County by County Blog

Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Five-Part Blog Series: Five Communities Who are Creating Real Change

Publication date
November 20, 2020

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps is known for providing counties with critical local-level data on the factors that shape health—but the program’s wealth of action-oriented, evidence-based resources and expertise are also a key lifeline for communities who want to move with their data to action. One of these resources are the Action Learning Coaches. These coaches facilitate peer learning and provide guidance to individuals and teams that are working with their communities to improve health outcomes and advance equity. The coaches regularly work with communities in helping them navigate CHR&R resources to improve health and well-being for all residents. 

As Action Learning Coach Raquel Luz Bournhonesque describes, “our role is to be a guide on the side. The community team and coach are in two separate boats, so-to-speak, going down the river. Our role as the coach is to help guide the team, pointing out possible barriers and obstacles they might run into along the way, and ensuring they have the right tools and resources they need to navigate.”

Since its inception in 2011, the Roadmaps to Health Action Center has offered a complement of online resources, tools, and human guidance. As part of the Action Center, community-focused coaches have partnered with individuals and teams in nearly every state across the United States to help them identify and work toward their health and equity goals. Distinct from technical assistance, coaching offers communities a way to uncover their own solutions and learn what works in the context of their own environments, while offering an outside perspective and support for navigating data, evidence, and tools that guide communities to action. Coaches have worked with hundreds of individuals and community teams to help them get started, solve problems, confront barriers, and advance efforts to create conditions in communities for everyone to be healthy.

Over the next five months, we’ll be speaking with five CHR&R coaches and the communities they’ve coached to learn more about how they worked together to move with data to action:

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