Healthcare and community-based organizations (CBOs) across the country are increasingly working together to address social needs that may be contributing to poor health outcomes. These cross-sector relationships are occurring under a variety of partnership models, yet little is known about the factors that contribute to their success.

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and NFF collaborated to illustrate the potential for diverse and effective models between CBOs and healthcare organizations. The executive summary and case studies below provide important lessons for how successful partnerships deliver services, share information, secure funding, engage their communities, and evaluate success.


Executive Summary
Key takeaways on how to develop and sustain effective healthcare-CBO partnerships designed to address the social factors influencing health outcomes.

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Project Access NOW’s C3 Community Assistance Program: Ensuring Safe Discharge from the Hospital
A partnership including Project Access NOW, six area hospital systems and two coordinated care organizations that is connecting individuals in Portland, Oregon to social services to ensure safe discharge from emergency and inpatient hospital settings.

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Hunger Free Colorado: Connecting Vulnerable Patients to Food and Nutrition Resources
A collaboration involving Hunger Free Colorado, Kaiser Permanente, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Denver Health that is facilitating screening for food insecurity and connecting at-risk patients to needed food and nutrition services.

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2-1-1 San Diego: Connecting Partners through the Community Information Exchange
How 2-1-1 San Diego is working with social service and healthcare providers to improve care coordination through an online platform that enables participating providers to better understand a client’s interactions with health and community services.

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Advancing Health Care and CBO Partnerships to Address Social Determinants: Lessons from the Field


This webinar, co-hosted by NFF and CHCS, explores promising strategies for creating partnerships that address social determinants of health. Includes panelists from the organizations featured in case studies above: Project Access NOW (Portland, Oregon), Hunger Free Colorado, and 2-1-1 San Diego’s Community Information Exchange.


NFF and CHCS also developed practical resources and tools to help emerging and existing partnerships address common barriers to partnering.

For more on healthcare-CBO partnerships, read Working Together for Better Health Outcomes from the Partnership for Healthy Outcomes.