enough to pass their work on to an existing multisector partnership when they realized it would reduce cost and capitalize on existing infrastructure.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Lessons from the Frontlines: Coaching for Health Transformation

Following on from Trilby de Jung’s March 20, 2018 guest blog about New York’s Finger Lakes region’s involvement in ReThink Health Ventures, the region’s Ventures coach, Sherry Immediato, shares four tips for launching multisector partnerships—especially in regions that already have a history of multisector collaboration.

ReThinkers’ Blog

Doing Business Differently, Together: The Story of ReThink Health Ventures

As we close out our Ventures project, we summarize its story and share five key lessons we learned from working alongside stewards in six regional multisector partnerships.

Our veteran advisors helped set new standards for the field.

Advisors photo Kevin Barnett Senior Investigator
Public Health Institute
Advisors photo Natalie S. Burke President and CEO
CommonHealthACTION
Advisors photo Renée Branch Canady CEO
Michigan Public Health Institute
Advisors photo Debbie Chang Vice President
Policy and Prevention Nemours

KevinBarnettis a Senior Investigator at the Public Health Institute. For the past two decades, he has conducted applied research and fieldwork on two distinct but related issues: the charitable obligations of nonprofit hospitals and the diversity of the health professions workforce. His current work includes a partnership with The Governance Institute and Stakeholder Health, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to build knowledge among hospital board members and senior leadership for health care transformation; a national study of hospital interventions to address food insecurity; and co-leadership of the Health Care Transformation Hub in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100 Million Healthier Lives. In addition, he leads PHI’s project Alignment for Health Equity and Development (AHEAD), which aims to make community investments smarter, more strategic, more aligned, and more effective. Barnett currently serves as the Co-Director of the California Health Workforce Alliance, a member of the Board of Directors of Communities Joined in Action, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Trinity Health System.

 

As an advisor to corporate leaders, communities aspiring to change, and everyone in between—Natalie S. Burkeguides people and organizations to solutions and common language necessary to succeed and make the world a healthy place. As a strategist she focuses on strengthening the connective tissue that forms organizations and communities through building relationships, collective will, and greater equity–with a particular focus on the intersections of equity, diversity, and inclusion. That expertise guides her work to develop leaders across sectors who seek to innovate and create perspective transformation and systemic change. Her public health and health care experience includes technical assistance and capacity-building for national and global entities such as Kaiser Permanente and Cummins, Inc.; federal, state, and local governments, and numerous philanthropic entities. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Natalie is currently President and CEO of CommonHealth ACTION, a national public health organization whose focus is the 5Ms—guiding people and organizations to map, make, manage, measure, and master the change they seek and that society needs. Prior to co-founding CommonHealth ACTION, Natalie was in executive leadership at the National Association of County and City Health Officials where she directed numerous divisions and managed national public health and place-based initiatives.

 

Renée Branch Canadyserves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI); an academic, government, and research institute that strives to maximize positive health conditions in populations and communities through collaboration, scientific inquiry, and applied expertise. Prior to joining MPHI in 2014, Canady served as Health Officer for the Ingham County Health Department, Canady has held faculty and in leadership positions within the College of Nursing and the College of Medicine, Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Canady earned a PhD in Medical Sociology from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Debbie I. Changis Senior Vice President of Policy and Prevention and a Corporate Officer for Nemours Children’s Health System. In this role, she works to leverage Nemours’ expertise and experience to spread what works through national policy and practice changes to improve the health and well-being of children nationwide. Chang co-directs Moving Health Care Upstream, a national collaborative network to test, develop, and spread innovative population health strategies and was the founding Executive Director of Nemours Health & Prevention Services, an operating division devoted to using a comprehensive multi-sector, place-based model to improve children’s health in Delaware. Nemours is a founding member of the Partnership for a Healthier America and the National Convergence Partnership, a unique collaboration of leading foundations focused on healthy people and healthy places. Chang has more than 29 years of federal and state government and private sector experience in the health field.  She has held key government positions including Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and National Director of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. Chang holds an MPH in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 
Advisors photo Stacey Chang Executive Director
Design Institute for Health,
The University of Texas at Austin
Advisors photo Elliott Fisher Director
Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
Advisors photo Kristin Giantris Managing Director
Nonprofit Finance Fund
Advisors photo Charles Kennedy Managing Partner
Blue Ox Healthcare Partners

Stacey Chang serves as the Executive Director of the Design Institute for Health, a collaboration between the Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. The Design Institute for Health is a first-of-its-kind institution dedicated to applying design approaches to solving systemic health care challenges as an integrated part of a medical education and training program. Until 2014, Chang served as the Managing Director of the Healthcare Practice at IDEO, a global design and innovation firm. He holds a BS from MIT and an MS from Stanford University, both in engineering.

