Changing the Terms of Engagement

Forward-thinking public health professionals are reaching across sectors to build healthier communities. Recognizing that effective collaboration advances everyone’s mission, Public Health Reaching Across Sectors (PHRASES) supports an “all-hands-on-deck” approach with tools to build communication skills and strategies designed for success.

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The Challenge

Understanding What Other Sectors Need – and Providing It

Public health professionals are uniquely capable of bringing together colleagues from many sectors around a common cause.

Across the country, shared concerns and closely related goals are translating into effective partnerships – with health systems, business, housing, and education, to name just a few. In those communities, public health analytics, needs assessments, and proven prevention strategies are informing policy and action and providing wide value.

But even as many locales are showcasing effective partnerships, others are lagging behind. Too often, key decisions are being made without the contribution of public health. The benefits of the rigorous knowledge and rich data in the field are sometimes getting lost. There is a gap that must be bridged so that the assets and power of public health can reach a larger audience.

To open the door to effective partnerships, public health professionals need to understand what matters to other sectors and offer it.

Public Health

Expertise and evidence

An interconnected set of forces is transforming the traditional role of public health. The health care needs and demographics of the US population are changing; clinical care is being organized and delivered in new ways; an information and data revolution is underway; and heightened attention is being directed at the factors that contribute to chronic disease. Public health professionals don’t have the resources to respond to all of that alone.

Sector Partners

Complementary goals

Many sectors have an opportunity to advance their own mission by working in partnership with public health.

Public health expertise, data analytics, and evidence-based strategies offer crucial assets for key decisionmakers in other fields. Collaborations that build on a shared agenda are already visible across the country.


A communications guide and strategy toolkit for public health professionals.

When public health leaders align with colleagues outside their field, powerful synergies become possible. Making that happen begins with asking partners what they need, rather than starting the conversation with what public health needs.

PHRASES points the way forward. Its package of tools, training, and other resources fosters communication skills and provides strategies that allow public health professionals to align their vision with that of others and move further and faster together.

Our Partnership

deBeaumont Foundation logoThe Aspen Institute logo

Putting It into Practice

Public health professionals need to form “vibrant, structured, cross-sector partnerships” (Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action to Create a 21st Century Public Health Infrastructure). Watch this space for the tools and resources PHRASES is developing to put that urgent need into practice.

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Our Mission and Our Team

PHRASES helps public health professionals engage with many other sectors and meet shared goals. Learn what we are about and meet the people making it happen.

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Connect with Us

Email us feedback, helpful resources, and stories, and let us keep you posted as we develop new tools.