For public health professionals and advocates who want to communicate more effectively with the housing, education, health systems, and business sectors about the value of collaboration
Frame collaboration as empowerment
The Goal & The Challenge
When the goal is… to convince other sectors that collaborating with public health can help them address some of their most pressing and difficult problems…
The challenge is… they’re wary of being told what to do. (Particularly by folks they see as outsiders.)
When You Say… Public health can partner with health systems to help create communities that keep people well rather than make them sick. This way, doctors, nurses, and hospitals can provide quality healthcare services and not have to worry that the benefits of treatment will be lost once they send their patients back home.
They Think… It’s true that we’re increasingly thinking about how to support patient health before and after we treat them, but what does public health know about it, and more importantly, why would we hand this essential component of our work over to them?”
Framing can help
Framing can help assuage other sectors’ fears of being asked to hand over the reins by affirming their existing priorities and acknowledging their ongoing efforts. Likewise, conveying how public health proposes to support another sector’s mission goes a long way toward helping its professionals see collaboration as an asset rather than a liability.
An effective reframe would look something like this:
Health systems can partner with public health to help create the healthy community conditions needed to keep people well after they return home from the hospital. For example, together we can advocate for evidence-based improvements to the public transportation system that will help connect your patients to the services, stores, housing, and jobs they need to live healthy lives.
Remember, the reframe isn’t a ready-made talking point. It’s a sample iteration that models the framing recommendation in action.