Local wellness funds are a promising approach to sustainably assemble resources to finance community prevention efforts and address other drivers of health outside of the health care delivery system, like housing, education, poverty, food availability, and access to safe recreational areas. They allow communities to tap into and coordinate various funding streams, including a possible mix of philanthropic grants; revenue from a tax or other state-funded source; hospital community benefits dollars; and contributions from businesses, insurers and community banks, to fund these efforts that could ultimately improve health outcomes in a community.
Based on learnings from Bridging for Health: Improving Community Health Through Innovations in Financing, with the new grant for Local Wellness Funds: Advancing the Practice, GHPC will lead a two-year, national effort that will expand understanding and dissemination of tools to establish these funds and successfully grow them. It will enable GHPC to
- Develop a national inventory of local/regional collaboratives developing local wellness funds.
- Establish a community of practice excellence, where communities can learn from one another
- Conduct research on factors enabling and hampering the successful implementation of these funds
- Co-create tools with other stakeholders to support communities that are interested in advancing the use of local wellness funds.