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New Health Framework is a Roadmap for Cooperative Extension


Cooperative Extension's National Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being is designed to serve as a roadmap for advancing the health-focused work of the Cooperative Extension System.  The updated framework was approved by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) in July of 2021.  The framework document resulted from more than a year of work by a work group of the Health Innovation Task Force of ECOP.

This framework is organized around three core themes.  These are health equity, social determinants of health, and working through coalitions to increase community health assets.  A comprehensive review of literature provides readers with the rationale for a focus on the three themes.  The framework also puts forth five high-level recommendations for advancing work around these critical themes.  Those recommendations include:

  1. Advance health equity as a core system value to ensure that all people have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as they can be.
  1. Utilize community assessment processes that integrate data science and resident voice to identify and address health inequities with greater precision.
  2. Invest in the success and visibility of Cooperative Extension’s health-related professionals, programs, and initiatives.
  3. Establish partnerships with academic units, universities, government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and foundations that share a commitment to reducing or eliminating health inequities.
  4. Utilize a community development approach to advance the work of coalitions focused on influencing the social determinants of health.

Cooperative Extension's National Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being can accessed at:

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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