 

Elliott Fisheris Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professor of Health Policy, Medicine, and Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. His research has focused on exploring the causes and consequences of regional and provider-specific differences in spending and quality and on developing policy approaches to slowing the growth of spending in healthcare while improving quality. He was one of the originators of the concept of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and worked with colleagues to carry out the research that led to their inclusion in the Affordable Care Act. In 2013 he was named as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives by Modern Healthcare magazine.

 

Kristin Giantris is a Managing Director at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), where she directs their national Advisory Services practice. She leads the design of innovative funding and financing initiatives, oversees the development and delivery of consulting products and services for NFF’s nonprofit clients and manages business development and relationships with a number of strategic, national partners. Giantris’s professional experience combines over 20 years of economic development and debt financing in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Prior to joining NFF, Giantris was a Vice President at Citigroup Global Markets in debt origination. She holds an MA in Public Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Kenyon College.

 

Charles Kennedyis a managing partner of Blue Ox, serving on the Investment Committee. Kennedy is a recognized expert in health care delivery, finance, and information technology, with over 25 years of experience as a C-level executive and board advisor at several leading companies. Prior to Blue Ox, Kennedy was chief population health officer for Healthagen, Aetna’s healthcare IT subsidiary. He also launched and served as CEO of Aetna’s Accountable Care Solutions division, growing it to a multi-billion subsidiary of Aetna. Kennedy was a founding commissioner of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) and served a five-year appointment as the health insurance industry representative on the HIT Policy Committee. Kennedy holds an MD in internal medicine from the University of California at Los Angeles, an MBA in corporate strategy and healthcare economics from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s degree in genetics from the University of California at Berkeley.

 
Advisors photo Matt Leighninger Vice President for Public Engagement
Yankelovich Center, Public Agenda
Advisors photo Barbara Masters Independent Consultant
California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative
Advisors photo Adolfo (Fito) Valadez Chief Medical Officer
FirstCare Health Plans

Matt Leighningerleads Public Agenda’s work in public engagement and democratic governance and directs the Yankelovich Center for Public Judgement. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC), an alliance of major organization and leading scholars working in the field of deliberation and public participation. Over the past 20 years, Leighninger has worked with public participation efforts in over 100 communities across 40 states and four Canadian provinces. Leighninger serves on the boards of e-democracy.org, the International Association for Public Participation, the Democracy Imperative, and the Participatory Budgeting Project, and is a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy. His first book, The Next Form of Democracy, is a firsthand account of the wave of democratic innovation that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s; his most recent book, co-authored with Tina Nabatchi, is a comprehensive look at participation theory, history, and practice and explains how we can transition from temporary engagement projects to stronger democratic infrastructure.

 

Barbara Mastersis an independent strategy, policy, and evaluation consultant with over 30 years of experience in philanthropy, local government, Capitol Hill, and advocacy. As a consultant, Masters helps foundations and non profits research, analyze, and develop health policy-related issues, focusing in particular on systems transformation and prevention. She led efforts to design and is now managing the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative. Prior to starting her consulting practice, Masters was the Director of Public Policy at The California Endowment, where she led efforts to institutionalize public policy strategies throughout the foundation’s activities and helped develop methods to evaluate advocacy and policy change activities. Masters holds a BA in Molecular Biology from the University of California-Berkeley and an MA in Biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

 

Adolfo (Fito) Valadez has over 15 years of executive and senior leadership and management experience. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for FirstCare Health Plans, where he provides leadership and strategy as part of the executive management team for a regional provider sponsored health plan with over 1950,000 members and $600 million revenue company. Previously, he served as the Assistant Commissioner for Prevention and Preparedness Services at the Texas Department of State Health Services, as well as Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department. Dr. Valadez was a pioneer in bringing system science to support local leaders in the area of comprehensive chronic disease prevention. He holds an MPH in Minority Health Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health and an MD with honors from The University of Texas at Galveston. Dr. Valadez completed his residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and is board certified in internal medicine.

