Request for Proposal: Research Consultant Food is Medicine (FIM) Project
Fully Remote
Description

Organization Description

Health Care Without Harm seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a community anchor for sustainability and leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. Working closely with Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth is the leading sustainable health care organization, delivering environmental solutions to more than 1,700 hospitals and health systems in the United States and Canada.


Health Care Without Harm’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and Practice Greenhealth are committed to seeking and sustaining culturally and ethnically diverse organizations, and to the principles that promote inclusive practices. We are dedicated to not only building a diverse staff, but also a diverse set of consultants and partners with expertise and interest in serving the mission of the organizations in respectful ways. Health Care Without Harm believes that our work can only be transformed when a diversity of voices, perspectives, and lived experiences are a part of the movement for change. We strongly encourage consultants and organizations that represent BIPOC and LGBTQ communities to apply.


Project Description

Health Care Without Harm’s Scaling Food is Medicine (FIM) in Health Care Across the Northeast Region is a three-year project that seeks to assess the state of and opportunity for values-aligned food procurement and practices in food is medicine programs. Health Care Without Harm uses “values aligned” to define practices that consider criteria beyond lowest cost, such as local economic impact, environmental sustainability, and supply chain diversity, when evaluating procurement and operational practices.


Background: Food is medicine programs (medically tailored meals, therapeutic meals, medically tailored groceries, and fruit and vegetable prescription programs) have gained traction with the increased understanding of the potential for these interventions to influence health outcomes, health care costs, and health care utilization. As food is medicine programs continue to grow and become institutionalized, there is a need to understand the potential social and economic impact of these programs.  


Values-aligned procurement describes a process of using criteria beyond lowest cost in making purchasing and operational decisions. Applying this framework to food is medicine programs is important to increasing understanding of how they could contribute to shifting the social and economic conditions that drive the need for these services in the first place, namely inequitable access to resources (including healthy food) and economic opportunities. The Anchors in Action Framework and updated Healthy Food in Health Care Standards provide a roadmap for evaluating the potential of food is medicine programs to influence broader social and economic conditions by adopting a values-aligned procurement strategy.


Through this project, Health Care Without Harm seeks to:

  • Assess the current level of values-aligned food procurement and practices (which could include local sourcing, sustainable sourcing, plant forward menus, workforce training, community advisors) in food is medicine programs that operate in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New York.
  • Establish a community of practice for food is medicine programs and health care partners to support peer to peer learning and networking with the aim of advancing the adoption of value aligned procurement within their program operations. 
  • Support select food is medicine programs, through funding and technical assistance, to conduct values aligned procurement pilots.
  • Evaluate the impact of the community of practice experience and of the pilot projects on adoption (or plans for adoptions) of values aligned procurement strategies.
Requirements

Overarching Goal

To assess feasibility of values aligned procurement and practices in food is medicine programs and to evaluate a pilot project to support integration of values aligned procurement and practices in food is medicine programs, we are seeking a consultant to complete the following activities which will extend across the three-year project:


Landscape assessment (July - November 2024)

  • Complete a literature review to understand existing research on food is medicine programs and issues relevant to the inclusion of values aligned purchasing and practices in food is medicine program design and operations.
  • Design research process to reflect relevant food is medicine issues and project priorities. The research process design should include refining research questions, determining relevant data collection activities, creating research tools to collect qualitative and quantitative data, which could include interview guide, focus group guide, surveys, and/or related procedures. 
  • Meet with the national advisory group to review research plans and incorporate feedback from advisors.
  • Oversee data collection process (guiding staff) and lead data analysis (e.g. thematic analysis of survey responses, focus group discussion, and/or interview transcripts; quantitative analysis of purchasing and service volume).
  • Develop a set of standard metrics/measures for climate, economic and health-related impacts that food is medicine programs utilizing a value-based purchasing strategy can incorporate into their evaluation process.
  • Provide guidance on the design, implementation, and evaluation of the community of practice and pilot project phase.
  • Create a report from research and slides that summarize research findings and recommendations for Community of Practice structure and content.
  • Present of findings to Health Care Without Harm and advisors.

