Application Overview

In partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, the Center for Care Innovations (CCI) is launching Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Community Partnerships. Below you will find information about the program and application process. You can also download the Letter of Intent.

Table of Contents
Eligibility Requirements
Program Components
Program Expectations
What Makes a Strong Applicant?
Grant Funding
Informational Webinar & FAQ
Contact Us
Apply Now!

Download LOI as PDF


The Center for Care Innovations (CCI) is launching Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Community Partnerships, a new program that supports multi-sector collaborations between community stakeholders (such as health care providers, local community residents, public agencies, first responders, and other local organizations) to address opioid use disorder (OUD).

Federal, state, and local attention remains focused on combatting opioids, the deadliest drug epidemic in US history. In addition to the devastating effects on the health of communities, OUD is also a major driver of high-cost service utilization, such as inpatient and emergency department care; the result is an enormous economic burden on health systems. Medications for addiction treatment (MAT) — combining psychological and behavioral therapy with FDA-approved medications ­— is one approach to address and manage morbidity and mortality associated with OUD. Increasing access to MAT is crucial, and this is one major focus of local opioid community coalitions. Many existing opioid coalitions and similar grassroots efforts statewide are enabling a coordinated and collective response to address OUD at a local level, ensuring multiple access points to identifying OUD and treatment opportunities. These innovative, multi-sector approaches reflect an understanding of the conditions and factors that influence the health of a community.

Building upon the Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health 3.0 Call to Action, we recognize that multi-sector collaboration is necessary to tackle complex community health issues. The goal of this program is to support community coalitions in effectively understanding root causes and ripe opportunities for multi-sector collaborative interventions to address OUD now and emergent community health issues in the future.

Solutions to combatting opioid-related overdoses, morbidity, and costs to people and our communities, require a systems approach. Specifically, addressing OUD means employing a wide array of strategies. This, for example, includes increasing access to MAT and addressing attitudes and behaviors among providers and patients; expanding efforts to address stigma of OUD and/or behavioral health challenges; forging increased connectivity and handoffs among first responders, health care providers, community based services, and others; equipping individuals and families to navigate the treatment system; and expanding drug arrest diversion policies to shift individuals away from the criminal justice system and into treatment.

These mutually reinforcing interventions in turn require the collaboration of many people and entities, including individuals in recovery and their families, retail outlets, hospitals, clinics, first responders, advocates, local and state public health leaders, Medi-Cal and private health insurers, community-based wraparound services, prevention and treatment programs, behavioral/mental health providers, after-school programs, schools, churches, law enforcement officers, probation departments, and juvenile and adult courts.

Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Community Partnerships seeks three existing opioid coalitions in California to participate in this 16-month learning collaborative, launching in May 2019 and concluding in September 2020. The program will provide tailored technical assistance and funding to support participants who are ready to use systems practice and human-centered design techniques to further their efforts to address OUD in their community and create social change at scale.

Systems practice is a thinking approach that pushes beyond the immediate problems to illuminate the underlying patterns, the ways we may leverage the system, and how we can learn and adapt as the system continues to change. Human-centered design is an approach to problem solving that is rooted in understanding people’s needs and experiences; this methodology is widespread in the commercial sector and, in recent years, has gained popularity in its application to complex social problems.

Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Community Partnerships is funded through the California Department of Health Care Services’ State Opioid Response grant.

Program Components

Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Community Partnerships equips participants with systems practice and human-centered design skills to better understand access to and coordination of OUD diagnosis and treatment within their community. Over the course of our 16-month program, participants will:

  • Receive tailored training on systems practice and human-centered design methods.
  • Engage with local stakeholders and conduct key informant interviews to better understand the underlying causes of OUD in their community and barriers that individuals face in accessing and sustaining treatment.
  • Identify challenges and promising opportunities to reducing OUD across the community, by identifying key leverage points (e.g., improving patient handoffs across providers, bridging philosophical divides among treatment providers, reducing duplication and filing in gaps in the treatment and prevention landscape) for making significant impact.
  • Work collaboratively to develop and test solutions that are developed with a keen understanding of how patients with OUD are engaging with the system.
  • Measure the impact of solutions tested to identify viable solutions to implement and sustain.

Project milestones will help pace activities and sustain team momentum.

Our program offerings include:

  • Technical Assistance: Participants will identify two to three local facilitators within their coalition to receive in-depth training and guidance on how to develop and use a system map that outlines community stakeholders that impact access to OUD diagnosis and treatment. Technical assistance related to system mapping and use includes training on:
    • Identifying key stakeholders to engage in the mapping process.
    • Outlining the types of questions to explore with stakeholders to lay the groundwork for creating a system maps.
    • Facilitation techniques to co-create a system map with coalition partners and other key stakeholders.
    • Key questions to ask to “make sense” of the system map.
    • How to use the system map to identify opportunities and challenges that could be addressed by coalition partners and other stakeholders.
    • Examples of structures and approaches other multi-stakeholder coalitions have used to address system-level challenges.

Subsequent technical assistance will build upon the system mapping process, using human-centered design methods to collect and analyze community data, and develop and test solutions.

  • Learning Sessions: Participants attend three, one-day in-person learning sessions, where they will share and learn from peers and experts, as they prepare for and try out changes in their communities.
  • Webinars: Participants engage in virtual learning opportunities, including a mix of expert- and peer-led webinars on topics that will be co-designed with the selected participants.
  • Coaching: Participants have access to faculty who are experienced in human-centered design, systems practice, and multi-stakeholder collaboration.
  • Online Resource Center & Forum: We maintain an online resource center and discussion forum, where participants can discuss challenges and share resources.
  • Grants: Participants receive a grant of up to $75,000 to help offset time and costs related to participation in the program, staffing, and meeting program milestone expectations.

