AcademyHealth envisions a future where individuals and communities are made healthier by the use of evidence in decision-making, and many types and sources of data are needed to support this vision. There is a growing recognition that individual and community health is very much shaped by the characteristics of the communities where people live, work, and play. It is with this vision and motivation that we are excited to announce our partnership with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to launch the Community Health Peer Learning Program (CHP).

On July 28, 2015, ONC awarded 20 grantees a total of $38 million to improve coordinated health information sharing in communities across the United States. AcademyHealth is among those ONC awardees, and will serve as the program office and manage all aspects of the CHP program. The CHP program acknowledges the challenges associated with Health IT enabled, community-based transformation, and seeks to ensure that communities undertaking such efforts have invested in developing strong and coordinated strategies to guide implementation and hasten success.

With a total of $2.2 million, the CHP program will work with 15 competitively selected communities; ten Participant Communities will receive awards to accelerate progress toward a specified community-level population health challenge, and five Subject Matter Expert (SME) Communities that will receive awards to share their best practices and contribute to learning guides. The CHP program will weave together a tailored and responsive network – providing the expertise and resources necessary for participating communities to strengthen connections with partners, expand data sharing and use, and develop and begin piloting high-impact Community Action Plans for addressing a specified community-level population health challenge.

This September we will open the CHP program National Call for Applications, and we would appreciate your help in sharing this opportunity broadly. Selected communities will benefit from coordinated interactions with local and national experts, ONC colleagues, and our other partners on this effort: NORC and the National Partnership for Women and Families. They also will have opportunities to connect and collaborate via both in-person and virtual events.

The CHP program builds upon ONC’s Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program. AcademyHealth helped to support the predecessor Beacon Community program – both as a partner on the Beacon technical assistance support team, and through the Beacon Evidence and Innovation Network (BEIN), which was supported by The Commonwealth Fund, and helped to identify, document, and disseminate key insights, lessons, and results of Beacon Community efforts to leverage health IT to improve patient care and reduce costs.

We look forward to extending support to additional communities in the coming years as they work to identify data solutions, accelerate local progress, and disseminate best practices and learnings addressing population health challenges. Through the CHP program work and other complementary initiatives currently at AcademyHealth, we are confident that we can continue to cultivate the data and research infrastructure needed to enable a culture of health, and are excited to support the evolving role of public health and work to improve population heath, and health equity.

For more information, please visit the CHP program page.

Blog comments are restricted to AcademyHealth members only. To add comments, please sign-in.