A new learning guide, “The Power of True Engagement for Population Health,” has been published by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s® (MHIF) population health team in conjunction with AcademyHealth. The population health team, which manages MHIF’s award-winning, 10-year population health research project called Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project in New Ulm, Minn., participated as one of five subject matter expert communities in AcademyHealth’s 2016-17 Community Health Peer Learning Program.

The learning guide provides population health initiatives with guidance on how to foster stakeholder engagement in key activities and achieve broader mission buy-in among community partners and observers. The guide includes numerous case study examples from The Heart of New Ulm Project.

Rebecca Lindberg, MHIF’s director of population health, said, “Meaningful stakeholder engagement is one of the most important factors, if arguably not the most important factor, in the success of a population health initiative. When engagement is done thoughtfully and viewed as an ongoing, iterative process, a community can transform policies, systems, environments and indeed, its entire culture. Health can become a part of the fabric of the community, with an impact that’s visible wherever people live, work, learn and play.”

The complete learning guide, an executive summary and a communications strategy primer are available here. More information on how health care leaders can partner with MHIF to improve population health in their communities is available here.