10 Framing Recommendations

#4

Leverage allies and public health professionals working in or with other sectors as messengers

The Goal & The Challenge

When the goal is… to earn credibility with other sectors by demonstrating an understanding of their priorities as well as mutually shared goals…

The challenge is… there’s a commonly accepted notion that different sectors occupy different worlds, with their own values, objectives, and languages. Each sector is proud of its specialized knowledge base and distinct skill set, and also somewhat guarded against professionals from other sectors encroaching on its “turf.”

Before Framing

When You Say…Addressing shared societal challenges requires coordination and collaboration around a common agenda. Bringing a public health approach to the work of education can yield tremendous insight.

They Think…There may be some overlap, but public health’s agenda and approach are not the same as ours. Plus, the complexity of the education system makes it difficult for people in other sectors to navigate.

Framing can help

Framing can help potential collaborators focus on their commonalities, rather than dwell on their differences. The trick is to let professionals with cross-sector experience do the talking. Whenever possible, feature the perspectives and firsthand accounts of practitioners whose understanding spans another sector in addition to public health.

An effective reframe would look something like this:

As State Superintendent for Education, I’ve been thrilled to be a part of the solution to chronic absenteeism in communities across the state. When kids are healthy, they show up more often, participate more fully, and perform at their best. That’s why we’ve been partnering with public health professionals to reduce asthma triggers across our community, including in homes, public buildings, and other common spaces. Together we’re tackling a leading cause of chronic absenteeism in our schools and improving educational outcomes for our students.

Remember, the reframe isn’t a ready-made talking point. It’s a sample iteration that models the framing recommendation in action.

More Examples

Housing Sector

Quote from the leader of a housing-focused community development organization:
Advice from public health partnerships helped us implement health impact rating systems for neighborhoods and new construction projects. These ratings are key to how community development professionals engage developers in building healthy homes with access to jobs, transportation, and educational opportunities.

Tip

Housing professionals are more likely to trust the testimonials of their fellow housing professionals, than to take the word of public health experts that cross-sector collaboration can produce positive results.

Education Sector

Quote from a high school principal:
Youth violence prevention is an important priority for our community. My school’s public health partners give us the support we need to identify risk factors and offset them with supportive resources like counseling services, injury prevention programs, and leadership experiences that act as a buffer against the risks.

Tip

Messages can emphasize public health’s capacity to support education professionals in the practical elements of getting new programs and interventions off the ground.

Health Systems Sector

Quote from a hospital chief information officer:
As an architect of health information exchanges, collaborating with public health professionals helped my hospital build a data-sharing system that puts important information about the social conditions that either promote or harm community health in the hands of healthcare professionals who use it to offer their patients more tailored and holistic care.

Tip

Direct perspectives from health systems professionals can serve as a reminder to others in the sector of public health’s ability to help them improve community health outcomes, beyond just serving the needs of individuals.

Business Sector

Quote from a CEO and member of the city chamber of commerce:
Our corporate relocation specialists are always looking for healthy neighborhoods and communities to move our company to. Public health information and professionals are key resources for helping us find the right locations for our businesses.

Tip

Each sector responds well to a messenger who is “one of their own”. When connecting with the business sector, consider the wide range of roles available for partnerships.

Welcome to PHRASES!

  • Please complete this brief survey as part of a larger independent evaluation of the PHRASES resources. Your responses will help us understand the potential usefulness of the resources on this website.