I’m excited to share with you this report: A Shared Purpose: Transforming Communities Through the Social Determinants of Health, Lessons Learned from the First Five Years of Palm Health Foundation’s Healthier Together initiative.
In 2014, after years of research, data collection, and soul-searching, Palm Health Foundation announced a radical change to our grantmaking. Dissatisfied with the short-term gains of responsive grantmaking, we wanted to forge a deeper connection to our community. We wanted to create sustainable change. We wanted to truly transform community health.
Without a clear roadmap to follow, and with a readiness to learn, we launched the Healthier Together initiative in six communities, committing $1 million to each. We were investing with faith while facing uncertainty: Would the investment pay off?
At the start, we set out to address community health challenges around diabetes, behavioral health, and family caregiving. Along the way, we began to recognize that a person’s ZIP code could influence his health outcomes more than his genetic code. We shifted our thinking away from clinical healthcare solutions and toward a new definition of health – one which considers the social and environmental factors that determine a person’s outcomes.
Healthier Together shifted the bedrock of Palm Health Foundation: transforming our role as a grant maker from a traditional funder to a local steward of shared resources; from investing in systems to investing in residents; and from a learning organization into an organization building a learning culture. Though our understanding of health has deepened and evolved through Healthier Together, the foundation is still learning as we seek to empower, uplift and engage the community in leading change for better health. We are grateful for this learning and are thrilled to share our key insights with you in this report: A Shared Purpose: Transforming Communities Through the Social Determinants of Health, Lessons Learned from the First Five Years of Palm Health Foundation’s Healthier Together initiative.
Thank you for your support and friendship as we continue learning and working to better the health of all Palm Beach County residents, now and for generations to come. Continue advancing this work by giving to The Healthier Together Fund at Palm Health Foundation.
In good health,
President & CEO, Palm Health Foundation