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Case Studies

The following projects and accomplishments exemplify the skills and expertise of Policy Catalyst. 

Health Access Foundation

Areas: Policy Analysis, Storybanking, Collaborative Grants

As Health Access Foundation's Director of Cost/Quality/Equity Initiatives Policy Catalyst’s principal spearheaded a collaborative grant with California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) on Health Reform 2.0, an initiative to improve health and health equity for California consumers using the opportunities provided through existing work on transparency, benefit design, and Medi-Cal (Medicaid in California) payment and delivery system reforms. Hilman served as primary author of the grant proposal and as project manager for the grant (collaborative grants). 

"It was exciting to be part of this team and the broader coalition efforts in California to use Obamacare as a jumping off point for robust health reforms that made sense for California. The work continues, moving even deeper into cost/quality/equity measures designed to make health care work for all Californians."

As Director of Policy Research and Communications, Policy Catalyst's principal served as primary author of a report celebrating the Affordable Care Act in California and the notable results achieved in the first five years. It includes stories from the many organizations that are part of the statewide coalition, Health Access California.  She also designed mechanisms for collecting and vetting stories over time. 

Health Access
UT Department of Education
Utah Department of Education
Areas: best practices research, program and partnership development, training & presentation skills


The recently revised Social Studies Curriculum Standards put forth a more dynamic, student-centered, and interdisciplinary approach to civics education than has ever been implemented before, creating exciting opportunities for educators to foster meaningful practices of engaged and informed citizenship.  Yet establishing these new standards is only the first step toward truly transforming civics education in Utah.  It is now up to teachers, schools, and school districts to breathe life into the standards by redesigning their own approach to civics education. 


Policy Catalyst is currently providing educators with the tools, strategies, resources, and opportunities to network with other educators and community partners to breathe life into the standards. Policy Catalyst’s services include: curriculum development to help educators update and diversify their teaching materials and methods; the development and implementation of a course of instruction for Utah social studies teachers; the establishment of “centers of excellence” in civics education that can provide ongoing inspiration and guidance for educators., community partnerships, and “crowd sourcing” of pedagogic resources. 

Take Care Utah
Areas: Collaborative Grants, Strategic Planning, Coalition Building, Best Practices Research


While she was executive director of Utah Health Policy Project, Policy Catalyst's principal was awarded the prestigious Community Health Leader award by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  She decided to dedicate the $105,000 in prize money to a long-held dream: the development of Take Care Utah, the state’s first statewide consumer health assistance program and hub for Affordable Care Act navigators and enrollment assisters (see Hilman's blueprint here). 


She reached across organizational silos to form a “trifecta” with United Way/2-1-1 and Association for Utah Community Health to build Take Care Utah. Today Take Care Utah is a national model for such programs across the country, hitting some of the highest enrollment targets. Most critically: we designed Take Care Utah to link consumers’ experience with advocacy. Under this model, navigators bring stories back to the UHPP policy shop, and uninsured Utahns are given tools to interact with their legislators.

Take Care Utah
Utah Health Policy Project 
Areas: All

As its first executive director, Hilman built the organization from the ground up, making efficient use of strategic planning, board development, developing programs, building robust coalitions around winning policy campaigns; securing stable funding, setting up operations, hiring quality staff, designing a robust volunteer and internship program, and research program.


Today UHPP is the state’s leading nonpartisan purveyor of trusted nonpartisan research on health policy. All three of UHPP’s most senior current staff were people Hilman hired and trained. From one week to the next staff activities were tied to organizational goals and in practical ways that facilitated accountability to funders, stakeholders, and Board members. 


Utah Health Policy Project
Utah Office of Health Disparities Reduction
Areas: Strategic Planning, Policy Analysis, Coalition Work

Policy Catalyst's principal co-facilitated a broad partnership of organizations and academic departments to create and fund the Utah Office of Health Disparities Reduction. Today this office is a model for health equity offices around the country. Our intent was to create an organizational structure which would ensure that communities directly impacted by disparities would be engaged at every level.  This work exemplifies ability to bring stakeholders with very different perspectives together around an actionable agenda—tying practical short term wins to long-term results at every step. 

Office of Health Disparities
Areas: Strategic Planning, Policy Analysis, Coalition Building

As its first executive director, Hilman worked closely with the founders and Board to develop the first standalone nonpartisan voter registration and civic engagement program in Utah. During the first six months, Hilman built effective partnerships with the nonprofit, employer, and leaders in K-12 and college-based civics education and programs. She also helped establish Voterise as a trusted and exciting brand with the media, donors, and elected officials.

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