Our Approach

Collective Impact

Collective Impact is a framework that utilizes collaboration to address interconnected and complex social problems. Collective Impact relies on the commitment of partners from various sectors to develop a common agenda for solving a specific issue such as childhood obesity.

Collective Impact includes five essential elements: a common agenda, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, shared measurement and backbone support.

Upstream Approach

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define Social Determinants of Health as “conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.” Addressing social determinants of health is important for improving health and reducing longstanding disparities in health outcomes. A wide range of factors influence how long and how well we live from education and income to what we eat and how we move to the quality of our housing and the safety of our neighborhoods.

Where a child lives, learns and plays can have a significant impact on their weight and health.

Policy, Systems and Environmental change (PSE) strategies address the systems and structures of the communities in which we live, learn, work and play. Where you live affects how you live – you simply can’t make healthy decisions if healthy options aren’t available to you. Traditionally, interventions have focused on individual behavior assuming that if you teach people what will make them healthy, they will find a way to do it. Adopting a PSE change approach can help childhood obesity prevention advocates create sustainable, comprehensive measures to improve community health. Learn more.

Health Equity

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provides the following definition: “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.” It requires concerted effort to increase opportunities to be healthier for everyone – especially those whose obstacles are greatest. In order to achieve health equity, we must:

  • Identify important health disparities.
  • Change and implement policies, laws, systems, environments, and practices to reduce inequities in the opportunities and resources needed to be healthier.
  • Evaluate and monitor efforts using short- and long-term measures.
  • Reassess strategies in light of process and outcomes and plan next steps.

For more information, see Strategies & Resources.