Cross-Sector Collaboration

Cross-Sector Collaboration

At our core, we’re a convener of change agents and a champion for collaboration. We have a long history of unifying diverse stakeholders across nontraditional boundaries to achieve shared aims. Based on a philosophy of “All Teach, All Learn,” we believe that improvement is exponentially easier when people and organizations work together.

Because our work has expanded from clinical settings to the broad influences on children’s health, our expertise in cross-sector collaboration has become all the more important. Topics such as childhood obesity and infant mortality require building bridges between healthcare and other sectors (e.g., public health and communities).

Here are some examples of projects where we helped disparate stakeholders forge common ground:
  • Collaborate for Healthy Weight – A national initiative in which we helped communities across the U.S. build multisectoral coalitions to tackle obesity on a local level.
  • Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) – A national initiative in which we worked with federal, state, and local leaders, public and private agencies, healthcare professionals, and communities work to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes.
  • ePlans to Promote Healthy Weight – An effort to determine how best to include healthy weight plans in electronic health records (EHRs) in which we helped bring together experts in obesity prevention, behavior change, practice redesign and medical informatics.

Our Methods and Approaches

We deploy a variety of methods to bring committed individuals and organizations together to learn and work together. These include:

Breakthrough Series Collaborative

A common approach we use is adapted from the Breakthrough Series (BTS) CollaborativeExternal Link, pioneered by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The BTS Collaborative is a learning system that facilitates spread and adaptation of knowledge to multiple settings. The system is grounded in the principles of Improvement Science, enabling teams to test changes, make observations, collect data, share ideas and implement successful changes. The diagram to the right shows the structure of a typical BTS Collaborative, which we often modify to meet the needs or requirements of specific project’s aims.

Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Networks (CoIINs)

CoIINs are dynamic, technology-enabled, virtual work teams in which people with a shared vision collaborate to achieve a common goal by exchanging ideas, information and work. Based on the original concept from Peter Gloor, PhD, participants apply innovation, collaborative learning and quality improvement methodologies to develop, test, implement and spread novel approaches to solve seemingly intractable problems.


CAN DO Playbook screenshot

Free Obesity Prevention Strategy Guide

The Collaborative Action Now to Defeat Obesity (CAN DO) Playbook helps primary care, public health and community leaders work together at a local level to defeat obesity. Through interactive exercises, the CAN DO Playbook teaches proven, field-tested improvement strategies for the many settings that influence health, including schools, clinics, hospitals and communities. Plus, an online community connected to the Playbook lets participants share ideas, get help and network with others passionate about improving their community’s health.




The Breakthrough Series

This diagram shows the structure of a typical BTS Collaborative.