Background & Goals
In 2013, building on the strong history of working alongside communities and neighborhoods and with a commitment to community engagement, collaboration and inclusion, Palm Healthcare Foundation’s trustees evolved the foundation’s grantmaking approach by launching its community-driven Healthier Together initiative. Over a five year period, the foundation will invest $1 million in each of the 6 selected communities to make lasting, sustainable impact around some of the most complex health-related issues affecting residents. Using a collective impact model, the foundation’s strategic shift emphasizes the partnership between the communities and the foundation as the two work hand in hand to build organizational and individual capacities, infrastructure, programming and services.
Goals of the 5 year place-based initiative:
- To help change long term health outcomes of the residents in Palm Beach County
- To increase capacity among individuals, organizations and systems to impact lasting and sustainable change related to health and well-being
- To establish a learning framework to evaluate the overall impact of the Healthier Together initiative as well as the impact at the community level
Data informed decision-making
The Healthier Together initiative is a data informed and iterative process. The Healthier Together website functions as a window into these communities and the activities taking place within the 5 year project. Progress throughout the course of this initiative and among each of the selected communities, will be documented throughout this website through mapping, digital stories, community specific activities, the learning center where special interest groups engage and impact reports.
Selection of the six communities was a data informed process which highlighted concentrated areas throughout Palm Beach County with low health indicators, gaps in services and high risk factors impacting residents’ ability to live healthy lives (see mapping). A comprehensive needs assessment was conducted engaging various community leaders, influencers and stakeholders in the communities where health indicators revealed a need. Through this engagement process, neighborhood narratives began to emerge and shape the foundation’s understanding of the natural assets and the history of collaboration and collective action as well as the unique contexts shaping each community.
Selection of the target issue (one of Palm Healthcare Foundation’s three focus areas) is a determination made by each community, and will be the focus of the 5 year project.
- Healthier Delray Beach
- Healthier Jupiter
- The Glades
- Lake Worth
- Boynton Beach
- Riviera Beach/North West Palm Beach
Palm Healthcare Foundation is committed to the process of evaluation for the Healthier Together initiative. Part of Palm Healthcare Foundation’s commitment to this effort is communities receive support and technical assistance around evaluation and measures from the very beginning of this process. Each community will determine its own specific outcomes with neighborhood stakeholders leading the initiative and committing to shared, measurable results to ensure that the work is on the path to success.
Grounding the evaluative process in the initial implementation stages for the year 1 communities of Delray Beach and Jupiter was the initiative’s Theory of Action, which emphasizes learning at all levels of this process – from the foundation’s overall assessment of the initiative to the capacity-building and collective action activities at the community level to the programs’ ability to target and make positive health changes. As learning has occurred and implementation has matured, the Theory of Action has become adopted in more rapid fashion by the next two communities-Boynton Beach and the Riviera Beach/Northern West Palm Beach area. A self produced evaluation plan is being implemented for the first two communities as of the Spring of 2017 and is in the process of forming for the next two. These plans are called “Changes We Want to See” documents. They are grounded in a Results Based Accountability framework and express a community vision with accompanying 3 and 5-7 year goals that define what success looks like, how it will be measured and activities which provide a road map for getting to short, medium and long term goals. The evaluation plan component of the document establishes baselines and defines how data will be collected to measure success against results and outcomes the communities want to achieve through the winter of 2018. This community produced document is a point in time road map-and as such, is constructed to be fluid and under constant scrutiny as communities define, measure, analyze, learn, react and adapt within a constantly shifting set of contexts within a complex environment.
Palm Healthcare Foundation invites strong engagement throughout the Healthier Together initiative.
- Are you a non-profit, business or resident working and/or living in Palm Beach County?
If you would like to support Healthier Together and the place-based work, please find more information here.