 

Our veteran advisors helped set new standards for the field.

Advisors photo Kevin Barnett Senior Investigator
Public Health Institute

KevinBarnettis a Senior Investigator at the Public Health Institute. For the past two decades, he has conducted applied research and fieldwork on two distinct but related issues: the charitable obligations of nonprofit hospitals and the diversity of the health professions workforce. His current work includes a partnership with The Governance Institute and Stakeholder Health, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to build knowledge among hospital board members and senior leadership for health care transformation; a national study of hospital interventions to address food insecurity; and co-leadership of the Health Care Transformation Hub in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100 Million Healthier Lives. In addition, he leads PHI’s project Alignment for Health Equity and Development (AHEAD), which aims to make community investments smarter, more strategic, more aligned, and more effective. Barnett currently serves as the Co-Director of the California Health Workforce Alliance, a member of the Board of Directors of Communities Joined in Action, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Trinity Health System.

 
Advisors photo Natalie S. Burke President and CEO
CommonHealthACTION

As an advisor to corporate leaders, communities aspiring to change, and everyone in between—Natalie S. Burkeguides people and organizations to solutions and common language necessary to succeed and make the world a healthy place. As a strategist she focuses on strengthening the connective tissue that forms organizations and communities through building relationships, collective will, and greater equity–with a particular focus on the intersections of equity, diversity, and inclusion. That expertise guides her work to develop leaders across sectors who seek to innovate and create perspective transformation and systemic change. Her public health and health care experience includes technical assistance and capacity-building for national and global entities such as Kaiser Permanente and Cummins, Inc.; federal, state, and local governments, and numerous philanthropic entities. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Natalie is currently President and CEO of CommonHealth ACTION, a national public health organization whose focus is the 5Ms—guiding people and organizations to map, make, manage, measure, and master the change they seek and that society needs. Prior to co-founding CommonHealth ACTION, Natalie was in executive leadership at the National Association of County and City Health Officials where she directed numerous divisions and managed national public health and place-based initiatives.

 
Advisors photo Renée Branch Canady CEO
Michigan Public Health Institute

Renée Branch Canadyserves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI); an academic, government, and research institute that strives to maximize positive health conditions in populations and communities through collaboration, scientific inquiry, and applied expertise. Prior to joining MPHI in 2014, Canady served as Health Officer for the Ingham County Health Department, Canady has held faculty and in leadership positions within the College of Nursing and the College of Medicine, Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Canady earned a PhD in Medical Sociology from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 
Advisors photo Debbie Chang Vice President
Policy and Prevention Nemours

Debbie I. Changis Senior Vice President of Policy and Prevention and a Corporate Officer for Nemours Children’s Health System. In this role, she works to leverage Nemours’ expertise and experience to spread what works through national policy and practice changes to improve the health and well-being of children nationwide. Chang co-directs Moving Health Care Upstream, a national collaborative network to test, develop, and spread innovative population health strategies and was the founding Executive Director of Nemours Health & Prevention Services, an operating division devoted to using a comprehensive multi-sector, place-based model to improve children’s health in Delaware. Nemours is a founding member of the Partnership for a Healthier America and the National Convergence Partnership, a unique collaboration of leading foundations focused on healthy people and healthy places. Chang has more than 29 years of federal and state government and private sector experience in the health field.  She has held key government positions including Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and National Director of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. Chang holds an MPH in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 
Advisors photo Stacey Chang Executive Director
Design Institute for Health,
The University of Texas at Austin

Stacey Chang serves as the Executive Director of the Design Institute for Health, a collaboration between the Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. The Design Institute for Health is a first-of-its-kind institution dedicated to applying design approaches to solving systemic health care challenges as an integrated part of a medical education and training program. Until 2014, Chang served as the Managing Director of the Healthcare Practice at IDEO, a global design and innovation firm. He holds a BS from MIT and an MS from Stanford University, both in engineering.

