Lauren Tobias

Senior Communications Consultant

In 2017, on The ReThinkers’ Blog, we shared more of our work (and your work) than ever before. We explored how health transformation is being funded and how to evaluate return on investment. We examined the findings from the Pulse Check, ReThink Health’s survey of 237 multisector partnerships in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We shared lessons learned through ReThink Health Ventures, a project working to accelerate health transformation in six unique communities. We also featured a number of guest posts, including one from the executive director of Be There San Diego, on how effective stewardship practices have helped ambitious health care leaders reduce heart attacks, and another from the CEO of Trellis Rx, on what will spark businesses to address socio-economic levers for community health.

We’re currently sharing our research and development work on the possibility of using tax credits to sustainably finance population health in a series of posts, and will soon wrap up a Ventures series on how regional initiatives can develop their value propositions. Coming up next: an exploration of resident engagement and a Ventures series on transformation strategy. In the meantime, the six posts highlighted are a selection of the top 10 most-shared and most-read posts that inspired changemakers like you in 2017.

The Sense—and Nonsense—of Using ROI in Population Health

Traveling over the holidays? Maybe you shouldn’t ignore “chatty Cathy” sitting next to you on the plane. Stacy Becker, the Rippel Foundation’s vice president of programs, offers a reason to chat up your neighbor: it might jolt your thinking! Stacy started thinking about the limited value of using corporate return on investment (ROI) standards to determine our population health investments, and started thinking about what standards we ought to consider using instead. For example, where robust evidence exists about ROI, no further demonstration of ROI should be required of those seeking funding. Our most read and shared post of 2017, this is definitely worth investing some time in.

Read Stacy’s Blog


The Universal Difficulty (but not Impossibility) of Sharing Data

Most of the data news we’ve heard lately emphasizes the dark side of data: personal data being accessed and misappropriated, or big data being manipulated and used against us. It can be easy to overlook the value of data when it is shared prudently and used for good. For this post, we invited guest bloggers Alison Rein and Peter Eckart to expand on some the findings from ReThink Health’s Pulse Check on Multi-Sector Partnerships, released last March. Alison and Peter are the founders of All In: Data for Community Health, a nationwide learning collaborative supporting multisector data-sharing collaborations. In this popular blog post, they explain the benefits of data sharing for multisector partnerships, as well as the complexities that must be overcome in order to reap those benefits. For example, how can partnerships sort out what federal privacy regulations really do and do not allow when it comes to data sharing? Tip: don’t be too hasty when making these judgments!

Read Alison and Peter’s Blog


Anchoring to Strengthen Your Region’s Case for Systems Change

Once upon a time, representatives from all different sectors—public health, business, health care, resident groups, and more—came together with a goal of improving their region’s health. They had done their research and knew what was needed to improve the community. They had powerful statistics that showed the enormity of the problem. They knew their problems were systemic, so they had created a plan for changing the system. They were ready to make their case for change. But they didn’t know how to anchor their case to drive the discussion in a deliberate and intentional direction. That is, they didn’t know how to select the first piece of information—the one their stakeholders will give the most weight when evaluating their case and deciding whether or not to get involved. The best thing they could do next? Read this post by guest blogger Tiffany Manuel, a vice president with Enterprise Community Partners!

Read Tiffany’s Blog


Moving Beyond the ‘Where Do I Get My Next Grant?’ Mindset: What We Learned About Sustainable Financing from the Pulse Check

Following the release of ReThink Health’s Pulse Check report in March, we began a series of blog posts to dig deeper into some of the findings. In this contribution, ReThink Health Program Associate Nina Burke discusses what we learned about how multisector partnerships are funded. While we weren’t surprised that most of the partnerships surveyed rely largely on grants or contracts, we were bewildered by why so few report they are prioritizing longer-term financing structures, such as taxes, health and wellness trusts, shared savings agreements, or community development financing. These questions have led us to develop and share further information and guidance to groups that want to explore these options but don’t know where to begin. If you haven’t yet been following along, you might start with this post, then take a look at our recent series on tax credits.

Read Nina’s Blog


How Multi-Sector Health Partnerships Evolve (cross-post from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Blog)

As the nation’s largest philanthropic organization dedicated to health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has considerable influence on the focus of health improvement work across the United States. That’s why we were thrilled to feature a post by RWJF Program Officer Emmy Ganos last July. In it, Emmy describes multisector partnerships’ evolution of through three distinct phases of development—and she kept the concept simple and shareable in a chart that made its way around the Twitterverse. RWJF is a gracious funder, and critical thought partner, for ReThink Health Ventures. Emmy’s piece, which was first posted on RWJF’s blog, highlights how understanding the phases of development can help policymakers, allies, and funders better support cross-sector collaboration in health.

Read Emmy’s Blog


Where can Regions Find the Money Needed for Population Health Initiatives?

When Cuba Gooding, Jr., famously asked Tom Cruise to “Show me the money!” in the 1996 rom-com Jerry Maguire, he wasn’t asking for a credit card. In this post, Stacy Becker (yes, the same Rippel Foundation vice president of programs who, in the post listed above, taught us about ROI) describes the critical difference between sources of funding (such as Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s 10 million dollar contract) and financial mechanisms (e.g., credit cards, bonds, etc.). Stacy offers a first glance at ReThink Health’s Revenue Typology for Population Health Initiatives, a tool designed to help regional leaders answer that perennial question: Where do we find the money for our population health initiatives? If you’re like many of our readers, you might be wondering the same thing. Hopefully, this post will get you started thinking about the best opportunities for your unique need.

Read Stacy’s Blog


The personal views and opinions expressed in this blog (and in any comments) are those of the original authors only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Rippel Foundation or ReThink Health. Neither The Rippel Foundation nor ReThink Health is responsible for the accuracy or validity of any of the information contained in the blog or any comments. All information is provided on an “as-is” basis.

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