Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships: A Framework for Addressing the Needs of Rhode Island Communities
In 2015, the Rhode Island Department of Health utilized multiple sources of funding to establish the Health Equity Zone (HEZ) Initiative. This thesis project aimed to analyze the effectiveness of five Health Equity Zones Collaborative (HEZ Collaboratives) at addressing the needs of Rhode Island communities. In this descriptive study, the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships Process (MAPP) served as a framework for evaluating the HEZ Collaboratives. The MAPP Process has six phases and relies on four assessments to understand community needs; the last four phases and assessments were used to create different criterion to evaluate if the HEZ Collaboratives were creating lasting change. The criterion evaluated the HEZ Collaboratives‚Äô ability to create stakeholder engagement and conduct needs assessments, develop Actions Plans, implement strategies to address community needs, and evaluate the HEZ Collaboratives‚Äô impact. Five HEZ Collaboratives were evaluated was because not all HEZ Collaboratives had internal evaluation processes available to be reviewed. Each of the HEZ Collaboratives‚Äô activities or interventions were outlined in Action Plans and could be connected to needs identified in Community Needs Assessments. The HEZ Collaboratives met most of the criterion for the MAPP phases; two identified area of opportunity regarded Action Plan development and sharing the results of HEZ Collaborative evaluations with other stakeholders. When analyzing HEZ Collaboratives using MAPP as a framework, the HEZ Initiative shows promise of being able to better the health of Rhode Islanders.