A 30-month project involving 6 organizations, Community Voices for Health helps build research collaborations that can generate sustainable networks and address health issues by informing health policymaking. This project also partners with the research and public engagement organizations Public Agenda and Altarum, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Community Voices for Health’s focus on networks is to help ensure that any solutions identified through community engaged research can then be successfully implemented and continued beyond the life of the research project. It does this in part through a approach that builds new connections and strategies based on how people in community, research, and health organizations are already engaging with one another. It also focuses on how networks built on local engagement can collectively generate a larger regional network and collaborations that help policymakers and other community members better make and implement healthcare decisions.
Community Voices for Health strengthens systems that bring communities together to connect, address collective problems, and engage in group decision making. The project meets communities where they are, participating in existing gatherings and leveraging local relationships and networks. This initiative connects communities to local policymakers in ways that lead to informed state-level action around healthcare, social service, and public health systems. The project focuses on engagement that is inclusive and sustainable by expanding engagement strategies to involve marginalized communities. Community Voices for Health creates pathways for communication between policy makers and communities to enable community-driven issues to surface.