Community Collaboratives are a governance structure for multi-sector population health planning in Vermont communities. Each Vermont Health Service Area has a Community Collaborative, which includes local leaders representing primary care (including pediatrics), the area hospital, home health or the Visiting Nurse Association, the Area Agency on Aging, the Designated (mental health) Agency, the Designated Regional Housing Organization, state agenices, and others. These leaders meet regularly to identify local priorities and plan how to use their collective resources to improve health and wellbeing.
Organizing to Address the Social Determinants of Health
Community Collaboratives work to improve health through both traditional health care services and all of the social determinants of health. For example, a Community Collaborative may work to increase use of preventative care by working with primary care practices to expand office hours, helping people sign-up for health insurance, and connecting people who don't drive to transportation services that they can use to get to appointments. Increasing preventative care utilization is one simple example of the many multi-disciplinary health improvement projects Community Collaboratives develop.
Each Community Collaborative also guides Blueprint program implementation in its area, including Community Health Team staffing configuration. As the Community Collaboratives mature, then tend to take on additional specific responsibilities and accountability. Over time, each Community Collaborative will become the governance structure that supports its Health Service Area in functioning as an Accountable Community for Health. Learn more about Accountable Communities for Health here.
Your Local Community Collaborative
Community Collaboratives are the latest evolution of the multi-disciplinary collaborations that have existed around the state in various forms for decades. In 2015, local Blueprint work groups originally known as Integrated Health Services advisory groups merged with Accountable Care Organization (ACO) work groups known as Regional Clinical Performance Committees. These combined groups are now officially known as Community Collaboratives. Locally, they go by many different names. To find out more about the group that’s active in your area, contact your area’s Blueprint Project Manager.