SAIH Newsletter — December 2023

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Please enjoy our winter newsletter from the Systems Alignment Innovation Hub, operated by the Technical Assistance Collaborative’s Racial Equity Action Lab with support from the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s national Systems for Action Research Program. Read on for the latest news from our Peer Learning Network, Free Technical Assistance & Consultation Services, Targeted Research Funding, and Tools, Guides, & Resources projects.

Targeted Research Funding

We’re happy to announce the first round of SAIH’s Targeted Research Funding awards. After a year of working with a range of organizations doing vital work in their communities, SAIH invited selected organizations to apply for funding and more intensive technical assistance. Each project will examine an innovative systems alignment approach to dismantle structural and systemic racism and improve health equity:

Community ConneXor will develop the Accelerated, Accountable, Strategic and Sustainable Equity-Centered Transformation (ASSET) initiative plan, by and for African Americans, to transform North Nashville, TN into a vibrant, healthy, resilient urban neighborhood. Bonus: Learn more about the North Nashville community in Season 2 of The Promise, an award-winning series about inequality and the people trying to rise above it.

Mandela Yoga Project, based in Cambridge, MA, offers an evidence-based group practice of mindful movement paired with breathing as an integrative health intervention to treat the racially traumatized nervous systems of people of color. The SAIH award will fund the piloting of a peer-led intervention at a Federally Qualified Health Center.

The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation will conduct a research project centered on identifying, addressing, and eliminating systemic racism and injustice in the medical, social, and public health services utilized by Veterans, service members, and their families who belong to the Native American, Global Indigenous, Asian American Pacific Islander, and other People of Color/Multiracial Indigenous communities. See interview below!

The Washington State Lived Experience Coalition‘s Survive to Thrive: Lived Experience Coalition Gun Violence Prevention Study will focus on the role of systemic racism in the public health, health care, and social service systems in preventing and responding to gun violence among young BIPOC community members, especially young Black and Indigenous men.

Tools, Guides, & Resources 

Our newest resource, a Guide to Logic Models and Theories of Change, was developed in partnership with consultants with lived expertise and demonstrates the use of these tools in team-based brainstorming for program planning and evaluation design, with examples from programs in multiple contexts. The list includes links to instructional courses, webinars, and short videos, as well as editable templates that can help teams develop a logic model or theory of change for their program.

Research & Activities

On December 13, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will release a new research funding opportunity through the Systems for Action (S4A) Research Program. The 2024 Call for Proposals (CFP) seeks ways of helping medical, social, and public health systems work together to dismantle systemic racism. Applicants may apply for a Developmental Award (pilot study) or an Impact Award (preliminary results mandatory). This CFP will be a two-stage proposal process. The deadline for Letters of Intent is February 7, 2024, and full proposals are due by March 25, 2024.

The Research-in-Progress Webinar Series enables S4A researchers to share their work and disseminate findings rapidly and to identify others with related research interests. Each webinar includes progress on the research project and findings to date, next steps in the project, how to contact the researchers, and commentary from a knowledgeable partner about turning results into action. On December 6, the platform was used to provide a live video session overview of SAIH.

Peer Learning Network

Join our monthly Peer Learning Network, a monthly forum for community-based organizations interested in advancing their work through research in public health, social services, or health care to share their systems alignment, implementation, and research testing ideas. Partners who join these learning sessions include community-based nonprofits, public agencies, professional associations, and advocacy organizations that could benefit from additional resources and supports to plan and implement strong research designs to determine the impact of their ideas on health, and on health equity. The PLN includes organizations operated by and serving those from racially marginalized communities, those that are new to systems alignment research, and others that are further along, with expert facilitation and active engagement during learning sessions. Register to attend an upcoming session, or watch recordings of previous sessions.

The Systems Alignment Innovation Hub (SAIH) helps medical, social service, and public health providers in low-income and BIPOC communities to dismantle inequities and improve health and well-being for all. SAIH is operated by the Technical Assistance Collaborative’s Racial Equity Action Lab with support from the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), and is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s national Systems for Action Research Program.

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