Over the course of 2021, Health Forward underwent a purpose alignment process that examined our opportunities to have the greatest impact possible on the health of our communities. Our new, five-year purpose plan recasts our leadership, advocacy, and resources to advance and promote health equity.
Every day we work to support and build inclusive, powerful, and healthy communities characterized by racial equity and economically just systems.
Our purpose alignment process was designed to identify the reason behind our work and to create a new guiding purpose plan. This year-long process involved significant learning, listening, and reflection. In the following document, you can read more about our journey of discovery, the data and feedback we gained from the community, and the outcomes that ultimately formed the foundation of our work moving forward.
Over the next 10 years, the changes we seek will result in:
- A high-quality and equitable community health ecosystem
- Strong community organizations and voices
- Equitable and just places that foster health and economic advancement
Communities of Focus
Our commitment to change will focus on working to improve the lives of people who experience the greatest injustices in health outcomes, including:
- People of color whose health outcomes are shaped by structural racism and other socioeconomic conditions
- People in rural areas where systemic barriers hinder optimal health
These communities often overlap with people of varied identities who experience economic insecurity, live in marginalized conditions, and find barriers to accessing high-quality care that is affordable, equitable, and trauma-informed.
Purpose Areas: People, Power, Place, and Platform
The systems change we seek will not happen overnight. Nevertheless, we believe change is possible if we come together as a community to focus our efforts and strategically move toward our outcomes. To guide these efforts and to help our partners better understand our priorities, we will focus our work within four broad purpose areas: People, Power, Place, and Platform.
Our approach to fostering healthy people has evolved to integrate whole-person care — mental, physical, oral, and social — across the continuum of care, from prevention to treatment to recovery and advocacy.
Community-based and grassroots groups, organizations, and leaders play a vital role in advancing equitable policies, practices, and resources focused on health equity. Too often, however, their access to power is challenged. Moreover, these organizations and leaders face persistent barriers to capital and growth.
Health Forward will focus on building two essential community assets that contribute to creating healthy places: safe and affordable housing and digital access
Housing and digital access have an outsized effect on health equity, racial equity, and economic inclusion. Housing has a direct impact on childhood development, education, health, and wealth creation. Digital access opens doors to telehealth and job opportunities.
How healthy we are is strongly influenced by our society’s systems, policies, and stories.
To advance racial equity and economic inclusion, Health Forward is partnering with local governments and funders to center equity and race in all policies, systems, and decisions. We are reshaping the way people understand and talk about racial, economic, and health equity. And we are aligning our invested resources in a way that advances our purpose and has a positive impact on the people and communities we serve.