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IPHI and CommonHealth ACTION Announce New Partnership Structure

IPHI and CommonHealth ACTION Announce New Partnership Structure

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2015

Washington, DC – The Boards of Directors of CommonHealth ACTION and the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) are pleased to announce an exciting new stage in the relationship between the two non-profit organizations. As of July 1, 2015, IPHI will operate independently, while the two organizations will continue to co-locate and share administrative capacity to ensure that both organizations continue to thrive.

The Institute for Public Health Innovation is a regional organization that creates partnerships across sectors and cultivates innovative solutions that improve health and well-being for populations and communities across the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, particularly those most affected by health inequities. IPHI is one of 44 such institutes affiliated with the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI). The three jurisdictions lacked an official public health institute until 2009, when a group of stakeholders representing government, philanthropy, academia and others endorsed the launch of a regional institute. Subsequently, NNPHI, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente provided seed funding. Regional leaders supported the strategic decision to incubate IPHI within CommonHealth ACTION in order to leverage the organization’s reputation and capacity and ensure sustainability before creating a new non-profit. Underscoring the need for a public health institute, IPHI has grown to have an annual operating budget of over $3M and 36 staff in the 5 years since its launch.

Founded in 2004, CommonHealth ACTION is a national public health organization that aligns people, strategies, and resources to generate solutions to health and policy challenges. With a vision for America in which systems and institutions create equitable opportunities and neighborhood conditions for all people to achieve their best possible health, CommonHealth ACTION works with partners across sectors and disciplines to improve the social and economic determinants of health. CommonHealth ACTION’s mission is complementary to IPHI’s and has fostered a mutually supportive relationship over the past several years. In spinning IPHI off from CommonHealth ACTION, the leadership of both organizations acknowledges the importance of ensuring IPHI is directly accountable to the region and that it will continue to develop as part of the region’s public health infrastructure.

“IPHI’s Board and staff are deeply appreciative of the role CommonHealth ACTION played in IPHI’s early development,” said Michael Rhein, IPHI’s President & CEO. “CommonHealth ACTION’s leadership saw a clear need in the region for a public health institute and worked to pull together initial support. We now have a strong foundation on which to continue to build the organization so it can be an important contributor to the region’s health for decades to come.”

“CommonHealth ACTION is proud to have played an integral role in the creation of IPHI, and we expect it will prove to be one of our greatest legacies,” said Natalie S. Burke, President & CEO of CommonHealth ACTION. “We are all excited about this new phase of our relationship and expect to continue to partner. This evolution in both organizations’ business models will open doors and create new opportunities to improve the health of communities both nationally and regionally.”

The Institute for Public Health Innovation already has a number of notable accomplishments to its name. Examples include securing a $2M federal grant to prevent chronic disease in Prince George’s County, Maryland; administering a key outreach and enrollment component of DC Health Link, the District’s health insurance exchange; and leading the regional Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign, supporting nearly 50 municipalities in Maryland and Virginia to pursue proactive local policy agendas to improve community health. IPHI has also become known for its efforts to promote community health workers (CHWs), local residents who find career opportunities working to improve the public’s health as trained peers in their communities. IPHI has trained hundreds of CHWs, created dozens of CHW jobs and served as a technical resource for health service providers interested in community-based approaches.

The IPHI Board and staff look forward to working with stakeholders around the region to continue to shape the ways in which IPHI can help create healthy communities. For more information on the Institute for Public Health Innovation as well as CommonHealth ACTION, visit and

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For more information, contact:

Michael E. Rhein, President & CEO
Institute for Public Health Innovation
[email protected]

Natalie S. Burke, President & CEO
CommonHealth ACTION
[email protected]

Press Release – IPHI Independence – 07-01-15