Cross-Sector Alignment Towards Upstream Solutions: Health Equity Community of Practice (CoP) Forum for Frontline Partnerships



The Health Equity Community of Practice (CoP) is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of a grant to understand the role of community health centers in addressing health equity within the context of structural racism and discrimination. The structure of the CoP will be anchored in exploring two questions:

  1. As community, state, and national leaders, in what ways can health centers address SDOH by using community voice and data?
  2. How can health centers – fueled by community voice and SDOH data, and bolstered by committed leaders – develop and strengthen relationships with other social service organizations, businesses, and economic development entities?

The Health Equity CoP will be a virtual forum for frontline partnerships including, but not limited to health centers, social service organizations, and centralized public health entities with the goals of:

  • Understanding health disparities that occur in our communities as a result of structures and systems in place
  • Learning about current experiences to align and advance our collective thinking around what health centers and partners can do in this space
  • Identifying and understanding barriers, gaps, or challenges that health centers and partners have to rectify and address structural racism and discrimination


The PBS documentary series, “Unnatural Causes”, will be used as a key resource for exploring the factors that contribute to health inequities. The CoP will focus on the intersectional relationships of partnership, policy, payment, and patient / consumer engagement. Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Insights from health center patients and consumers of social services regarding the services needed and provided.
  • Community-rooted mobilization efforts to support local policy development (e.g., economic self-determination initiatives).
  • Data-driven strategies that identify and address structural racism and discrimination.
  • Aggregate patient data and community-level data to understand the connection to policies, structures, and practices within our communities.
  • Application of SDOH data to impact programming, communications, and advocacy with payers and/or policy makers

*RWJF funding will not be used to support lobbying efforts or engage with elected and political leaders.

  • Exploration of promising interventions to address root causes of SDOH in communities.


This CoP is open to participants from community health centers, health systems and networks, Primary Care Associations (PCAs), and Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) . The CoP is also open to community-based organizations, social service agencies, local public health departments, and other cross-sector partners that collaborate with community health centers.

Participants of the CoP will have a significant portion of their role dedicated towards improving health equity amongst patients/clients that are served by the organization. The NACHC and AAPCHO team hopes to have a cross-section of staff roles participate in the CoP, from front-line staff through C-suite leaders and board members. Additionally, we encourage patients/clients that are served by health centers and community-based organizations to participate in the CoP and share their critical feedback and insights with CoP participants.


Participants who successfully complete the CoP will be able to:

  • Describe the role of legislation, public policies, and systems in structural racism and discrimination.
  • Understand how health disparities in their community are a result of public policy and systems.
  • Discuss the role of community health centers and cross-sector partners in working collaboratively to address upstream SDOH that are a result of structural racism and discrimination.
  • Describe ideas, strategies, resources, and tools that can be used to address the social drivers of health and structural racism and discrimination.


The CoP will be structured with various opportunities for participants to engage with each other while reflecting on how they as individuals and organizations advance health equity.

Participants will drive the function and structure of the CoP through interactive forums, coaching, and breakout discussions. Affinity groups may also be mobilized to allow for more focused engagement, such as political determinants of health, community-rooted mobilization and advocacy, and community policymaking processes.


  • NACHC: Yuriko de la Cruz; Cloé Destinoble; and Sarah Halpin

Live Module Session with Small Breakout Groups

Modules will be organized into seven (7), one and half hour sessions, which will be done live through Zoom. During each live session, there will be an opportunity to have more in-depth conversations in smaller breakout rooms. Each module session will be 90 minutes that will include:

  • Feature presentation
  • Q&A with the presenter(s)
  • Preview of Unnatural Causes Episode
  • Interactive Activity
    • 1) Individual Reflection Time -or- Small Group Breakouts
  • Large Group Reflections

Discussion Posts

The conversation will continue through the use of online discussion boards, which will have specific questions to further explore the content of the module. Discussion posts will be available at the end of every session. Participants will be asked to choose one of the discussion prompts and reply with your thoughts. Participants are encouraged to respond substantively to other participant posts.


Each participant will be provided a login account to gain access to the discussion boards and session materials. You can access your account by visiting

In order to receive disability-related accommodations, please contact the National PRAPARE Team at We are committed to ensuring that individuals are provided options to accommodate their needs.


Monthly Sessions will be held from May through December 3:00-4:30pm ET.

Opening Session Apr 20, 2022
Session 1 – “In Sickness and In Wealth” – The Impact of Social Policies on Health Disparities and the Resulting Health-Wealth Gradient May 18, 2022
Session 2 – “When the Bough Breaks” – Examining the Mystery of Infant Mortality Gap of Black Babies Compared to white babies Jun 15, 2022
Session 3 – “Becoming American” – Exploring the Shifting Health Status of New Immigrants Jul 27, 2022
Session 4 – “Bad Sugar” – Understanding how Disrupting Traditional Farming Practices Resulted in High Rates of Diabetes in Two Native American Communities Aug 24, 2022
Session 5 – “Place Matters” – How Zip Code impacts a Person’s Health Sep 21, 2022
Session 6 – “Collateral Damage” – Understanding the Legacy of Poverty and Powerlessness amongst Marshallese Community in Arkansas Oct 26, 2022
Session 7 – “Not Just a Paycheck” – The Ripple Effect of a Large Factory in Michigan on the Community’s Health Nov 16, 2022
Closing Session Dec 7, 2022


Live attendance at all sessions is encouraged; however, we understand that availability may be a challenge. All sessions will be recorded for viewing at a later time.