Theme 6. The future of the regional approach to healthcare
In this session, participants will learn how interdisciplinary professionals from different organizations with similar missions can collaborate to produce synergistic programs and outcomes.
We will focus on how group decision making and collaborative planning, implementation, and evaluation is critical when developing a program. Participants will hear about, the internal supports required for successful team building as well as the lessons learned so far in this process.
For the past four years, the Windsor-Essex County Heath Unit has worked collaboratively with two Family Health Teams, two Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics and two Community Health Centres in a partnership called the Community Primary Care and Public Health Leadership Committee. Within this larger collaborative, a subgroup of Registered Dietitians (RDs) have come together to research, design, and evaluate an evidence-based classroom-delivered healthy eating series, entitled Eat4Life. This three module series is taught by RDs from all participating organizations and is offered throughout Windsor and Essex County. This shared delivery model allows for a broad program reach while lessening the burden on any individual organization. The evaluation strategy was agreed on and adopted by all participating organizations.
Module 1- Healthy Eating, has been developed, delivered and evaluated by all of the partners. Results of the evaluation have been used to update this module.
Module 2- Weight Loss, has taken more time than planned to develop due to lack of unanimity about the most appropriate evidence-based approach for weight loss.
Module 3- Mindful Behaviours, has involved mental health clinicians from several of the partner organizations in the development stage of the module. This is a key example of the multidisciplinary involvement in the delivery and development of the program.
Eat4Life is a real world example of a regional collaboration between primary care and public health. The success of this partnership highlights how working collaboratively across organizations can improve patient access and experience, while minimizing the workload for each individual organization.