Introduction to PC+ Communities of Practice


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Public Health Seminar Series - Monday, August 5, 2013
“Developing a Community of Practice to Bridge Primary Care and Public Health”

Communities of Practice (CoPs) are becoming an increasingly popular tool to facilitate problem solving and identify best practices in a variety of fields. Using face to face meetings and/or online discussion boards, a CoP brings together a community of experts and novices all focused on finding evidence based and practical solutions to real world problems. Within public health the CDC hosts a web based program called phConnect to foster collaboration among geographically dispersed professionals who share a focus on specific public health problems. CDC defines a CoP as: “a group of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise by interacting on an ongoing basis.” Learning theory and research support CoPs as a mechanism for developing both professional expertise and professional identity through ongoing engagement and communal problem solving.

The UTMB Public Health Program and the Primary Care Plus Program will be developing a Community of Practice using the phConnect tool ( Public health faculty and students, Primary Care Plus Scholars, and other interested parties will be invited to join a CoP focused on bridging primary care and public health to identify actions that address local and regional community health problems. In this seminar, Dr. Rudkin will describe the defining elements of a CoP and will facilitate discussion of the purpose and organization of the UTMB Primary Care and Public Health CoP. The planned CoP will have monthly face to face meetings supplemented by online discussion. Technologies will be used to facilitate synchronous participation from remote sites and for asynchronous viewing. Faculty and students will share responsibility for summarizing monthly discussions and identifying action steps.

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  • Welcome to the first UTMB Public Health Seminar of the 2014-2015 academic year. Today we’ll be talking about Developing a Community of Practice to Bridge Primary Care and Public Health. I’m Laura Rudkin. I am a professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health and I direct our department’s Primary Care Plus training grant.
  • I want to start with a quotation from a 2003 Institute of Medicine report on the role of public health. … This statement emphasizes the key roles played by both clinical medicine and public health in improving population health and reducing health disparities. It draws attention to the various types of factors that influence health—individual characteristics and behaviors as well as social, economic, and physical environments.
  • Community leader = guides the community’s purpose and strategic intentCommunity sponsors = champion the community internally and externallyTechnology management = maintaining tools, ensuring members have access, confirming tools workRelationship management = responsible for making introductions and connecting new and long-time membersSubject matter expertise = Knowledge management = responsible for organizing, posting community documents to common repository, shaping “information into knowledge”Meeting facilitation = leads F2F meetingsCommunication management = distribute messages externally, promote knowledge products of community
  • Introduction to PC+ Communities of Practice

    1. 1. Laura Rudkin, Ph.D. Professor and Interim Chair Preventive Medicine & Community Health The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Developing a Community of Practice to Bridge Primary Care and Public Health
    2. 2. Health is … Part individual good served by medicine and part public good secured by public health activities. Health is associated with a complex, and not entirely understood, interplay among innate individual factors, personal behavior, and a vast array of powerful environmental conditions. Institute of Medicine, 2003 The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century
    3. 3. Origins of the Primary Care Plus Program (The Plus is Public Health.)
    4. 4. Primary Care Plus Program Premise: Health improvement, disparities reduction follow from integrated primary care, public health efforts. Focus: Providing MD and PA students knowledge, skills, and values needed to partner with public health Funding: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Primary Care Training Enhancement Grant
    5. 5. Primary Care and Public Health Primary Care “the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community (p. S-2).” Public Health “(the provision of services) to fullfill society’s interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy (p. S-2).” (IOM, 2012)
    6. 6. Primary Care and Public Health “Primary care and public health presently operate largely independently, but have complementary functions and the common goal of assuring a healthier population. By working together, primary care and public health can each achieve their own goals and simultaneously have a greater impact on the health of populations than either of them would have working independently. Each has knowledge, resources, and skills that can be used to assist the other in carrying out its roles. They should be viewed as two interacting and mutually supportive components of a health system designed to improve the health of populations.” (p. S-4, IOM, 2012)
    7. 7. Degrees of Integration Integration = linkage of programs, activities to promote overall efficiency, effectiveness, achieve gains in population health 1. Shared goal of improved population health 2. Willingness, ability to contribute to shared goal 3. Commitment to ongoing process, continual dialogue
    8. 8. Examples of Integration
    9. 9. Asthma, Hepatitis B, EMR
    10. 10. Communities of Practice
    11. 11. Communities of Practice CoPs “are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Etienne Wenger-Trayner has authored several seminal books on Communities of Practice.
    12. 12. Communities of Practice CoPs “are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Etienne Wenger-Trayner has authored several seminal books on Communities of Practice. 200920021999
    13. 13. CoPs in Public Health “Working to strengthen public health as members learn, share expertise, and work together on solving common problems in their communities’ focus areas.” “Provide a collaborative framework for public health professionals to work together to identify and leverage best practices and standards. Through these evolving collaborative efforts and sharing of lessons learned in the community building process, the community of practice approach is being implemented in many public health areas as a model of how public health partners can work together.”
    14. 14. CoPs in Public Health Domain Shared interest that provides the incentive, passion for group to come together Community Group of people who come together with common interest, who share perspectives and knowledge Practice Agreed upon ways of formalizing, implementing collectively developed knowledge and solutions that further the community’s mission “A community that enables interaction, has a shared domain of interest, and a shared practice of experiences, stories, tools, and ways of addressing recurrent problems.”
    15. 15. PC+ CoP Primary Care Plus Community of Practice
    16. 16. PC+ CoP Domain Shared goal of addressing community health problems in the Galveston-Houston area and throughout Texas Community Initial participants will include faculty, students, and community partners involved in the Primary Care Plus Program Practice Identifying and integrating primary care and public health approaches to solving specific problems and acting on group recommendations
    17. 17. PC+ Community Partners
    18. 18. UTMB Primary Care Practices
    19. 19. Logistics for the PC+ CoP Face-to-Face meetings monthly 3rd Monday of each month at noon (tentative) Opportunity to connect in real time or view online later Online discussion continues for 4 weeks PC+ CoP hosted on CDC’s phConnect site Synthesis of discussion at end of 4 weeks Recommendations for next steps
    20. 20. Roles in the PC+ CoP Community Leader Laura Rudkin Community Sponsors Judy Rowen Holly West Christine Arcari Melanie de Boer Technology Management Allie Glaser Relationship Management Courtney Taylor Subject Matter Expertise All contribute Novice to Expert Invited participants may be included Knowledge Management Rotating responsibility by month Student-faculty teams will synthesize Meeting Facilitation Rotating responsibility by month Communication Management Shared responsibility by month and over time
    21. 21. CDC’s phConnect (
    22. 22. Steps to Join the PC+ CoP 1. Sign up for phConnect. 2. Create a user bio. 3. Ask to join the PC+ CoP. 4. Connect to others and join other groups as desired. 5. Start participating in the PC+ CoP and other communities! As of 8/5, the site is experiencing problems with the search function. Our group and people are not being found in the search. Just use the link in step 3 to find our group.
    23. 23. August Discussions on PC+ CoP 1. Developing the PC+ CoP Community Charter a. What is the scope of our mission? b. How should we identify target problems? c. What are our deliverables? d. Who can be a member? What are the member expectations? 2. Generating a List of Potential Problems to Address
    24. 24. Let’s Explore