Deliverables: Literature review, guide for data collection process and tools (e.g. interview guide, focus group guide, survey, templates) and report and presentation with (1) assessment of current state of values aligned purchasing in food is medicine programs; (2) recommended standard metrics for assessing food is medicine program implementation of values aligned procurement; and (3) recommendations for monitoring and tracking community of practice impact and for monitoring pilot impacts.


Pilot project evaluation (December 2024 - September 2026)

Create an evaluation framework to assess the process and effectiveness of providing resources (funding, technical assistance) to facilitate the adoption of values aligned procurement and practices by food is medicine programs.


Specific activities to include:

  • Determine appropriate indicators for desired outcomes.
  • Create data collection tools and processes, including baseline data collection and analysis and follow up data collection and analysis.
  • Provide guidance to HCWH staff on data collection methods and monitoring and evaluation process.
  • Produce summary of baseline data collection findings.

Deliverables: Final report on pilot project evaluation, inclusive of baseline data and follow up data and recommendations for next steps.


Project evaluation (July - December 2026)

Create evaluation plan and data collection protocols to assess overall project process and outcomes (i.e. Community of Practice and pilot projects experience and impact)

  • Develop a project evaluation plan including a plan to collect data (quantitative and qualitative) to capture outcomes and impacts in terms of project goals. The evaluation process should assess:
    • Did the activities this project carried out have the impact that they intended?
    • Assesses the relevance, impact, effectiveness of the project in terms of its stated goals. May also speak to sustainability (durability)
    • Provides information, lessons, and recommendations for longer-term project and program planning; can help inform future projects and funding proposals
  • Create guidance/structure and/or carry out follow up data collection, data analysis, and evaluation results reporting. 
    • To summarize the project monitoring and evaluation data and analyze this information to draw conclusions, identify lessons, and make recommendations. 
  • Distill and report findings for stakeholders
  • Create a comprehensive report summarizing learnings from projects (Community of Practice, pilots) and evaluation of project outcomes.
  • Support dissemination of research and project findings. Work with project staff to identify and pursue opportunities to share project plans and findings/results with external partners at conferences, forums and meetings.

Deliverables: Report summarizing learnings from project (community of practice and pilot) and recommendations for future project development (which could include project structure, research questions, and evaluation processes).


Process, Timeline, and Budget

The consultant will work with a core team from Health Care Without Harm to complete the project by December 31, 2026. The allocated budget for the project is approximately 300 hours and $50,000.  Note, other expenses such as creative assets that may need to be purchased, travel time, printing, etc. will not be covered by Health Care Without Harm separately and will be discussed prior to any purchases.  

Phase: Landscape assessment

Timeline: July 2024 - November 2024

Estimated Hours: 125 hours

Phase: Pilot evaluation

Timeline: December 2024 - September 2026

Estimated Hours: 75 hours

Phase: Project evaluation

Timeline: August 2026 - December 2026

Estimated Hours: 100 hours


Qualifications

The ideal consultant will have the following qualifications:

  • Experience with research and engagement related to health care, health care policy and regulations (e.g. Medicaid, Medicare), food systems planning, food is medicine and nutrition intervention approaches, or a combination thereof.
  • Knowledge, experience, and technical skill to complete qualitative and quantitative research design and data collection and analysis activities.
  • Exceptional analytical writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Knowledge of data sources used in research, evaluation, policy analysis, and ability to interpret federal and state legislation and regulations related to health care policy, procurement, and reimbursement.
  • Ability and experience facilitating outreach and meaningful connections with community-based organizations and anchor institutions. 

Submission Guidelines

Please note that the deadline to submit your proposal has been extended. Please submit your proposal no later than July 8, 2024 to contracts@hcwh.org. Your submission must include:

  1. Names and curriculum vitae of individuals who will be involved in completing the services.
  2. Qualifications – why and how you are best-suited to meet the deliverables. This should include an explanation of your qualifications for this work, past examples of similar work (including a list of former clients for similar services if able), and qualifications of key personnel who will be involved. Please include any relevant licenses, certifications, etc.
  3. A completed conflict of interest form.
  4. A written declaration that you can agree to the general terms and conditions included in this RFP.
  5. Health Care Without Harm supports positive efforts to utilize small businesses, minority-owned firms, women’s business enterprises, and Labor Surplus Area firms. Please indicate whether or not you fall within one or more of these categories.
  6. A proposed methodology and timeline for how you plan to meet the deliverables, with documentation of the development process, milestones, assumptions and expectations of HCWH staff.
  7. A cost breakdown of this work, including a list of any staff that would be assigned to the project, their roles, and any subcontractors you plan to employ.
  8. A timeframe of validity of your proposal (must be at least 60 days).
  9. One work sample
  10. At least two references

Criteria for the Assessment of Proposal

  • The expertise of the proposal and experience of the organization or consultant and key personnel indicated in the proposal.
  • Methodology, its appropriateness to the conditions and timeline set forth in the RFP.
  • Financial considerations.
  • HCWH is willing to award the contract to more than one service provider.

