We drive radical transformation and improvement in the health of individuals and communities by designing and implementing bold upstream strategies.

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Strategy and Investments

Strategic Consulting

HealthBegins draws on years of direct, real-world experience and nationally recognized expertise to help clients design bold, concrete strategies to move upstream. With goal-directed strategic consulting, we help clients focus and align their efforts to improve social drivers of health and equity at all levels: individual social needs, community-wide social determinants of health, and broader structural determinants of health. We’ve helped design strategies for a range of vanguard organizations — from health systems and insurance plans to foundations, employers, and cross-sector collaboratives.

Upstream Investment Planning

Making a business case? Wondering about ROI? Trying to align social determinants investments? With our signature Upstream Investment Planning services and tools, HealthBegins works with your team, key internal stakeholders, and partners to refine your upstream strategy’s business case and value propositions. Using a combination of best practices and tools from impact investing and community health improvement, we assign metrics, set goals, align investments, and track the performance of your system-wide portfolio of proactive investments in social needs, social determinants of health, and structural determinants of health equity.

The HealthBegins team has been invaluable in helping us to jumpstart our conversations and providing a framework for us to work with to initiate our first initiatives in housing, food insecurity, SDOH screening, and community health workers.

Jennifer Sayles, MD

Former Chief Medical Officer, Inland Empire Health Plan

boy in white t-shirtImprovement & Transformation

We work with client partners who understand that moving upstream is not just a technical challenge — it’s transformational work. It requires continuous improvement and learning, new ways of working and communicating together, and sustained engagement and commitment from everyone involved in bridging clinical and community approaches to health

Drawing on years of experience and tools like our Upstream Capability Assessment, our team will work with you to develop an improvement campaign that translates your strategic vision for upstream care into reality. With specialized expertise in health- and social-care integration, screening and referral processes, and workflow redesign, we build on your organization’s or network’s strengths and bolster areas that need improvement. 

Beyond addressing individual social needs, HealthBegins is also a national leader in helping the Upstream Movement drive deeper transformational change. Our team helps organizations and cross-sector collaboratives align and accelerate efforts to improve community-level social determinants of health and societal structural determinants of health equity, like structural racism and economic inequity. 

older gentleman smilingTraining & Education

Since 2012, HealthBegins has been a pioneer in upstream education and training for healthcare professionals. Our practical, skills-oriented educational content and training materials, along with our signature Upstream Quality Improvement approach, are routinely used across the country as part of curricula in universities, medical schools, and other graduate schools and continuing medical education (CME) courses. 

Through in-person training, webinars, and online educational modules developed with partners including the AMA, AHA, and Medscape, we have cumulatively provided more than 10,000 hours of education on topics such as Social Determinants and the Quadruple Aim, Social Needs Screening & Care Redesign, Clinical-Community Partnership Development, Community Health Data & Informatics, and Community Health Financing. Working closely with clients, our team customizes education to meet the needs of learners and organizations seeking to advance strategic upstream priorities. 

HealthBegins played a critical role in laying the foundation for the successful launch for the Accountable Health Communities model at Allina Health. The speaker was inspirational and relatable to multiple roles and engaged participants in both the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of addressing health-related social needs in a clinical setting.

Ellie Zuehlke, MPH

Director of Community Benefit & Engagement, Allina Health

woman smiling on streetLearning Collaboratives

Drawing on best practices and tools from our entire suite of upstream services, HealthBegins runs and supports a series of national and regional learning collaboratives. Through a shared longitudinal experience, we provide goal-directed coaching, faculty support, and technical assistance to help teams achieve mutually agreed-upon milestones and drive upstream learning, improvements, and transformation. 

By applying our tested Upstream Quality Improvement approach, teams develop and implement rapid-cycle campaigns, not only to improve health outcomes and social needs such as food and housing security for priority populations but also to build cross-sector capacity to address broader social and structural determinants of health.

Probably the biggest testament to the work being done through this collaborative is the members’ willingness to share setbacks and helpful strategies and provide support to one another because of the environment created by HealthBegins.

Senior Director of Population Health of a State Hospital Association

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