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The Collective for Health Equity and Well-Being

Cooperative Extension’s Collective for Health Equity and Well-Being is a community of Extension personnel and their partners united by their shared commitment to advancing health equity and well-being. Members work together to support the implementation of Cooperative Extension’s National Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being (2021) to ensure that all people can be as healthy as they can be.

Synopsis of the First Peer Learning Lightning Round- Building Capacity to Implement the Framework for Health Equity and Well Being

What is the future role of Extension, and how does the Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being help guide Extension's work? On November 15, 2022, six presenters from LGU's across the country shared how their institutions are building capacity to implement the recommendations contained in the Framework. Topics included multi-disciplinary collaboration, the need for clear and relevant data, and aligning Extension work with existing health initiatives at the state and national level.

The recording can be viewed using this link:

A detailed synopsis of each presentation is below.

  1. Penn State Extension- Dr. John Byrnes described the Norris Square Philadelphia Community Profile Project, a collaboration between the community, Extension, and the Penn State Center for Economic and Community Development (CECD). Census tract data was utilized, as well as community conversations and surveys. Surveys were developed through an interactive process, to understand what issues the community wants to prioritize to address inequities.
  2. Ohio State University- Pat Bebo, Dr. Jackie Kirby Wilkins, and Dr. Erik Porfeli reviewed multiple Ohio State initiatives related to the Framework. These projects, a Farm and Rural Stress project, a Water Quality Initiative, and securing funding for 70 Public Health AmeriCorps, all rely on collaborations with multiple organizations and partners, and focus on building a public health infrastructure throughout the state.
  3. Kansas State University- Dr. Elaine Johannes discussed the systematic way Kansas State has supported implementation of the Framework, through trainings, support, resources, and collaboration with internal and external partners. As part of the Grand Challenge for Health initiative, Kansas State’s work on health equity and health literacy is purposefully designed to align with Healthy Kansas 2030 and Healthy People 2030.
  4. University of Florida- Dr. LaToya O’Neal presented about the value of partnerships and the importance of collaborating with organizations sharing similar missions and values. Programs including this approach are the Promising Practices Partnership, focused on adult immunization outreach, education, and access, and the Rural Health Disparities Coalition, supporting access to telemedicine.
  5. University of Georgia- Allisen Penn shared about several multi-disciplinary programs to address health equity. In 2022, Extension conducted a state-wide Family and Consumer Sciences Needs Assessment which resulted in over 1500 survey responses. 13 focus groups were conducted to contextualize the data. The results have highlighted several disparities in the state, including different geographic regions, demographic groups, and different settings (urban vs. rural).
  6. University of New Hampshire’s Michael Young provided information about the development of a new Health and Well-Being program team, whose work is informed by the Framework. In particular, the shifting role of Extension, from transferring knowledge to a role as community convener, was highlighted. He identified the need for better data collection to address specific inequities, and tools like Social Network Analysis which may meet this need.

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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 Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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