Cabarrus Partnership for Children Awarded $150,000 Grant to Improve Population Health & Equity

Groundbreaking Effort Brings Public Health, Healthcare, and Social Services Together to Advance Community Health

The Cabarrus County Partnership for Children (CCPC) has been awarded a $150,000 grant to support a collaboration between governmental public health, healthcare, and social services. The grant funds, provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and awarded through the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI) and the Center for Sharing Public Health Services (CSPHS), will advance the efforts of the Cabarrus Partnership for Children to implement an innovative multisector partnership between governmental public health, healthcare, and social service organizations, along with the engagement of Cabarrus County, with the ultimate goal of aligning the three sectors’ work to improve population health, well-being, and equity for all.

Cabarrus Partnership for Children is one of 10 organizations to be awarded a Cross-sector Innovation Initiative (CSII) competitive grant. The initiative breaks new ground as it seeks to create an unprecedented effort toward achieving systems alignment between public health, healthcare, and social services, supporting strategies that address both population-focused efforts and the social needs of individuals. With the support of a community-based effort, the collaboration will elevate the focus on population health, thereby improving the health and well-being of everyone in Cabarrus County, particularly during this time of need.

Funding for the Substance Use Network (SUN) Project

“Cabarrus Partnership for Children is proud and excited to be awarded these funds, which will be used to implement the Substance Use Network (SUN) Project,” said Ann Benfield, Executive Director of CCPC. “We are pleased to partner with the Cabarrus Health Alliance; Atrium Health; Cabarrus County Department of Human Services; Genesis, A New Beginning; McLeod Addictive Disease Center, Inc.; the NC Department of Public Safety; and community members to work toward improving population health, well-being, and equity for all.”

The SUN Project aims to develop a cross-sector collaborative system of compassionate care that uses best practices to support the health, safety, well-being and recovery of pregnant patients with a substance use disorder, their infants, and families.

“This new trend holds promise, and this initiative can be even more far-reaching and impactful with additional partners and long-term commitments,” said PHNCI Chief Innovations Officer Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP. “Bringing these three sectors together for this grant opportunity – along with the engagement of the community – has the potential to achieve unparalleled improvements in health and equity, and innovative solutions to complex problems that impact the health and well-being of communities everywhere.”

The CSII grants, made possible with support from the Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provide approximately $150,000 to each of the 10 grantees to implement alignment innovations over the next 24 months. The initiative will emphasize the role and value of health departments in cross-sector collaborations while increasing understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that these collaborations represent for health departments.

“The level and complexity of the work required to advance the health of communities is far beyond what any one sector can achieve alone,” said CSPHS Director Gianfranco Pezzino, MD, MPH. “We can achieve far greater results by working together and using innovation to make lasting improvements in population health outcomes. Working together means not only working across sectors, but also ensuring the community is engaged as an equal partner.”

In addition to receiving funding support, CCPC will also receive technical assistance and the opportunity to participate in a Learning Community designed to facilitate peer exchange and share expertise. As learnings are captured, they will be evaluated and widely disseminated to the field through a variety of tools, resources, stories and other communication materials.

“This is a truly groundbreaking effort that will help us to better understand what facilitates or impedes cross-sector collaborations, the unique role of governmental public health in these efforts to align different sectors, and the value of this work to all partners involved,” said Monique Shaw, MPH, Program Officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

For more information, contact Gina Hofert at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About the Cabarrus County Partnership for Children

Cabarrus County Partnership for Children connects purpose, people, and programs to ensure child well-being in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The Partnership is a collaborative organization and contracts with many community partners in order to implement health, early education, and/or family outreach services to support children and families.

Click here for more information about the SUN Clinic.

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