Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Names Georgia Health Policy Center National Center for Bridging for Health Initiative

ATLANTA–Georgia State University’s Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) has been named a national coordinating center by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to support the Bridging for Health: Improving Community Health Through Innovations in Financing initiative aimed at helping regions, states and communities improve health and reduce disparities through innovations in collaboration and financing.

The grant of more than $4.5 million will support the work of the center and up to 10 communities over the next three years. Dr. Karen Minyard, director of the GHPC, and Dr. Chris Parker, associate project director with the GHPC, will direct the project.

“I have long been convinced of the importance of comprehensive approaches to bridging health and health care,” Minyard said. “This partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation creates an exciting opportunity for the GHPC to integrate learnings from our projects over the years and support financial innovations that build health.”

Communities that demonstrate innovations in health policy, health care delivery, and particularly financial strategies that rebalance and align investments in health for better outcomes, will be selected over the next two years. With an eye toward creating stable financial systems among a variety of sectors, the center will also ensure selected sites are working to address equity and hold the promise of collective impact within their communities.

“Fostering connections among the multiple sectors that impact health, including health care, public health, social services, business, housing and others is a key component of the foundation’s efforts to build a national culture of health,” said Dr. Pamela Russo, senior program officer with RWJF. “Through this effort we are aiming to identify, elevate and promote innovative ways to align diverse stakeholders to improve health.”

Once sites are selected, the GHPC will support, evaluate and share findings to spark further innovation across the country.

After assessing the needs of each community, the GHPC will provide tailored assistance to strengthen current efforts and maximize impact. This may include the use of subject matter experts, shared resources and peer-learning, the development of research agendas, a cross-site program evaluation and more.

“This is a great fit for us,” Parker said, “as much of our everyday work here at the GHPC focuses on engaging health stakeholders in a journey of continuous learning and decision-making to support improved health and health care.”