Learning and Action in Policy and Partnerships (LAPP)


Six states receive grant enhancing multi-sector data sharing, community capacity improving health equity and well-being

Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) announced a new national program to advance health, equity and well-being through data sharing partnerships between communities and states. DASH, led by the Illinois Public Health Institute and Michigan Public Health Institute, developed the Learning and Action in Policy and Partnerships in partnership with the Center for Health Care Strategies. DASH is an initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Grantees from six states, in LAPP’s first cohort, will receive 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.

2021 projects include:

  • Arizona (led by the Arizona Housing Coalition): Building a statewide data-sharing model between state agencies and the homeless systems of care to support those experiencing homelessness.
  • Connecticut (led by the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut): Co-developing a data framework and report for community collaboratives to improve population health.
  • Rhode Island (led by the Center for Health and Justice Transformation at The Miriam Hospital): Integrating criminal justice, health, and other public sector data to inform justice involvement as a social determinant of health and explore robust criminal justice outcomes.
  • South Carolina ­(led by the University of South Carolina): Leveraging existing data to inform rural community health and educational initiatives.
  • Washington, D.C. (led by the D.C. Primary Care Association): Establishing sustainable, interoperable resource directory infrastructure that will facilitate the flow of information about the health, human, and social services that are available to DC residents.
  • Washington (led by the Economic Services Administration at Department of Social and Health Services): Collaborating with state and community partners on a shared vision for an equitable economic recovery and a just and equitable future.

“Bridging multi-sector data from states and communities is a necessary step to achieving equity,” said Elissa Bassler, MFA, co-program director of Data Across Sectors for Health and chief executive officer of the Illinois Public Health Institute. “Grantees will reimagine how data can be used to build healthier, more equitable communities and share learnings with others.”

DASH has worked with communities throughout the country over the past five years to build local capacity for exchanging data between multiple sectors, while simultaneously building the evidence base to inform a national movement.

“Data partnerships between states and communities can drive the policy changes needed to coordinate health care, public health, and social services for people those systems serve, enabling more equitable state and local systems for health,” said Hilary Heishman, MPH, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

To learn more about the program, visit: www.DASHconnect.org/LAPP.


For inquiries, please contact:
Media Contact | Skyler E. Nimmons, IPHI Communications Director, 312.598.3848, skyler.nimmons@iphionline.org
LAPP Program Information | Amanda Cavanagh, Sr. Program Manager – Health Policy, DASH, 312.993.5983, amanda.cavanagh@iphionline.org

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.

To support the design and implementation of the LAPP program, DASH and CHCS undertook an exploration (“Opportunity Analysis” (OA)) of the success factors and opportunities for advancing community and state-level multi-sector data sharing partnerships to advance health, well-being, and equity.

The OA sought to glean insights from thought leaders at the national, state, and local levels regarding:

(1) new and emerging opportunities at the federal level to support data-sharing;
(2) current priorities in the context of COVID-19, the economic recession, and rising calls for racial justice; and
(3) key ingredients for successful multi-sector data-sharing efforts to improve health and advance equity.

Through interviews with more than 30 individuals, including state officials, leaders of community-based organizations, and other relevant subject matter experts, DASH and CHCS aimed to answer key questions, including:

  • What are specific opportunities to leverage improved data-sharing through state-community partnerships to achieve health or equity outcomes?
  • What are examples of successful community-state multi-sector data sharing efforts to improve health/advance equity?
  • What were the contributing success factors?
  • What are the potential effects and/or leverage opportunities associated with new federal resources (e.g., from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Data Modernization, etc.) to support data sharing and integration?
  • What are current strategic priorities at the community and state-level? How could improved partnerships to support data-sharing align with or advance work toward those priority aims?

This report details lessons from the analysis, including the key themes that emerged related to fostering relationships among community and state partners to inform policy and systems change. It highlights actionable ideas for DASH and CHCS to consider incorporating into the design of the LAPP project, including a summary of the external supports that would be helpful to advance data-sharing efforts. While the learnings summarized herein are oriented toward communities and states that are interested in participating in the LAPP program, the themes are broadly relevant for multi-sector community-state data sharing partnerships across the country.

To learn more about the LAPP grant development and the opportunity analysis interview series conducted with more than 30 key thought leaders including federal, state and community voices, please download Advancing Health, Equity, and Well-Being through Community-State Data-Sharing Partnerships: Thought Leader Insights.

The objective of LAPP is to facilitate aligned efforts among multi-sector community and state partners that will build a foundation for sustainable policy and systems change. The purpose of LAPP is to offer awardees targeted funds and direct technical assistance to build the capacity of their community’s data ecosystem to initiate, strengthen, and leverage relationships with the state government to improve health, well-being, and equity outcomes. This award will provide access to funding and support to advance an existing, clearly defined project that aims to improve health, well-being, and equity with a policy or systems-change lens for sustainable impact.

LAPP Timeline 

  • October 19, 11:00 AM ET 2020 – Release Date
  • October 26, 12:00 PM ET 2020 – Informational webinar (View the Recorded Webinar)
  • December 16th, 3:30 PM ET 2020 – Application deadline
  • January, 2021 – Awardees notified
  • January-February, 2021 – Awards initiated
  • February, 2022 – Awards end
  • March, 2022 – Final reports and deliverables due

CFP and Award 

Application resources

  • Download the LAPP Brochure to learn more about eligibility/selection criteria, expectations, and how to apply.
  • Read this blog post that explores how LAPP’s program design advances policy and systems change.
  • Read answers to FAQs that have been submitted for past calls for applications.
  • Follow this link to the online application system where you can download a sample application.
  • Applications for this program must be submitted via the RWJF Online Application System by the application deadline: December 16th, 2020 at 3:30 PM EST.