Collective Healing: A Framework for Building Transformative Collaborations in Public Health

Emily S. Cowan, Le Conté J. Dill, Shavaun Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The capacity of cross-sector collaboration to create meaningful change across social–ecological levels has long been understood in public health. But the ability of cross-sector collaboration to achieve systemic change around the structural determinants of health remains complicated. In 2021, now more than ever, we understand the imperative of strengthening the capacity of collaborative efforts to address the myriad structural health crises facing our communities, from police violence and mass incarceration to Jim Crow laws and redlining, to urban renewal and environmental injustice. Our proposed collective healing framework brings together the collective impact model and radical healing framework to offer a blueprint for cross-sector collaboration that understands the practices of healing to be at the center of public health collaborations and public health practice at large. In this framework, public health practitioners and our collaborators are asked to prioritize relationship building, engage in critical self-reflection, to move beyond compromise, to address differences, to interrogate traditional metrics and approaches, to remake the collective table, and to build shared understanding through action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-360
Number of pages5
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • community organization
  • health promotion
  • partnerships/coalition
  • social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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