Moving from Design to ACTION
Since 2006, the PLACE MATTERS initiative has supported multi-disciplinary teams to address social factors that lead to poor health. The PLACE MATTERS initiative provides a framework for multi-sector/trans-disciplinary teams to engage in place-based collaboration and strategies to produce long-term change at a community level. Participating teams target improvements directed at social determinants of health through policy innovation, community engagement, advocacy, and activism. An integral part of the strategy is to convene the teams as a part of national learning experience called Design Labs.
After 14 successful Design Labs, as many teams are gaining momentum in addressing determinants of health, we find the national initiative at a pivotal point moving from a design to action phase. Thus, while the change of the name from Design to Action is important it is symbolic of a larger shift in what will be asked of the teams, the structure of the Labs themselves, and how the technical assistance is provided to the teams. Building in salient lessons learned throughout the initiative’s design phase, the Action Labs will now focus on implementation of lessons learned and sharing approaches to action through facilitated processes that will bring the learning of the initiative to all participants. Through the construction of place-based community strategies to address structural inequities that manifest as health, economic, and educational inequities, PLACE MATTERS teams will be able to add their voices to the growing national conversation focused on fundamentally changing the places we live in to support equitable and healthy lives.