Forging Deeper Connections to Community by Shifting Power Dynamics

Posted on December 7, 2020
By Abigail Goodwin

neonbrand-A0jiySI0nc4-unsplash (1)Six years ago, Palm Health Foundation made a risky decision. Dissatisfied with the short-term gains of responsive grantmaking, the foundation launched the Healthier Together initiative in an effort to forge a deeper connection to community through the social determinants of health. With no roadmap to follow, the foundation granted $1 million to six communities and asked residents to lead the way in creating lasting, systemic, transformative change. 

Early in the Healthier Together initiative, one of the foundation’s biggest challenges was shifting power dynamics. Residents were skeptical of an organization that granted funding without expectations of traditional outcome metrics. Trust didn’t come easily, but foundation leadership consistently showed up at community meetings and invested in resident leaders by sending them to the Tamarack Institute for training on leading community change. Residents grew a stronger set of skills and deeper understanding of collective impact to fuel their decision-making power, and Healthier Together gained momentum that continues to build, six years later. 

Read more about Palm Health Foundation’s learning journey of Transforming Communities Through the Social Determinants of Health over the first five years of the Healthier Together initiative, and join Abigail Goodwin, Pat McNamara, and Sylvia Cheuy for an upcoming webinar - Transforming Communities Through Resident Leadership: Lessons from Healthier Together

Take your learning further:

Collective Impact, Collaborative Leadership, Community Building, Leadership, Public Health, Healthcare

Abigail Goodwin

By Abigail Goodwin

Abigail Goodwin works as Vice President of Grants & Community Investments, Palm Health Foundation

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