Disclaimer: Having trouble viewing the contents of this site? Update your internet browser to the latest version for the best viewing experience. A PDF version of this page is available.
Sustainability efforts 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 as 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
- The Sustaining Improved Outcomes toolkit, from the New York State Health Foundation. On page 29 you’ll find a list of sustainability factors, including those that don’t require funding. On page 37 you’ll find printable 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