Health Disparities Health Equity Population Health Public Health Public Health 3.0 Social Determinants of Health

A Roadmap for Improving Population Health Through Multisector Partnerships

For the last few years, I’ve been writing about the Practical Playbook, a partnership of the CDC, Duke Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and the de Beaumont Foundation, and the work it does to encourage multisector collaborations to improve population health. My firm was brought in years ago to help primarily with content marketing. It has been a pleasure to work on this initiative and support the organization’s mission. I’ve come to understand that it is essential that we help to bring these varied organizations together to address health disparities and the determinants of health in communities around the county (the result of decades of systemic racism and systemic poverty). It’s worth noting that these organizations have historically worked in silos.

This week, the Practical Playbook is launching its new book. It truly is a “how-to” manual for developing multisector partnerships (health systems, community organizations, public health organizations, churches) to improve the health of communities. More than 100 experts contributed to this text. Below is some information about the new text that I pulled from the press release announcing its publication.

The Practical Playbook II: Building Multisector Partnerships That Work

Edited by J. Lloyd Michener, Brian C. Castrucci, Don W. Bradley, Edward L. Hunter, Craig W. Thomas, Catherine Patterson, and Elizabeth Corcoran

Creating cross-sector partnerships that collaborate, innovate, and affect policy for improved population health is the work of the 21st century and the focus of The Practical Playbook II: Building Multisector Partnerships That Work.

Working in multisector partnerships is new, complex, often underfunded, and anything but quick. Improving health through partnerships requires letting go of the traditional siloed mentality and working together to develop programs that are successful and sustainable. What is now needed – and what The Practical Playbook II provides – is a compilation of tools and methods that can be adapted and shaped to build on partners’ strengths and respond to the unique needs of each community.

The Practical Playbook II was authored by more than 100 of the leading voices in public health, primary care, health systems, housing, transportation, businesses, and the faith community, and answers common and advanced questions around multisector partnerships, including:

  • Identifying sectors and actors that can help to collaborate to improve health
  • Best practices for initial engagement.
  • Specifics related to collaborations with government, business, faith communities, and other types of partners.
  • The role of data in establishing and running a partnership.
  • Scaling up to maximize impact and remain sustainable.
  • The role of financing.
  • Implications for policy.

Since the first Practical Playbook was published in 2016, multisector collaborations that improve the health of communities have continued to expand, and there are currently more than 600 partnerships across the country. With this growth came the realization that a completely new book was needed. This new edition builds on the experiences of the broadening array of sites and sectors and provides a concise set of tools, methods, and examples that support multisector partnerships to improve population health.

“This book accomplishes something that isn’t easy: it offers didactic instruction on a topic that is not talked about in such terms anywhere else. If cross-sector partnerships are the key to big victories in population health, then this is the instruction manual,” says Michelle A. Williams, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Beyond providing tools and lessons, this book is intended as an invitation for all sectors to join the movement for health. It is a call for action, for joining partnerships, for selecting among the wide range of tools and methods shared, and putting them into action to make a difference in the health of communities.

The Practical Playbook II is available for purchase from Oxford University Press at

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