Oregon Health Authority

Case Study

A New Cure for Public Health Challenges

In today’s healthcare environment, disparities in chronic disease prevention and management are nearing crisis levels. One of Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) most innovative responses to this pressure has been the Sustainable Relationships for Community Health (SRCH) grants, which use multisector partnerships to support health initiatives and drive large-scale systems change within communities.

A New Prescription
OHA was eager to launch this one-of-a-kind program, but it didn’t have to internal capabilities to create the model from scratch. It teamed up with Coraggio in the project’s earliest stages, and we worked side-by-side with OHA employees to co-create and co-design the SRCH framework. Together we laid out a year-long large-scale systems change model that offered a practical approach to building and enhancing community relationships. The approach incorporated dedicated time for the partners to meet to discuss their most pressing community issues supported by a customized toolkit to ensure they had what they needed to move their community work forward.

Leadership Appointments
OHA staff are responsible for supporting and teaching SRCH grantees across the state, so training became a priority. We supported each OHA team lead to ensure their coaching sessions, monthly reviews, and regular phone checkups were effectively meeting the needs of the communities they served. These leadership development efforts empowered the team leads with the skills they needed to be active partners, ready to engage with Oregon’s neediest populations and face everything from diabetes management to tobacco cessation.

Together, these resources and skills built a framework for cross-sector collaboration that brings together public health, health system, clinic and community partners to implement strategies that improve healthcare quality and patient experience while controlling costs.Poignant stories from across the state describe a growing number of lives transformed by SRCH, but the proof of the program’s impact is quantifiable as well. The workflows have injected crucial services into the state’s most troubled communities, and collaboration has increased 18% across all SRCH teams since the program’s launch. In addition, the organization has integrated the use of data to track and measure progress and implemented a quality improvement approach.

Seeking a Long-Term Cure
Fans have nicknamed SRCH “Something Really Cool is Happening.” Because the model is versatile and disease agnostic, Oregon hopes to apply the SRCH framework to issues such as the rising opioid epidemic. In the five years since the program’s launch, SRCH has successfully scaled up in several areas, and a mini version for communities that aren’t ready for the full-fledged program was developed.

The implications of SRCH’s viability reaches beyond healthcare in the Pacific Northwest. With continued work, the SRCH framework may soon be replicated and owned by other states and agencies to bring multisector organizations together to address any range of complex health and social issues.

“ Having Corragio Group as a neutral facilitator, with a deep understanding of organizational and systems change, and the ability to contract with national experts on any given topic, has been instrumental in the success of Oregon communities moving toward sustainable relationships to improve health. As Oregon and the rest of the country continues to transform how health is achieved equitably, Coraggio Group is a proven expert in unifying public and private voices across the spectrum of health. ”

— Kirsten Aird, Chronic Disease Programs Manager