Category Archives: Public-private partnerships
The New York Academy of Medicine is the National Program Office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program, which works to reduce population health disparities and improve the health of all Americans. The New York Academy recently conducted a survey of 17 thought leaders in primary care and population health. In the third of five blog posts, we share a synthesis of what those leaders had to say. All quotes are printed with permission.
Local and State Health Department Collaboration: Most discussants agreed that clinical systems and health departments use different notions of ‘population’—and historically are not well integrated. As David Stevens, MD, noted, “There’s capacity that needs to be built on a common language on how to work together that isn’t there because they've been separated so long.”
There was, however, a prevailing notion that this dynamic is changing in important ways. Many cited the convergence of IRS Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) requirements and new public health accreditation standards as a potential blueprint for future collaborations. Clinical delivery systems, generally well-resourced but with limited community assessment and intervention skills, are now responsible for conducting a CHNA every three years while developing and implementing an action plan to address identified needs.
Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), a partnership between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Northwest Health Foundation, devoted the latest issue of its PIN Point newsletter to the topic of leadership and featured the Leading Toward Tomorrow Project, which cultivates nurse leaders in southeast Michigan, with a primary focus on geriatric care. Below, three project leaders weigh in on what led them to tackle leadership development and what they’ve learned along the way.
Why does your organization see nursing leadership as an area worthy of investment?
Elizabeth Sullivan, MPA, vice president for community investment at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan: We felt it was important to build the nursing workforce and to do it in a way, in this particular project, that supports retention and mobility of nurses. We knew that the need was significant in southeast Michigan, and we knew it was important to do this with nurses in acute and long-term care settings. Our interest was working with novice nurses who found themselves in management positions and were working in care settings that serve a lot of older adults.
Carole Stacy, MA, MSN, RN, director of the Michigan Center for Nursing: On one of our nursing surveys several years ago, one of the questions was: If you’ve left a nursing job in the last two years, what was the reason? One of the answers they could select was that they had difficulty with their nurse manager or with administration. Over the course of several surveys, we kept seeing that particular response chosen in large numbers. Then we really started going out and looking at what the problem was. We found that in Michigan, we do not do a very good job of preparing people to be in nursing management. Just because they’re a good nurse, we assume they’ll have the skills needed to be a good manager. And that’s frequently not the case.
Nora Maloy, DrPH, senior program officer at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation: The Foundation has been supporting the profession of nursing since 2003, when we developed an initiative addressing the nursing shortage. That put us in touch with nurse leaders from around the state. Since then, through our nurse leader colleagues, we have seen the impact of nursing on all aspects of health care, including access, policy and quality of care.
By Alexia Green, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and dean emeritus, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and co-leader of the Texas Action Coalition
Creating and sustaining partnerships is vital to the Texas Team: Advancing Health through Nursing—a state Action Coalition of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. Although the Texas Team was only approved as an official Action Coalition in September 2011, we have been working diligently to recruit and build partners who can support the campaign through 2020.
The various state Action Coalitions—such as the Texas Team—are composed of multiple entities (mostly other organizations), which in turn are composed of multiple individuals. Engaging and maintaining interest and commitment from these multiple entities is a very real challenge for the Texas Team and other newly formed Action Coalitions, but it is vital to all our success in achieving our Institute of Medicine (IOM) goals in our respective states. As leaders we must strive to engage all these partners and promote a common vision toward achieving the IOM goals.
Key to our success in Texas has been the recruitment of BlueCross BlueShield of Texas as our lead business organization for the statewide team. BlueCross BlueShield partners with the Texas Nurses Association as our lead nursing organization to advance the health of Texans through our Coalition activities. The Texas Hospital Association was an early partner and has also been very supportive of our activities.
Other diverse partners that have joined our Coalition include Bell Helicopter. Yes, that’s right, the folks who make helicopters! (And no, they haven’t provided us with any rides yet!) But they are very committed to advancing the health of our state through nursing. Associates in Process Improvement, a group of improvement scientists (yes, those same scientists who work with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement) have also joined us because they too deem nurses integral to the improvement of health care across our nation.
Judith Woodruff, J.D., is the director of workforce development at the Northwest Health Foundation and program director for Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future, a program of the Northwest Health Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The saying goes that all politics is local. But it’s even truer when it comes to the health care workforce. Every community, from large, complex cities to one stop sign rural towns, faces challenges in ensuring they have the educated and skilled health care professionals they need to provide quality health care. But their challenges are different.
That’s something that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and my own organization, the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF), have known for a long time. And the RWJF's and NWHF’s Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN) program capitalizes on just that, making investments for local solutions to nursing issues.
The problems facing the nursing workforce don’t have a one-size-fits-all fix. And in our experience, solutions that are developed from outside the local area simply don’t work as well as those developed in your hometown. When local partners engage and participate in change from the onset, the solutions are tailored to the community needs and assets and the partners are invested in the outcomes. Projects become more sustainable, become ingrained in the community experience, and have the potential for long-term impact. That idea, borne of Northwest Health Foundation’s long experience in local and regional collaboration in Oregon and southwest Washington State, is a cornerstone of the PIN project.
The nursing workforce will soon face new patient demographics as our population is aging, becoming more ethnically and racially diverse and experiencing chronic diseases. Additionally, it is predicted that soon more people will gain access to health care services as a result of national and state health care coverage reform. At a time when the social landscape is rapidly changing, investments in nursing are more imperative than ever before.
That’s why we are so pleased to announce 11 new PIN investments to foster innovations in nursing. The regional partnerships supported by the investments are working to find solutions to the most pressing problems facing the nursing workforce. The new funding brings to 61 the number of PIN projects, covering 37 states and collectively, collaborating with more than 500 partners.
By Paul Putman, M.S.Ed., M.A.
Program Officer, The Cleveland Foundation
Ohio faces a nursing shortage that is expected to be particularly severe. So when I was asked by one of our state’s nurse leaders to help her alert members of Ohio’s congressional delegation and share recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the Future of Nursing, I was happy to participate. In my role as a program officer with The Cleveland Foundation I have been lucky enough to play the role of “non nurse” more than once.
Our goal as partners in this iteration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF’s) Connect project was to share the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the Future of Nursing with members of our congressional delegation as part of the Campaign for Action. Though I am not a nurse, I knew I had a modicum of knowledge which was strengthened by a commitment to the recommendations of the report. I was also able to convey the message that those recommendations can positively impact health care overall, and that this isn’t a special interest type of report, but rather one that will impact all of us.
For those unfamiliar, the Campaign for Action was launched in late 2010 by RWJF in partnership with AARP. The campaign builds upon the IOM’s report on the Future of Nursing which is a blueprint for transforming the nursing profession to improve health care. The Campaign is supporting efforts across the country to engage diverse stakeholders in implementing the recommendations of the report.
When my Ohio partner and I found out that we would indeed be participating in the Connect program, I was pretty excited. Although it was not my first trip to Washington, it would be my first time on the Hill in any capacity beyond tourist.