NCDHHS Launches Community Partner Engagement Plan, Secretarial Directive to Improve Health Outcomes through Collaboration | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    RALEIGH     The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is launching a Community Partner Engagement Plan to ensure the voices of North Carolina communities and families continue to be at the center of the department's work. This includes a new website and improvements to internal processes for engaging community partners, as well as groups with lived experience, to make policy change that best serves the people of the state.

    "Ensuring every voice is included in our work is essential to our mission to protect the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians," said NC Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. "This collaboration not only drives policy decisions, but also helps us learn from and build trust with the communities we serve."

    For example, as NCDHHS works to address longstanding disparities in health among underserved communities throughout North Carolina, department leaders consult people in rural communities who understand first-hand what it is to navigate finding health care in their town or what the challenges are to see a provider. Similarly, the department cannot make well-informed policy decisions to improve maternal outcomes without hearing from diverse voices of women across the state who have received or tried to access labor and delivery care services.


    The webpage,, lists the many groups, organizations and commissions that NCDHHS currently partners with. The department will continue to update the website and encourages community members to get involved with a current group or sign on to work with the divisions that focus on your area of interest. Having people with different backgrounds and real experiences at the table helps NCDHHS make sure that a program or policy is aligned with community priorities and most effective for the people it impacts.

    To improve internal processes, Secretary Kinsley issued a Secretarial Directive that unifies the department's collaborative efforts into a guide for how to best engage with communities. The directive imbeds community collaboration and advisement into the framework of NCDHHS, enabling the department to continue to connect with people and ensuring future partners can easily get involved in the department.

    "By being inclusive and intentional in our outreach and partnerships, we're renewing our commitment to promote equity and address health disparities among all of our state's residents," said NCDHHS Chief Health Equity Officer and Deputy Secretary for Health Equity Debra Farrington. "This Community Partner Engagement Plan serves as a valuable resource to support our ongoing work and provide everyone the opportunity to share their feedback and lived experiences in ways that matter to them."


    NCDHHS is excited to deepen its partnerships and collaboration by strengthening connections with communities statewide and listening to their insights. The department's goal is to grow more together with North Carolinians and make major progress toward better health for all.

    To learn more about Community Partner Engagement, visit, explore the Community Partner Engagement Guide, read the Secretarial Directive and watch a message from Secretary Kinsley. For more information on how to partner with NCDHHS, email to explore next steps.

  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • 2001 Mail Service Center
  • Raleigh, NC 27699-2001
  • Ph: (919) 855-4840

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