The Stew BLOG

ReThink Health Ventures: Accelerating Progress at the Heart of Transformation

Laura Landy, President & CEO | 12/07/2016

Today we announce ReThink Health’s latest endeavor in our enduring effort to reimagine and transform health: ReThink Health Ventures. The Ventures project offers a critical opportunity to delve into the real challenges facing our health system and to test real-world solutions with some of the most advanced multi-sector partnerships in the country.

It’s no secret that America’s health system is failing us; and there is no mystery about the reasons why: the spiraling cost of care, piecemeal policies, systemic inequities, lack of sustainable financing, and long-neglected opportunities to improve health where we live, work, and play. What will it take to break from this entrenched and damaging cycle – to move from improving our current system to truly transforming it into the most favorable system for now and for the future? It’s going to require enormous ingenuity and a little bit of bravery.

ReThink Health has spent close to a decade on the ground in nearly 100 regions across the country identifying what really works and what doesn’t work with those who are knee deep in the process of changing health. Through our bi-annual Pulse Check survey (we’ll release the second this winter), we’ve also learned what partnerships say most bolsters and impedes their progress. And our comprehensive research into long-term, sustainable financing has brought to light exciting solutions to some of the nation’s greatest health and healthcare difficulties. ReThink Health Ventures harnesses those learnings to show changemakers that, despite the many challenges our nation faces today, an integrated, dynamic, and high-functioning health ecosystem is possible.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson and Rippel Foundations, Ventures brings together some of the nation’s most advanced multi-sector partnerships to do business differently, together. Partnerships in Sonoma County, CA; Trenton, NJ; the Finger Lakes region of New York; Central Oregon; King County, WA; and Bernalillo County, NM, will learn with and from each other as they accelerate health transformation in their regions. These partnerships were invited into the Ventures cohort following a robust national nomination and assessment process. Each has demonstrated a clear commitment and is well on its way to transforming health, exhibiting a particular mix of ambition, ability, and appetite.

Our goal in Ventures is to help these six communities take the next big step overcoming barriers and generating greater inclusive health value—demonstrated by the improved health of populations, better care, lower costs, greater equity, and increased workforce productivity. Through intensive, hands-on coaching; use of tested tools such as the ReThink Health Pathway and the System Dynamics Model; ongoing technical assistance; regular convenings; and an online learning community, ReThink Health will spend the next two years working in partnership with these six communities to build on the great work they’ve already done.

By engaging in a deep and different way with partnerships that are well-positioned to accelerate change at a regional level, Ventures will explore key questions about what drives momentum and what stalls progress. We will consider who really needs to be at the table to make progress. We will review how the values held by individuals, communities, and even the nation might guide spending patterns. We will begin untangling the knots that can waylay even the best laid plans.

Ventures aims to upend conventional thinking about how to repair our fractured health system; to raise the ambitions and reduce the skepticism of communities and leaders, both locally and nationally, so they aim for a higher standard and are willing to make bold, difficult choices rather than default to the status quo.

Achieving such ambitious goals will require questioning norms that are ingrained in American culture: revisiting what health really means, how various sectors and new voices could contribute to it, and what kind of commitment it will take for a community and the people who live there to be healthy.

We hope you will follow along as we accelerate transformation together. Stay up-to-date with Ventures by subscribing to our newsletter.

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