The State Innovation Learning Collaborative

The State Innovation Learning Collaborative (SILC) is an ongoing forum organized by Families USA to engage state-based consumer leaders and advocates in forward-looking problem-solving. SILC highlights innovative and proactive policies that states and consumer leaders can pursue to improve health and health care.

The SILC model

SILC provides a unique space where state-based consumer leaders and Families USA experts come together, identify health policy areas that are ripe for exploration, and share our thinking. Together we incubate potential policy solutions and ultimately work together to implement innovative policy solutions. Through SILC, Families USA and state-based partners turn cutting-edge health policy ideas that bubble up from the states into fully realized projects.

SILC creates change through strategic collaboration and information-sharing across states. It allows Families USA and partners to grow and hone new areas of expertise for both state advocates and Families USA experts with the goal of galvanizing momentum and support around innovative policy solutions for consumers and for the health care system.

The SILC model allows state health leaders to bring forward the most pressing priorities in their states and regions to Families USA policy, advocacy, and communications experts for collaborative, bilateral strategizing and tailored assistance, turning state advocate ideas and priorities into meaningful action for health care consumers across the country.

Recent examples of successful projects that were incubated in SILC include these: 

SILC provides the following key functions:

  • Resource development: Families USA produces and distributes a wide range of materials to advance innovative health policies in the states. These resources are developed by Families USA experts in close collaboration with state-based partners and include: fact sheets, issue briefs, case studies of successful state policy implementation, and infographics.

  • One-on-one technical assistance: Families USA staff work with state-based partners in real time, in close and flexible collaboration, to bring policy change to fruition in states across the country. From the initial research needed to craft strong policy, to the connections necessary for successful coalition building, to identifying and working with state-based policymaker partners, testifying in statehouses, and developing successful communications strategies, Families USA experts partner hand-in-glove with state-based advocates through each stage of the process of making change at the state level. And we do all of this based on the unique needs of states and state partners.

  • Convening state advocates: Through periodic in-person convenings and bimonthly teleconferences, SILC brings together state advocates from across the country to discuss policy priorities, innovative solutions, and implementation strategies. In addition to convenings that bring together advocates nationwide to strategize, SILC convenings bring advocates together in cohorts based on common interests and/or regional similarities for deeper, action-oriented conversations. Topics for these convenings are informed by what state partners see as the most urgent and promising health policy areas for exploration in their states, as well as by what Families USA experts see from a national perspective to be areas of potential. At these convenings, state-based advocates bring forward the priority issues in their states, and work with Families USA experts and other state advocates to learn best practice policy, communications, and advocacy strategies they can take back to their own communities to create change.  

SILC as incubator

SILC has served as an incubator for a number of Families USA projects that are now core initiatives within our work to improve health care coverage, equity, and value and to ensure that consumers are engaged at the health care policymaking table. Examples of Families USA initiatives that grew out of SILC include: