Health Means Business Campaign


Recent research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) showed a strong correlation between the economic health and physical health of a community. Based on that research, the RWJF asked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) to develop a strategy for engaging multiple communities across the country on the role of the business community in community-wide health and to enable those communities to develop their own community-wide health strategies. CollaborateUp, the RJWF, and the CCC sought to create an enlightened national discussion which engaged small, medium, and large businesses about the interdependency between health and economic empowerment, and to promote a culture of health in the United States. The Health Means Business campaign was made possible through a $1.7 million grant from the RWJF.

Our Approach

In conjunction with the RWJF and the CCC, CollaborateUp selected 12 communities across the United States, choosing communities with varying levels of economic vibrancy and health statistics. We then developed a defined-and-repeatable method for engaging the local government, public health leaders, and the business community in each location. This became known as the Health Means Business campaign.

CollaborateUp led the co-creation aspects of regional forums in 12 communities: Denver, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Fort Worth, Memphis, Indiana, Cleveland, Phoenix, Georgia, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Columbus, GA. We worked with each community using a human-centered design and customer-centric approach to understand the needs in that community and tailor each forum to their needs.


Using the outputs of the Regional Forums, CollaborateUp crowd-sourced a set of easy-to-follow tools that communities could use and adapt to develop their own community-wide health engagement strategies and made them available in an online Resource Center. These tools took often obscure and highly technical topics and translated them into plain-language that practitioners on-the-ground could easily adapt and use.

CollaborateUp also established a Champions Network that any community could tap for peer learning, and led a National Summit and Healthy10 Awards to gather all leaders in Washington, DC to share lessons and recognize successes.