Upstream Action Acceleration

New Jersey Health Initiatives
New Jersey State



New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI)’s Upstream Action Acceleration initiative furthers the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) vision of building a Culture of Health by supporting the efforts of existing community-focused, cross-sector coalitions to adopt and implement upstream environmental, policy, and systems changes. The initiative is also intended to accelerate the work of 12 coalitions over a two-year period in areas they have already identified as priorities for improving community health. These  include Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), new sector engagement, effective use of data tools and resources to guide actions, civic engagement, environment/open space, and housing.

Our Support

NJHI staff first learned about Healthy Places by Design through our management of the Roadmaps Action Acceleration and Collaborative Learning initiative. Inspired by that approach, NJHI partnered with our organization to leverage our unique strengths, which include a national perspective; expertise in community change and policy, systems, and environmental strategies; and our history of collaboration with RWJF.

Healthy Places by Design has supported this initiative by:

  • Serving as strategic thought partners during program development;
  • Participating in the calls for proposals and selection phases, including providing coaching to the communities invited to submit full applications;
  • Providing collaborative learning services, including facilitating in-person convenings to build an informed network of local leaders, as well as hosting virtual learning sessions in the form of webinars or affinity group discussions; and
  • Contributing to program wrap-up and dissemination.

Specific services that Healthy Places by Design is providing include:

  • Program design and management;
  • Collaborative learning and networking development, facilitation, and support, including in-person convenings and web-based sessions;
  • Content contribution for the initiative’s webpage, which serves as a resource hub;
  • Field building with local, state, and national partners; and
  • Product and results dissemination.



“I can’t overemphasize how pleased we are with this partnership. We take a fierce pride in how we come across, and appreciate that Healthy Places by Design brings the same level of professionalism. They invested so much in the front end, at the 30,000-foot level, that they had a good sense of what this was about and where we are trying to go. It makes it easier for them to know how to work with us now. They were at the front end [of this effort], when we readily admitted that we stole their ideas from other upstream work.”

Director, NJHI


“Everything is so well-planned, well- thought-out, and well-aligned with our work that there are no worries. We work with a lot of consultants, and Healthy Places by Design is one I know will deliver on time and what they promise… It’s stellar work.”

Deputy Director of Programs, NJHI

“I can’t overemphasize how pleased we are with this partnership.”