A learning collaborative is a creative and cost-effective way bring people together for learning and action.  A learning collaborative can be designed to help individuals or teams from any number of organizations accelerate learning, improve performance, and elevate community impact. Explore below to learn more about the potential of a learning collaborative for your organization or community.

  • A learning collaborative can be convened or sponsored by a foundation, an association, or another organization seeking to foster collaboration for learning and action.
  • The basic approach is to choose a focus, engage participants, define goals, design and develop supports, and collaborate on learning and action to accomplish the goals.
  • Participants could include individuals or teams from any number of organizations.
  • The time period could run from a few weeks to many months, depending on the scope and nature of the project.
  • The supports and activities are tailored for each collaborative, and typically include a mix of virtual or in-person learning sessions, coaching, technical assistance, and online resources.
  • CHS supports each step in the process, including design, development, delivery, and evaluation.

CHS applies a proven process to help our client partners develop learning collaboratives that  meet the needs of the participants and sponsors.  We listen carefully to define the project parameters, then we work with you to tailor the collaborative using the nine-step process outlined below.

  1. Focus. Choose a focus (or purpose) for the collaborative.
  2. Envision. Envision the audience, objectives, and content for the collaborative.
  3. Engage. Engage participants in the collaborative.
  4. Define. Define specific goals for learning and action.
  5. Design. Design the collaborative format including length of time, the types of learning supports, sources of subject matter expertise, and mix of virtual vs. in-person activities.
  6. Develop. Develop collaborative learning resources that may include data, tools, training, technical assistance, coaching, strategic guidance, and subject matter experts.
  7. Facilitate. Facilitate collaborative dialog through feedback surveys, virtual meetings, and in-person learning sessions.
  8. Support. Support learning and action by providing research, expert insight, data, tools, technical assistance, coaching, and technical assistance.
  9. Optimize. Optimize performance by monitoring progress and fostering dialog about member breakthroughs, challenges, and next-step strategies.
  10. Demonstrate. Demonstrate impact through strategic evaluation of changes in learning, action, and impact.

CHS partners with foundations and other community funders to produce community impact collaboratives that help participants build capacity to address defined community needs and opportunities. Here are five recent examples of community collaboratives supported by CHS:

  • 1. Improving Chronic Care
    • Focus: Strengthening the chronic care safety net in a four-county  region.
    • Convener: Convened and sponsored by a regional health foundation.
    • Participants: Staff from a rural health center, two charitable clinics, a community behavioral health organization, a statewide medication access organization,  two health systems, and a regional public health agency.
    • Impact: Better access, higher quality, stronger capacity, and more community collaboration.
  • 2. Improving Older Adult Services
    • Focus: Aligning community strategies for older adult services for community members 65 and older.
    • Convener: Convened and sponsored by a regional health foundation.
    • Participants:   Staff from multiple community service agencies, a county community development agency, a regional planning agency, and a  community coalition on aging services.
    • Impact:  Better collaboration and aligned strategies for program development.
  • 3. Improving Mental Health Services
    • Focus: Strengthening the mental health safety net for low-income community members.
    • Convener: Convened and sponsored by a regional health foundation.
    • Participants: Sixteen community organizations engaged in delivering mental health and/or substance use services for residents of a large county.
    • Impact: Better access, higher quality, stronger capacity, and more community collaboration.
  • 4. Improving Oral Health Care 
    • Focus: Improving utilization of dental net services for low-income residents.
    • Convener: Convened and sponsored by a regional health foundation.
    • Participants: Two community health centers, two charitable clinics, and a statewide oral health advocacy organization.
    • Impact: Better understanding of community member needs, interests, and capabilities leading to improvement in patient engagement and service delivery.
  • 5. Expanding Rural Telehealth
    • Focus: Collaborative development of telehealth-enabled strategies for opioid abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery.
    • Convener: Convened by a regional telehealth alliance with funding from the US Health Resources and Services Administration.
    • Participants: Seven organizations including regional telehealth alliance, a regional health system, a regional behavioral health organization, a charitable clinic, a community health center, a community college, and a university.
    • Impact: The partners developed a strategic plan that was instrumental in securing additional grant funding to implement the strategies across multiple counties.

CHS partners with associations and other learning support organizations to produce professional practice collaboratives that help participants build professional skills and capabilities. Here are five recent examples of association collaboratives supported by CHS.

  • 1. Improving Interprofessional Teamwork and Leadership
    • Focus: A statewide collaborative focused on helping health organizations strengthen interprofessional teamwork and leadership.
    • Conveners: Convened and sponsored by a statewide medical society, hospital association, nursing foundation, pharmacy association, and public health agency, with funding from CDC in in-kind supports from the partners.
    • Participants:  More than 40 teams from hospitals, health systems, medical practices, community health centers, community behavioral health organizations, pharmacy organizations, health professions training organizations, and social support organizations.
    • Impact: Participants report gains in knowledge and skills for interprofessional teamwork and leadership, and successful implementation of applied Capstone Projects designed to address priority needs or opportunities in their organization or community.
  • 2. Reducing Low-Value Services
    • Focus: Reducing low-value health care services in six large health systems.
    • Convener: Convened by a statewide health innovation organization with funding from a national foundation.
    • Participants: Teams of clinical leaders and administrators from six health systems.
    • Impact:  Participants are using data and applying strategies for leading organizational change to help their health  systems reduce specific types of low-value services.
  • 3. Improving Cardiovascular Care
    • Focus: Improving the ‘ABCS’ of heart health (aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol control, and smoking cessation.) in primary care settings.
    • Convener: Convened by a statewide health innovation center with funding from AHRQ.
    • Participants: More than 200 practice teams primary care practice sites across the state.
    • Impact: Improvements in cardiovascular care models, organizational workflows, team development, and positive outcomes.
  • 4. Increasing Hospital/Public Health Collaboration
    • Focus: Increasing collaboration between hospitals and public health agencies for community health assessment and improvement.
    • Conveners: Convened by a statewide hospital association and a state public health agencies, with funding from multiple grant sources.
    • Participants: Teams from more than 30 hospitals and public health districts.
    • Impact: Increase in collaboration across hospitals and public health districts to produce community health needs assessments and develop community health improvement strategies.
  • 5. Developing Health Center Leaders
    • Focus:  Helping teams of current and aspiring leaders from community health centers strengthen their skills for leadership and teamwork.
    • Conveners:  Convened by a statewide primary care association with funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
    • Participants:  Teams from more than 20 community health centers located across the state.
    • Impact:  Participants report gains in knowledge and skills for leadership and teamwork, and successful implementation of applied Capstone Projects designed to address priority needs or opportunities in their organization.
  • Contact us for a no-obligation conversation about how learning collaborative could help you accomplish your goals.
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