Learning and Action in Policy and Partnerships (LAPP)

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) in partnership with the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), is pleased to launch the Learning and Action in Policy and Partnerships (LAPP) program.

LAPP I: 2021-2022

Grantees from six states, in LAPP’s first cohort, received funding and technical assistance to enhance community data sharing capabilities and foster relationships between state governments, community based-organizations, and community members. The initiative was developed with strategic planning and key insights from federal and state officials, community-based organization leaders, subject matter experts, and community members.

LAPP II: 2022-2022

The purpose of this second round of funding for the Learning and Action in Policy and Partnerships (LAPP) grant was to support coordinated local or state government and community partnerships as they leveraged COVID-19 relief funds to advance policies for data-sharing and data-integration efforts, improved a culture of health and advanced equity, and, importantly, informed state policy development.

Announcing LAPP Round 2:


Five communities receive grants to align COVID relief planning to advance data-sharing and inform policy development.

Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH), announced the second round of funding as part of the ongoing national effort to advance health, equity, and well-being through data sharing partnerships between communities and states. The program, called Learning and Action in Policy and Partnerships, is led by DASH, a collaboration between the Illinois Public Health Institute and its Michigan counterpart, MPHI; in partnership with the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). DASH is an initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In this second round of LAPP funding, DASH is granting $80,000, each, to five awardees to support sustainable, coordinated local or state government and community partnerships as they leverage COVID-19 relief funds to advance policies for data sharing and data-integration efforts, improve a culture of health, and advance equity, and, importantly, inform state policy development.

“Evolving state data systems to reflect community-led definitions of well-being is essential to achieve a just and equitable future. The LAPP/DASH partnership is supporting Washington in creating a state culture and process that values the expertise of people and communities historically excluded from well-being in decision-making.” Lori Pfingst, Senior Director, Office of the Secretary at Washington State DSHS (LAPP Round 1 Grantee)

In 2021, the LAPP program broke ground with six states who are utilizing funds, resources, and technical assistance to enhance community data-sharing capabilities and foster relationships between state government, community-based organizations, and community members.

2022 projects include:

  • Nebraska (led by Cync Health): Developing a Roadmap for Democratizing Data for Housing and Homelessness Leveraging COVID-19 Funding
  • New Mexico (led by the Center for Health Innovation): Support for Creation of Statewide Food, Hunger and Farm Data Infrastructure to Address Hunger and Food and Water Insecurity Worsened by COVID-19
  • Georgia (led by ARCHI (Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement): Invert the Burden: How to Build a More Equitable Service Access System to Address Persistent Inequities in Metro Atlanta.
  • Utah (led by San Juan County): Removing Barriers Utilizing Greater Digitization to Advance Navajo Elder Services in Coordinating Truly Wraparound Care and Services in San Juan.
  • Connecticut (led by Connecticut Data Collaborative, CT DATA): Hartford Data Collaborative Behavioral Health Indicators for City Youth

DASH’s experience and engagement with community, state, and national thought leaders suggests that leveraging the power and influence of state agencies is a key opportunity to support and amplify existing community relationships and data sharing initiatives, while simultaneously helping states achieve their goals related to improving population health and health equity.

“Community members experiencing systemic health disparities are uniquely qualified to identify and implement equitable solutions. Equitable Spaces is encouraged that LAPP II created opportunities for those with this lived expertise to participate in the selection process of their partner grantees, demonstrating the project’s commitment to honor, value, and incorporate the knowledge and perspectives of those who have been historically sidelined in the decisions surrounding the policies and programs that directly impact their lives.” Jimmieka Mills & Diane Sullivan, Equitable Spaces

With the LAPP Program, DASH hopes to continue its core support of multi-sector collaboration and data sharing efforts and leverage these lessons to identify powerful policy and system change opportunities. The LAPP initiative was developed with guidance from federal and state officials, community-based organization leaders, subject matter experts, and community members.


The aim of this effort was to enable communities to develop community-state partnerships to better inform inclusive policy and systems alignment at both the community and state level.

Increasingly, communities are testing new ways to improve health, well-being, and equity by sharing data among public health, health care, and social services systems. In addition to leading data-sharing efforts at a local level, community partners can also connect with state policymakers that have various tools and “levers” at their disposal to support these efforts to improve health, especially within communities most at risk of inequities. For example, these levers include:

  • Data access: community-level data can drive integration and inform state policy, and states may have data that is needed by communities.
  • Policy and legal clarity: states can clarify and amend as warranted the regulations that govern how and what data can be shared.
  • Shared services and systems: states may develop or purchase systems that can be made available to communities (e.g., health information exchanges, social services referral platforms).
  • Interoperability rules: communities and states may play a role in developing standards or guidance to ensure data can be linked across sectors.
  • Financing: states can change how services are paid for and what metrics need to be captured to align incentives and accountability; and support communities’ sustainable infrastructure development.
  • MCO contracting: states can integrate language into Managed Care Organization (MCO) contracts that encourage collaboration with communities (e.g., social services referrals).

Sharing data across sectors and building relationships among community and state partners can inform decision making to improve community health and wellbeing, strengthen systems of care, and break down silos that perpetuate disparities and poor health.

Informational Webinar

Access the presentation materials here and view the recorded session below:

All In: Data for Community Health Presents Pandemic Recovery: An Opportunity to Align Data Systems

Featured speakers are: Jeffrey Levi, PhD Professor of Health Policy and Management at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University and Karen Minyard, Ph.D., CEO Department of Public Management and Policy, Georgia Health Policy Center and director of the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC).

With hundreds of billions of dollars flowing to state and local governments as part of the pandemic recovery effort, there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address upstream determinants of health and rebuild our public health and human services infrastructures. This webinar will address two key questions:

  1. What are some of the immediate opportunities at the state and local level for rebuilding?
  2. How can this moment be leveraged to advance better data systems across all sectors?

For More Information on the Prior Round of LAPP

For more information about the LAPP Program and Awardees 2020 – 2021 | Round 1

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Commitment

DASH is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation led by the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) in partnership with the Michigan Public Health Institute.  DASH is committed to building a Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. Achieving this goal requires focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion. To that end, we are committed to fostering diverse perspectives. We recognize that individuals’ perspectives are shaped by a host of factors, such as their race, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, age, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, familial status, education, religion, legal status, military service, political affiliation, geography, and other personal and professional experiences. DASH seeks diversity in our team, partners, and grantees.

About Data Across Sectors for Health

Supported through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, DASH supports collaborations that work together to improve the health of their communities, promote health equity, and contribute to a Culture of Health by strengthening information-sharing systems, engaging additional sectors and community members, and building sustainable capacity to work collaboratively toward community goals. DASH shares lessons learned from awardees to create a body of knowledge and advance this emerging field of sharing data and information across and beyond traditional health sectors, and leverages peer-to-peer connection opportunities to spread innovative approaches that address the root causes of inequity and poor health. The home for this network of dissemination is All In: Data for Community Health.

About the Center for Health Care Strategies

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit policy center dedicated to improving the health of low-income Americans. CHCS works with state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and community-based organizations to advance innovative and cost-effective models for organizing, financing, and delivering health care services. Its work focuses on: (1) advancing delivery system and payment reform; (2) integrating services for people with complex needs; and (3) building Medicaid and cross-sector leadership capacity to support high-quality, cost-effective care.