Turning great ideas into healthier communities


New Initiative Aligns Health Equity and Development

October 17, 2014

From childcare to jobs, healthy food to chronic disease prevention, community development to transit, many U.S. communities are investing in health and equity in our most vulnerable communities. But could they be doing it better? How can communities align similar interventions for greater impact and less cost?

The Public Health Institute (PHI), in partnership with The Reinvestment Fund and with a generous grant from the Kresge Foundation, announces the launch of Alignment for Health Equity and Development (AHEAD), led by PHI Senior Investigator Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP.

Over the next five years, AHEAD aims to make community investments smarter, more strategic, more aligned and more effective. AHEAD will work in targeted communities where poverty and health inequities are concentrated. Instead of multiple entities funneling money into similar strategies, AHEAD will work with hospitals, public health agencies, financial institutions, businesses and others to create balanced portfolios of aligned investments and interventions.

The project will begin by focusing in five pilot communities: Portland (OR), Boston, Atlanta, Dallas and Detroit. At the same time, the initiative will also build a field of practice to enable rapid dissemination of these innovations to other communities across the country. AHEAD seeks to create a sustainable infrastructure that together brings quality housing, healthcare and job opportunities with education and youth development, child care, violence prevention, access to healthy food, and places to be physically active. This will be achieved by linking hospitals and healthcare stakeholders with the public health, government, nonprofit and private sectors to focus resources in a way that improves the health of those who need it most while building stronger communities.

Read more about the AHEAD project