Grant Funding

Participants receive a grant of up to $75,000 to help offset time and costs related to participation in the program, staffing, and meeting program milestone expectations.

  1. $10,000 at the time you are accepted into the program.
  2. $40,000 after engaging in your community system mapping process and attending the October 2019 learning session.
  3. $25,000 after attending the January 2020 in-person learning session and completion of the first progress report.

Program Benefits

  • Engage in a system mapping process in your community that will produce an iterative discussion tool to gain buy-in from key stakeholders, and serve as a launchpad for your coalition to identify opportunities for new and different work that was not apparent in absence of this process.
  • Apply practical human-centered design methods to brainstorm, prototype, and test solutions with community stakeholders, informed by the system mapping process.
  • Develop and test concrete solutions to advance community-driven change.
  • Access to tools, and resources, and experts related to MAT implementation or expansion in primary care and behavioral health organizations.
  • Local facilitators will build capabilities in advanced facilitation techniques and strengthen their individual skill set around collaborative system thinking and collaborative planning.


We invite applications from entities that meet the following criteria:

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations under the Internal Revenue Service Code (IRC), governmental, tribal, and public entities.
  • Organizations that are actively participating in and willing to receive grant funds on behalf of an existing opioid coalition within a defined California community that includes representation from health organizations, local nonprofits, local public entities, and/or community residents. By “existing,” we are referring to currently active coalitions that have already engaged stakeholders and meet on a regular basis.

Note: The applicant, or organization submitting the application for this grant program, does not necessarily need to serve as the lead or convening entity within the coalition.

If you are a mental health or substance use disorder site, also consider applying to CCI’s sister program, Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Behavioral Health.This 15-month learning collaborative is dedicated to supporting outpatient behavioral health clinics in California to implement MAT for opioid use disorder. Learn more.


Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Community Partnerships runs from May 2019 to September 2020. Key dates include:

Informational Webinar March 5, 2019 (12-1pm PT)
Letter of Intent Released March 5, 2019
Letter of Intent Deadline March 22, 2019
Follow Up Calls
April 9, 2019 – April 17, 2019
Invitation to Submit Full Application Sent April 18, 2019
Full Application Deadline
May 10, 2019
Cohort Announced & Program Start May 27, 2019
Kick-Off Webinar June 6, 2019 (12-1:30 pm PST)
System Mapping Training for Local Facilitators
1-2 days in June or July 2019
Local Working Sessions
June – September 2019
Virtual Learning Session 1
October 2019
In-Person Learning Session 2 January 2020
In-Person Learning Session 3 July 2020
Program End September 29, 2020

Program Expectations

Participating core teams are made of three to six team members from the coalition who represent more than one sector (e.g., health, education, law enforcement, community, etc) and will participate in grant program activities.

We recommend that the core team include:

  • The primary coalition lead.
  • A dedicated individual who is responsible for project managing the day-to-day activities.
  • Two to three local facilitators chosen to lead the coalition and community members through the system mapping process. These individuals could be an existing lead of the coalition, a local facilitator already engaged with the coalition, or another facilitator that will be embedded into the process for this program.

All core team members are expected to:

  • Participate in a Program Kickoff Webinar on June 6, 2019 (12-1:30 pm PST).
  • Participate in the day-long community on-site system mapping workshop (September 2019) and contribute to the preparation for the workshop.
  • Participate in one virtual learning session (October 2019) and two one-day, in-person learning sessions (January 2020 and July 2020).
  • Participate in a baseline assessment and produce two brief progress reports and one final report over the course of the grant. The final progress report will be an end-of-grant case study highlighting key challenges and successes over the course of the grant.
  • Document program activities through photos, videos, and quotes.
  • Share challenges, opportunities, bright spots, and questions with fellow program participants.

In addition to the core team expectations above, the systems mapping process will be integral to the program. To ensure success of this approach, the 2-3 local facilitators are expected to:

  • Participate in a 1-2 day system mapping training in July 2019, which will include pre-work.
  • Participate in coaching and guidance from systems practice faculty in preparation for the community system mapping workshop:
    1. Conduct 10-15 interviews with local key stakeholders (July- August 2019)
    2. With CCI support, design the agenda and plan for community on-site system mapping workshop. (July – August 2019)
    3. Gathering and reviewing relevant reports and resources.
  • Facilitate the community on-site system mapping workshop (September 2019).
  • Facilitate action planning for key leverage opportunities identified in system mapping process (October-November 2019).

What Makes a Strong Application

Strong applications to the program include (1) a highly engaged multi-sector team, (2) a demonstrated understanding of the current state of OUD in your community, and (3) a demonstrated commitment to including community residents who have been directly impacted by OUD at the table for strategic decision-making.

Ideal teams will possess these qualities:

  • Openness to solving problems in a way that is collaborative, humble, inclusive, iterative, and visual.
  • Committed to working with stakeholders across internal and external silos and positional hierarchy, and to engage community members to identify challenges and co-developing sustainable solutions.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the current state of OUD in your community, as well as drivers that impact OUD.
  • Willingness to openly share approaches and lessons learned with other participating teams.
  • Demonstrated commitment to advance and sustain the work of your coalition.

Informational Webinar

View the webinar recording and slides below to learn more about the program and application process.

Download Webinar Slides

Download FAQ

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Community Partnerships program and application process, contact Jennifer Wright.

Download LOI as PDF