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Evaluating the Connecticut Health Foundation’s Strategic Plan

The Connecticut Health Foundation (CHF) was created in 1999 to understand and address the state’s health care challenges. In 2013, CHF deliberately focused on the singular need to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities for the state of Connecticut. Since the foundation’s inception, its efforts have aimed to change the systems that impact health care, and the foundation accomplishes this currently through grant making; conducting and supporting health policy research; and building the capacity of leaders, decision-makers, and organizations to advocate for health-systems changes throughout Connecticut.

After an extensive landscape analysis, the foundation devised a new five-year strategic plan to span 2018–2022. In this plan, CHF names five strategic goals that will drive its efforts with named objectives to be reached yearly toward affecting health care systems in Connecticut. Strategic goals include the following:

  • Ensure access to coverage
  • Increase connection to care
  • Improve care delivery
  • Link clinical care with communities
  • Strengthen advocacy and leadership

CHF is interested in evaluating progress toward implementing its 2018–2022 strategic plan, toward understanding the impacts of its efforts to impact health systems changes, and in continually improving and adjusting its operations to meet the changing health needs of Connecticut’s residents. An evaluation of CHF’s strategic plan is characterized by a complex system of partners, grantees, and other organizations all operating within a health policy environment. Therefore, an evaluation of CHF’s efforts must be designed to evaluate impacts for different system components as well as the health system as a whole.

An evaluation of systems change efforts like those undertaken by CHF necessitates mixed methods so that there is flexibility to adapt data-collection strategies across system components. For this evaluation, system components include the partners, grantees, and organizations that participate in creating an advocacy network in support of systems changes and, specifically, CHF’s role as a participant and a facilitator of the network. Data collection will focus on gathering information about how various partners, grantees, and other organizations work to advocate for systems change in Connecticut and their perceptions of the role CHF plays in these efforts. Data will be collected through interviews, an analysis of documents and the policy landscape, and surveys for a social network analysis.

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