Event: Catalyzing Efforts to Improve the Health and Well-Being of All Georgians

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta partnered with Georgia State University's Georgia Health Policy Center to host an event exploring opportunities to improve collaborations between the health care and community development sectors in Georgia. Participants came from multiple sectors—including government, health care, community development, and philanthropy—and represented both rural and urban communities. The event took place at the Atlanta Fed March 14, 2017.

Participants first discussed the key social determinants affecting health in Georgia and metrics that could be used to track these indicators. They ranged from housing instability (measured through rental cost burden) to access to health care (measured by travel time and no-show rates) to child literacy (measured by third-grade reading scores). With this common definition of the social determinants of health, the group discussed successful strategies for breaking down silos and facilitating cooperation across them. Some key strategies that emerged included:

  • Willingness to learn the other sector's languages, cultures, and systems to develop shared goals
  • Sharing data and collectively interpreting it
  • Changing funder policies, with calls for health insurers to adjust their reimbursement policies and for philanthropies to promote cross-sector engagements through their grant making.

The final session of the meeting discussed ways to improve the state of practice across Georgia. Participants noted the importance of impact mapping—to show how investments in one silo positively have an impact on another—as well as money mapping—showing the flow of funds and allocation of costs in the system today. Furthermore, the group agreed that if a set of shared goals could be articulated, then work could be done to import best practices from across the country. Geographic scale remained an open question, as participants debated the efficacy of developing smaller proof of concepts versus identifying possible statewide projects. Some next steps the group suggested taking included:

  • Consider new funding sources, including impact investing and leveraging anchor institutions
  • Map current health-related players and activities to find strategic areas for future action
  • Quantify the costs and return on investment from specific best practices, to increase support for these programs
  • Share data across organizations as a means to increase collaboration and identify synergies.

For further information on the event, please contact Sameera Fazili or Leigh Alderman.