Cities and Health Systems: Community of Practice

The new Cities of Opportunity Cities & Health Systems Community of Practice is a partnership between the National League of Cities and the Center to Advance Community Health and Equity at the Public Health Institute. It is a new learning community for up to 12 cities offering in-depth assistance focused on fostering alignment and collaboration between cities and health systems. In the wake of COVID-19, the aim of this effort is to ensure robust city and health system partnerships to improve health outcomes and advance equity. 

Why City and Health System Partnerships? 

The root causes of poor health, or the factors influencing how well we live and how long we live, lead to concentrated inequities resulting in significant differences in the quality and length of life. Root causes are social and economic, they relate to access to healthy, affordable food, reliable transportation, hazard-free living conditions, and access to clean air and water among other factors. 

The stark contrasts of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 and racism pandemics across communities increase the urgency to contend with these root causes before the inequities they cause deepen further. To achieve this, city leaders and their health system peers need to collaborate to tackle these complex problems.

Why Join this Community of Practice? 

Each city team will receive expert coaching and technical assistance to support its city-specific goals to advance stronger partnerships with health system stakeholders. Through expert-guided monthly-sessions, a select group of city leaders and key partners will join this endeavor to strengthen existing partnerships aligned by shared values and priorities with a specific focus on COVID-related impacts.  The 12-month program is scheduled to begin October 2020 and requires a commitment from senior leadership for ongoing participation. Ideal program participants are from cities who have identified engaging healthcare institutions as a strategic partnership priority and/or have had some experience or need, to better engage healthcare institutions in collaborative efforts to advance community health improvement efforts. 

Want to learn more? 

Watch the video below featuring former Kansas City mayor Sly James and Kevin Barnett of the Public Health Institute talk about the importance of cities working with health system partners to improve health and wellbeing for their communities and identify how various systems (e.g. transportation, food access, education, etc.) intersect and affect long-term outcomes. Health & Wellness Director at NLC, Sue Polis moderates the discussion.


Join Us

Download the RFP application HERE. Please submit your application online HERE or email a completed application to Laura McDaniel at [email protected] by 11:59 pm ET October 2, 2020.

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