Power-building Partnerships for Health

Power-building Partnerships for Health cultivates powerful collaborations between local health departments and community power-building organizations to advance health equity. 

We launched the Power-building Partnerships for Health (PPH) initiative with support from The California Endowment and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and conducted this year in partnership with the Public Health Alliance of Southern California (the Alliance) and the Right to the City Alliance (RTTC).

The initiative’s goals are to: 

  • Develop new deep and trusting community power-building organizations and health department relationships
  • Support local health departments taking action and leveraging their power to advance a local housing justice campaign
  • Support community power-building organizations to use their power to advance stronger public health policies and practice in partnership with health departments
  • Develop a shared understanding of health equity and housing justice frameworks, transformative organizing, and community power-building strategies
  • Build community power and influence to impact health department practice and housing policies 
Image of 6 PPH 2018-2019 cohort participants smiling and pointing toward a large poster with sticky notes forming an idea tree

Participants from Riverside University Health System — Public Health, Starting Over Inc., and the Public Health Alliance of Southern California presenting a visual representation of their shared learnings after a year of Power-building Partnerships for Health.

In its first iteration, PPH was California-focused

HIP initially launched PPH  in 2018-2019 as a pilot project in partnership with the Alliance and the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) in five counties in California.  As noted in our summary evaluation, participating county health departments and community-led organizations developed a deeper understanding of each other’s field, theory of change, and power, increased and improved community engagement, collaboration, relationship building, and trust.  

In 2020, HIP and the Alliance pivoted to support Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and their community partners CAUSE and MICOP’s work to protect farmworker health and safety during COVID-19.  This partnership helped lead to the development of Latinx and Indigenous Migrant COVID-19 Task Force,  documenting community conditions impacting COVID-19 risk, a Health Order on H2A housing to require COVID-19 control measures in temporary agricultural worker (H2A) housing and homeless shelters, and increased attention to Indigenous workers’ COVID-19 risks and language needs in COVID-19 communications and outreach.

Our 2021 cohort has four sites

The 2021 PPH cohort includes 4 sites: Sacramento and Long Beach (California), Saint Louis (MO) and Tri-County/Metro Denver (CO).  Site partnerships pair community power-building organizations that focus on housing issues (e.g., evictions, displacement, tenants’ rights, habitability, etc.) and local health departments that are committed to working on housing as a social determinant of health.

For more information about PPH, please check out:

Webinar Series: Power-building for Health Departments

In June and July 2022, HIP hosted  a 2-part webinar workshop series on power-building, geared toward health department leaders, staff, and partners. The sessions dive into power imbalances as a root cause of health inequities, how to build deep alliances with community power-building organizations (CPBOs) to shift power, and ways health departments can leverage and redistribute their power to advance equity.

Part 1: Power 101

Part 2: Tools for Analyzing & Redistributing Power

HIP resources on power-building to advance health equity

For additional information about why power-building is important for advancing health equity, please check out these HIP resources:

Additional resources on power-building

Contact us to learn more about PPH

If you are a local health department interested in trainings or technical assistance on community power-building or how to collaborate with community organizers, please contact info@humanimpact.org.

If you are a community power-building organization interested in connecting or collaborating with a local health department, please contact megan@humanimpact.org.