Inquiries

Inquiries can be made to Nancy Kohn at nkohn@hcwh.org


General Terms and Conditions for Bidders

Other terms and conditions will be included in an awarded contract

1. Contracts shall be made only with responsible contractors who possess the potential ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of the proposed procurement. Consideration shall be given to such matters as contractor integrity, record of past performance, financial and technical resources or accessibility to other necessary resources. In certain circumstances, contracts with certain parties are restricted by agencies' implementation of United States Executive Orders 12549 and 12689, “Debarment and Suspension.”

2. Awards shall be made to the bidder or the offeror whose bid or offer is responsive to the solicitation and is most advantageous to the recipient, price, quality and other factors considered.  Solicitations shall clearly set forth all requirements that the bidder or the offeror shall fulfill in order for the bid or offer to be evaluated by the recipient.  Any and all bids or offers may be rejected when it is in Health Care Without Harm’s interest to do so.

3. Health Care Without Harm suppliers and contractors must demonstrate compliance with the following ethical principles. Any breach of these provisions shall disqualify the supplier or entitle Health Care Without Harm to terminate any agreements with the supplier immediately upon notice without any liability for the termination or any other liability of any kind.

  • Contractors shall not directly or indirectly provide material support or resources, including financial support, in-kind support, technical or organizational assistance, or any other form of support or service, to individuals that are terrorists, that are associated with acts of terrorism, or that pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.
  • Contractors must comply with all applicable anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws in the countries where it does business. Additionally, contractors understand and agree to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as revised, which generally prohibits the offer, promise, payment or giving of anything of value either directly or indirectly to any government official for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or any improper advantage. 
  • Contractors shall not engage in any practice inconsistent with the rights set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including Article 32 thereof, which, inter alia, requires that a child shall be protected from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical mental, spiritual, moral or social development. Additionally, Contractor warrants that the Contractor is not engaged in the sale or manufacture of anti-personnel mines or components utilized in the manufacture of anti-personnel mines.
  • Health Care Without Harm takes all appropriate measures to prevent sexual exploitation or abuse of anyone through its work. For these purposes, sexual activity with any person less than eighteen years of age, regardless of any laws relating to consent, shall constitute sexual exploitation and abuse of such a person. In addition, contractors shall refrain from exchanging any money, goods, services, or other things of value for sexual favors or activities, or from engaging in any sexual activities that are exploitative or degrading to any person.
  • Contractors are expected to disclose to Health Care Without Harm any situation that may appear as a conflict of interest, and disclose to Health Care Without Harm if anyone under contract with Health Care Without Harm may have an interest of any kind in the contractor's business or any kind of economic ties between contractor and Health Care Without Harm.
  • Health Care Without Harm will fully enforce applicable laws prohibiting harassment and discrimination by or against contractors, including harassment, and/or discrimination because of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, gender, age, or other status protected by applicable law, and to maintain a business relationship free of any such harassment and discrimination. Harassment may take many forms, including but not limited to:

i. Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, invitations, innuendo, or comments

ii. Visual conduct such as derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings or gestures

iii. Physical conduct such as assault, blocking normal movement or interference with work because of sex or another protected basis    


4. Health Care Without Harm supports positive efforts to utilize small businesses, minority owned firms, and women’s business enterprises and Labor Surplus Area firms.

  • Health Care Without Harm encourages contracts with consortiums of firms referenced above when a contract is too large for one of those firms to handle individually.

5. Contractor agrees to the acceptance, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, of products and services dimensioned in the metric system of measurement.

6. Health Care Without Harm requires, when practicable and economically feasible, for products and services that conserve natural resources and protect the environment and are energy efficient.