Enablers

Finding the right leader/s can facilitate primary care and public health collaboration.

Strength of Experience
One enabler is having organizational leaders who have experience working in both primary care and public health because the leader is familiar with the intersections between the two sectors and has relationships with professionals in both sectors. Leaders with primary care and public health experience often have a clear vision for where collaboration can improve patient outcomes.

An example
Example IconDuring the H1N1 epidemic a leader with public health background working in primary care recognized that the homeless clients for whom he was responsible were at high risk of becoming infected and low priority for obtaining vaccinations. He used his pre-existing connections with public health to develop and implement a plan to ensure his clients were vaccinated.

The Big PictureIMG_Desk_Together
Not all leaders need primary care and public health experience to be champions for a collaboration. Without the experience, leaders can still champion a collaboration with a big picture view of the factors that influence health and health service delivery.  In addition, leaders who have buy-in to the value of collaboration can employ it to realize goals.

Collaboration Champions
Leaders who champion collaboration keep the momentum going, and help others to maintain their enthusiasm and interest. They link providers to resources and remind busy providers, who can get caught up in their daily clinical activities, of the broader vision of collaboration.

Leaders are also integral to facilitating scheduling of front line staff, arranging meetings, and maintaining team morale. They foster engagement of the frontline staff and use networks of informal leaders as champions to keep collaboration efforts moving forward within an organization.

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Related: Collaborative Organizational Culture

 

Informal Leaders
Not all champions are necessarily formal leaders. Champions can also be informal leaders who provide vision and commitment to specific collaborations. Their contributions are recognized. In addition , they may initiate a collaboration or rally others to support one.