Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Joan Twiss, MA

Project Director

Joan M. Twiss, MA, is the founding executive director of the Center for Civic Partnerships, which provides leadership and management support to build healthier communities and more effective nonprofit organizations. She has more than 30 years of experience working in both the public and private sectors at the local, state and national levels with extensive expertise in program planning, community indicators, implementation, technical support, training, policy development and evaluation.

Twiss is responsible for the center's development, strategic direction, management and program evaluation in both community and organizational development. She designed and continues to direct California Healthy Cities and Communities, the first and largest program of its kind in the United States. She researches, publishes, presents and consults on the factors that allow for aging well in communities.

Twiss currently leads the coaching support function for the National Leadership Academy for the Public's Health, another PHI program. She has extensive experience leading multiple statewide technical support programs, often as part of comprehensive community health improvement initiatives. She has authored numerous articles for peer-reviewed journals and practitioner-oriented publications.

Twiss has a master's in health education, with coursework in urban studies, from the University of Maryland. She also holds a bachelor's in public health from the University of Massachusetts. She is a certified charrette planner.

AARP Listening Session Protocols

The Center for Civic Partnerships will edit and shape two AARP listening session toolkits into a 90 minute Listening Session protocol.

California Healthy Cities and Communities

The California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) program assists local leaders with developing, implementing and evaluating inclusionary, community-driven programs, policies and plans which address the environmental, social and economic determinants of health. Participants have improved their communities in the areas of safety, aging well, healthier eating and greater physical activity options, leadership development, quality of life tracking and many others.

California Healthy Cities and Communities Network

The California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) Network is a membership program created for groups interested in the principles and practices of the Healthy Cities model. It provides a means of affiliation with the CHCC program and the international Healthy Cities and Communities movement, as well as technical assistance, grants and other resources.

Consulting and Technical Support

The Center for Civic Partnership provides a variety of consulting and technical assistance services to help groups develop, implement and sustain community improvements.  The Center has worked with over 200 cities communities, and organizations in California and across the nation.  Areas of focus include planning, implementation and priority setting; skill building and training; and organizational assessment.

Increase Your Sustainability Odds Training Project

This is a crucial time for sustainability planning as nonprofits face critical program and budget decisions. Sustainability planning includes evaluation, marketing and communications, community engagement, collaborative leadership, and fund development. Over nine months, two in-person training institutes and three webinars will be planned and implemented. All California Wellness Foundation grantees are eligible for the educational offerings.

National Leadership Academy for the Public's Health Coaching Support

The Center for Civic Partnerships leads the coaching support function for this program of PHI's Center for Health Leadership Practice (CHLP). CHLP's National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health offers an innovative approach of bringing together teams of leaders from multiple sectors to actively engage their communities to achieve health equity.

Organizational Learning and Evaluation Conference

This convening is organized for grantees of The California Wellness Foundation to incorporate organizational learning principles, including evaluation, into TCWF grantees' ongoing operations and facilitate the exchange of best practices. The conference enhances the value of individual grants by offering opportunities for knowledge and skills development, peer learning and networking.

Organizational Learning and Evaluation Conference for TCWF Grantees

The Center for Civic Partnerships will develop, implement and evaluate a 1 1/2-day conference on evaluation and organizational learning for participants representing more than 200 grantees from The California Wellness Foundation, to be presented in the Los Angeles area in May 2013.     

Sustainability Training and Showcasing Promising Community-Based Practices

Learning materials support a sustainability assessment tool and companion document designed for Network for a Healthy California-funded partners. Online publications showcase collaborations among health departments, local jurisdictions and other partners designed to ensure healthier food environments through community gardens, corner stores and other local innovations that ensure accessible and affordable healthy food choices.

California Healthy Cities and Communities: Twenty-Five Years of Cultivating Community and Advancing a Movement (2014)

As a leader in the Healthy Communities Movement, PHI is proud to contribute to the National Civic Review's two-part editorial project hono...

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Community Gardens: The New Victory Gardens in a Public Crusade (2013)

This brief highlights three California cities that have built and strengthened partnerships, fostered community participation, adapt...

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Preparing for the Retirement Boom: Aging Populations (2011)

As baby boomers start retiring in large numbers, this important demographic shift will create significant consequences, both good and bad for local...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Hayward: It Takes a Transit Village (2009)

A case study of the Hayward, California, development of a housing transit village that promotes neighborliness and ease of access for all resi...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Indio Takes the Lead in Providing Intergenerational Lifelong Learning Opportunities (2009)

This is a case study of how Indio, California, developed intergenerational learning opportunities. It is part of the Center for Civic Partnerships&...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Jacksonville: Promoting Employment Opportunities Works for Older Adults (2009)

This is a case study of how promoting employment opportunities works for older adults In Jacksonville, Texas. It is part of the...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Kirkland: Making Support Services a Priority in Tight Economic Times (2009)

This is a case study of how Kirkland, Washington, made support services for older adults a priority in tight economic times. It is part of the...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Rio Vista: Volunteers Step in with VERVE in Rio Vista (2009)

This is a case study about how Rio Vista, California, developed Volunteers Enriching Rio Vista Environments to help residents with the loss of safe...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Rochester: Riding High: Transit Agency's Public-Private Partnerships Improve Service and Increase Revenue (2009)

This is a case study of a Rochester, New York, transit agency's public-private partnerships to improve service, particularly for olde...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Warren: City of Warren Cleans Up to Enhance Neighborhood Vitality and Revenue (2009)

This is a case study of Operation Clean Sweep in Warren, Michigan, and its impact on neighborhood vitality and revenues. The program cleaned u...

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Aging Well in Communities: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action (2009)

This toolkit gives local governments the resources they need to successfully plan for people to age well in their communities. Through its work...

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Aging Well in Communities: Conducting Focus Groups (2009)

Focus groups can be an important part of planning for aging well in a community. This is a guide to how to run them effectively. You can gain m...

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California Healthy Cities and Communities - A Legacy of Accomplishments (2009)

This publication gives a brief history of the Center for Civic Partnerships and the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) program, and h...

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California Healthy Cities and Communities: Laying the Foundation, Leading the Way (2009)

A synopsis of the roots of California Healthy Cities and Communities and its impact over the past 20 years. What began in 1988 as a vision of b...

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Case Study: In Hayward, It Takes a Transit Village - Mixed Use for an Aging Community (2009)

A case study of the Hayward, Calif., development of a housing transit village that promotes neighborliness and ease of access for all residents, es...

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Case Study: In Kirkland, WA, Making Support Services a Priority in Tight Economic Times (2009)

A case study of how Kirkland, Wash., made support services for older adults a priority in tight economic times. Providing an array of accessibl...

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Community Planning for Aging Well: An Overview (2009)

This section of the Aging Well Toolkit introduces the community planning process, offers strategies for engaging baby boomers, and explains how bes...

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Conducting Aging Well Public Forums (2009)

This toolkit gives local governments a template and guide for how to conduct public forums that bring attention to gathering information about and ...

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Conducting Aging Well Resident Surveys (2009)

This toolkit gives local governments a template and guide for how to develop a survey that provides detailed quantitative information about wh...

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Evaluation Findings on Community Participation in the California Healthy Cities and Communities Program (2009)

As part of an evaluation of the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) program, the authors of this article examined resident involvement...

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Profiles of Success: A Five-Year Retrospective of the Organizational Development Services Program (2009)

This report is a five-year retrospective of the Organizational Development Services (ODS) program, which provided capacity-building and technical s...

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