Self-Management Alliance
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Self-Management Alliance


NCOA has set an ambitious goal to make self-management an integral part of U.S. health care for people with multiple chronic conditions by 2020.

At the national level, NCOA has developed and is leading the Self-Management Alliance (SMA) to promote strategic collaboration among government, business, and nonprofit organizations to turn this goal into reality. The mission of the SMA is to coordinate the accelerated development and implementation of self-management interventions, practices, payment systems, and policies to achieve our goal of making self-management an integral part of health care by 2020.

In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released its Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions. The HHS framework lays out four goals to improve the health of individuals living with multiple chronic conditions. The SMA is leading efforts to help achieve Goal 2 of the framework, which is to “maximize the use of proven self-management and other services by individuals with multiple chronic conditions.”

The SMA is a collective-impact initiative that accomplishes its goals by setting a shared agenda, agreeing about common metrics to gauge progress, facilitating constant communication, and coordinating the discrete, but mutually reinforcing activities of diverse partners from government, nonprofit, and corporate sectors. NCOA serves as the “backbone” to the SMA, providing a range of administrative supports to assure its success.

The SMA is co-chaired by James Firman, NCOA president and CEO, and Dr. Mark McClellan, an NCOA board member and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Albert Terrillion, NCOA Senior Director for Clinical and Community Partnerships, is the Alliance director.

Already, the SMA has succeeded in bringing together a broad cross section of partners to help achieve Goal 2 of the framework. Members include foundations, corporations, private health plans, and key federal agencies, including HHS, CMS, FDA, Administration on Aging, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Veterans Administration.

SMA members have undertaken a number of projects to achieve our goals. These include:

  1. Developing a common framework for understanding how self-management works and achieves outcomes.
  2. Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of self-management using health care claims data.
  3. Identifying and exploiting opportunities to scale evidence-based interventions.
  4. Undertaking research and development to further develop promising innovations.
  5. Communicating the value of self-management to the public and health care practitioners.
  6. Identifying centers of excellence in self-management support and practice.
  7. Developing networks of community-based organizations to provide self-management.

Current SMA Partners

Federal Government

  • Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health
  • Administration on Community Living/Administration on Aging
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services
  • CMS Innovation Center
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Office of the Surgeon General
  • Veterans Administration


  • New York State Health Foundation
  • The Patterson Foundation
  • Tufts Health Plan Foundation
  • Verizon Foundation


  • Bristol Myer Squibb
  • Ernst & Young
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Novartis
  • Sanofi

Founding SMA Partners

  • California Health Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • United Health Group

For more information, visit the SMA website.


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