 
Advisors photo Elliott Fisher Director
Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice

Elliott Fisheris Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professor of Health Policy, Medicine, and Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. His research has focused on exploring the causes and consequences of regional and provider-specific differences in spending and quality and on developing policy approaches to slowing the growth of spending in healthcare while improving quality. He was one of the originators of the concept of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and worked with colleagues to carry out the research that led to their inclusion in the Affordable Care Act. In 2013 he was named as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives by Modern Healthcare magazine.

 
Advisors photo Kristin Giantris Managing Director
Nonprofit Finance Fund

Kristin Giantris is a Managing Director at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), where she directs their national Advisory Services practice. She leads the design of innovative funding and financing initiatives, oversees the development and delivery of consulting products and services for NFF’s nonprofit clients and manages business development and relationships with a number of strategic, national partners. Giantris’s professional experience combines over 20 years of economic development and debt financing in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Prior to joining NFF, Giantris was a Vice President at Citigroup Global Markets in debt origination. She holds an MA in Public Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Kenyon College.

 
Advisors photo Charles Kennedy Managing Partner
Blue Ox Healthcare Partners

Charles Kennedyis a managing partner of Blue Ox, serving on the Investment Committee. Kennedy is a recognized expert in health care delivery, finance, and information technology, with over 25 years of experience as a C-level executive and board advisor at several leading companies. Prior to Blue Ox, Kennedy was chief population health officer for Healthagen, Aetna’s healthcare IT subsidiary. He also launched and served as CEO of Aetna’s Accountable Care Solutions division, growing it to a multi-billion subsidiary of Aetna. Kennedy was a founding commissioner of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) and served a five-year appointment as the health insurance industry representative on the HIT Policy Committee. Kennedy holds an MD in internal medicine from the University of California at Los Angeles, an MBA in corporate strategy and healthcare economics from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s degree in genetics from the University of California at Berkeley.

 
Advisors photo Matt Leighninger Vice President for Public Engagement
Yankelovich Center, Public Agenda

Matt Leighningerleads Public Agenda’s work in public engagement and democratic governance and directs the Yankelovich Center for Public Judgement. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC), an alliance of major organization and leading scholars working in the field of deliberation and public participation. Over the past 20 years, Leighninger has worked with public participation efforts in over 100 communities across 40 states and four Canadian provinces. Leighninger serves on the boards of e-democracy.org, the International Association for Public Participation, the Democracy Imperative, and the Participatory Budgeting Project, and is a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy. His first book, The Next Form of Democracy, is a firsthand account of the wave of democratic innovation that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s; his most recent book, co-authored with Tina Nabatchi, is a comprehensive look at participation theory, history, and practice and explains how we can transition from temporary engagement projects to stronger democratic infrastructure.

 
Advisors photo Barbara Masters Independent Consultant
California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative

Barbara Mastersis an independent strategy, policy, and evaluation consultant with over 30 years of experience in philanthropy, local government, Capitol Hill, and advocacy. As a consultant, Masters helps foundations and non profits research, analyze, and develop health policy-related issues, focusing in particular on systems transformation and prevention. She led efforts to design and is now managing the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative. Prior to starting her consulting practice, Masters was the Director of Public Policy at The California Endowment, where she led efforts to institutionalize public policy strategies throughout the foundation’s activities and helped develop methods to evaluate advocacy and policy change activities. Masters holds a BA in Molecular Biology from the University of California-Berkeley and an MA in Biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

 
Advisors photo Adolfo (Fito) Valadez Chief Medical Officer
FirstCare Health Plans

Adolfo (Fito) Valadez has over 15 years of executive and senior leadership and management experience. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for FirstCare Health Plans, where he provides leadership and strategy as part of the executive management team for a regional provider sponsored health plan with over 1950,000 members and $600 million revenue company. Previously, he served as the Assistant Commissioner for Prevention and Preparedness Services at the Texas Department of State Health Services, as well as Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department. Dr. Valadez was a pioneer in bringing system science to support local leaders in the area of comprehensive chronic disease prevention. He holds an MPH in Minority Health Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health and an MD with honors from The University of Texas at Galveston. Dr. Valadez completed his residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and is board certified in internal medicine.

 
ReThink Health Ventures is a project of The Rippel Foundation, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of RWJF.