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Sustainability efforts should begin in the planning stage. Funding is often the first consideration when thinking about sustainability, but policy and infrastructure are equally important. All of these are more achievable when there is shared vision, common language and commitment to ongoing collaboration.
Challenge: Sustainability planning may begin too late in the process.
Try: Include sustainability planning at the beginning of a project or program. Revisit along the way as needs, resources, and opportunities evolve.
Challenge: Partners may perceive sustainability as strictly a matter of funding.
Try: Identify the infrastructure, policy and procedures needed to sustain outcomes. Then break them down into those that require funding. Form a work group to identify potential funding sources as well opportunities to leverage existing funds.
Challenge: Healthcare systems are struggling to keep up with the demands of health transformation, limiting capacity for sustainability planning.
Try: Engage partners that want the same outcome even though they may have different reasons. For example, rental property owners may support smoke-free housing because it reduces fire hazard and cleaning costs. Smoke-free housing also benefits community health by reducing indoor secondhand smoke.
Challenge: The public may not realize the value of a population health achievement.
Try: Tell the story of good results in many ways and at different points in time. Help communities connect the dots between successful interventions and health outcomes. For more tools, see the Communications section.
- "Towards Sustainable Improvements in Population Health", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- "A Proposal for Financially Sustainable Population Health Organizations", US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
- "Sustaining Improved Outcomes", is an excellent toolkit from nyshealthfoundation.org for building a sustainability plan. On page 29 of the document you’ll find a list of sustainability factors (not all involve funding.) On page 37 you’ll find reproducible worksheets to help partners select plan activities.
- Social Impact Bonds, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- "Financing Population Health Improvement", Institute of Medicine (IOM)
- "Investing in America's Health: a State-by-State Look at Public Health Funding", HealthyAmericans.org