The mission of Coaction Institute is to build capacity to effectively collaborate to address social determinants of health and the root causes of health inequities.
Coaction Institute builds community and institutional capacity for working together to address factors that influence their community’s health (“social determinants of health”). It uses an upstream approach that brings together grassroots and institutional stakeholders, and supports inclusive public and institutional policies that generate both improved community health and an empowered citizenry.
The Institute evolved from the work of Dory Magasis Escobar in community building, organizing, coalition building, and grassroots leadership development in Northern California and El Salvador for nearly three decades. According to Dr. Kevin Barnett, of the Public Health Institute, "...Ms. Escobar's accomplishments are among the most innovative in the country. Her engagement and mobilization of diverse community stakeholders, the effective leveraging of hospital charitable resources, and the design and implementation of programs and campaigns that community members view as their own is both impressive and rare. "
Initially coming together under Dory's leadership in Escobar & Associates, a team of consultants with decades of experience in U.S., Central and South America provided technical assistance to Sonoma County's Departments of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Institute, United Way of the Wine County, Glasswing International and others. After a review of initial activities and consultation with experts in the field, it was clear that our ongoing focus to building capacity to create inclusive healthy communities was through a mission that is more fitting with a nonprofit framework than that of a consulting agency. And so was born Coaction Institution, as a fluid evolution of our long-term individual and collective efforts.