RWJF Awards $6.3 Million for Community Health Program

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has announced a $6.3 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of an effort aimed at advancing health, well-being, and health equity in communities across the United States.

The grant will enable the organization to expand its SCALE 1.0 (Spreading Community Accelerators Through Learning and Evaluation) program, which originally involved twenty-four urban, suburban, and rural communities in the U.S. Part of IHI's 100 Million Healthier Lives initiative, which provides community health leaders with opportunities to combine improvement science with transformational leadership skills to effect more sustainable change, the grant will accelerate the work of more than five hundred healthcare organizations in over two hundred communities. 

To that end, the grant will support two related initiatives: SCALE Communities and SCALE Health & Care. Through the former, Communities Joined in Action, Community Solutions, and IHI will work to scale the successful approach adopted by the twenty-four U.S. communities that participated in SCALE 1.0 over the past two years. The overriding goal of the initiative, which will be expanded to two hundred and twenty communities, is to develop a set of behaviors, processes, and systems that lead, over time, to improvements in health, well-being, and health equity in those communities. Simultaneously, participants in the SCALE Health & Care initiative will work, in partnership with patients and communities, to create a practical framework for some five hundred healthcare organizations that enables those organizations to make meaningful, measurable progress in systems development and other areas.

"In communities across the country, an incredibly diverse array of people — of different backgrounds, professions, race, class, and political persuasion — are forming coalitions in partnership with many who aren't thriving to advance the health and well-being of their communities," said Soma Stout, an IHI vice president and executive lead of 100 Million Healthier Lives. "These coalitions have already created meaningful improvement, showing tangible outcomes in a short time period. SCALE communities realize they have far more in common than they ever imagined."