Community-based education (CBE) can provide contextual learning that addresses manpower scarcity by enabling trainees acquire requisite experiences, competence, confidence and values. In Uganda, many health professional training institutions conduct some form of community-based education (CBE). However, there is scanty information on the nature of the training: whether a curriculum exists (objectives, intended outcomes, content, implementation strategy), administration and constraints faced. The objective was to make a comprehensive assessment of CBE as implemented by Ugandan health professional training institutions to document the nature of CBE conducted and propose an ideal model with minimum requirements for health professional training institutions in Uganda.
We employed several methods: documentary review of curricula of 22 institutions, so as to assess the nature, purpose, outcomes, and methods of instruction and assessment; site visits to these institutions and their CBE sites, to assess the learning environment (infrastructure and resources); in-depth interviews with key people involved in running CBE at the institutions and community, to evaluate CBE implementation, challenges experienced and perceived solutions.
CBE was perceived differently ranging from a subject, a course, a program or a project. Despite having similar curricula, institutions differ in the administration, implementation and assessment of CBE. Objectives of CBE, the curricula content and implementation strategies differ in similar institutions. On collaborative and social learning, most trainees do not reside in the community, though they work on group projects and write group reports. Lectures and skills demonstrations were the main instruction methods. Assessment involved mainly continuous assessment, oral or written reports and summative examination.
This assessment identified deficiencies in the design and implementation of CBE at several health professional training institutions, with major flaws identified in curriculum content, supervision of trainees, inappropriate assessment, trainee welfare, and underutilization of opportunities for contextual and collaborative learning. Since CBE showed potential to benefit the trainees, community and institutions, we propose a model that delivers a minimum package of CBE and overcomes the wide variation in the concept, conduct and implementation of CBE.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that positive organizational climates contribute to better work performance. Screening and brief intervention (SBI) for alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use has the potential to reach a broad population of hazardous drug users but has not yet been widely adopted in Brazil’s health care system. We surveyed 149 primary health care professionals in 30 clinics in Brazil who were trained to conduct SBI among their patients. We prospectively measured how often they delivered SBI to evaluate the association between organizational climate and adoption/performance of SBI.
Organizational climate was measured by the 2009 Organizational Climate Scale for Health Organizations, a scale validated in Brazil that assesses leadership, professional development, team spirit, relationship with the community, safety, strategy, and remuneration. Performance of SBI was measured prospectively by weekly assessments during the three months following training. We also assessed self-reported SBI and self-efficacy for performing SBI at three months post-training. We used inferential statistics to depict and test for the significance of associations.
Teams with better organizational climates implemented SBI more frequently. Organizational climate factors most closely associated with SBI implementation included professional development and relationship with the community. The dimensions of leadership and remuneration were also significantly associated with SBI.
Organizational climate may influence implementation of SBI and ultimately may affect the ability of organizations to identify and address drug use.
Organizational climate; Screening; Brief intervention; Alcohol; Tobacco; Substance abuse
When catastrophic disasters such as Hurricane Katrina strike, psychologists and other mental health professionals often wonder how to use resources and fill needed roles. We argue that conducting clinical research in response to disasters is 1 important way that these professionals can contribute. However, we recognize that designing and implementing a clinical research study can be a daunting task, particularly in the context of the personal and system-wide chaos that follows most disasters. Thus, we offer a detailed description of our own experiences with conducting clinical research as part of our response to Hurricane Katrina. We describe our study design, recruitment and data collection efforts, and summarize and synthesize the lessons we have learned from this endeavor. Our hope is that others who may wish to conduct disaster-related research will learn from our mistakes and successes.
clinical research; disasters; Hurricane Katrina; roles
Despite the importance of community health workers (CHWs) in strategies to reduce health disparities and the call to enhance their roles in research, little information exists on how to prepare CHWs involved in community–academic initiatives (CAIs). Therefore, the New York University Prevention Research Center piloted a CAI–CHW training program.
We applied a core competency framework to an existing CHW curriculum and bolstered the curriculum to include research-specific sessions. We employed diverse training methods, guided by adult learning principles and popular education philosophy. Evaluation instruments assessed changes related to confidence, intention to use learned skills, usefulness of sessions, and satisfaction with the training.
Results demonstrated that a core competency–based training can successfully affect CHWs’ perceived confidence and intentions to apply learned content, and can provide a larger social justice context of their role and work.
This program demonstrates that a core competency–based framework coupled with CAI-research–specific skill sessions (1) provides skills that CAI–CHWs intend to use, (2) builds confidence, and (3) provides participants with a more contextualized view of client needs and CHW roles.
The environmental scan is a tool that can be utilized to collect data to design health programs uniquely tailored to the needs of communities. However, it remains relatively undefined, unevaluated and underutilized in the field of public health. While individual studies indicate the utility of the environmental scan for public health, it is difficult to find a theoretical framework or guidelines on how to design, implement or evaluate the process within public health practice. The purpose of this study was to elicit lessons learned to maximize the utility of the environmental scan as a tool for public health. This process occurred through the development and implementation of an environmental scan as part of the needs-assessment phase of a project to increase cancer screening among African Americans in Baltimore, MD. Data collection methods for the environmental scan included a review of community stakeholders, cancer incidence and community assets and liabilities in target communities, focus-group sessions and key informant interviews with service providers. The environmental scan was conducted in 2003 and allowed for rapid acquisition and use of information about events, trends and relationships in the neighborhoods targeted for our project and enabled researchers to move forward with implementing the cancer-screening project. The researchers conclude that the environmental scan has considerable potential to be a creative, responsive, cost-effective and mobilizing tool for public health practice. However, further application and critical review are necessary to make it a more effective public health tool and an established research methodology.
The purpose of this article is to share lessons learned from implementing community-based participatory research (CBPR) in Indian Country that may be generalizable to other medically underserved communities. CBPR is currently included in multiple grant announcements by the National Institute of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but information about this methodology vs traditional research methodology is often misleading. This article addresses some common mistakes made by academic research institutes by sharing what we have learned about how CBPR can be implemented in a respectful manner. The majority of tribal Nations prefer, if not mandate, that CBPR be used in most proposed studies involving their communities today.
The Awareness program was designed as a part of the EU-funded Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) intervention study to promote mental health of adolescents in 11 European countries by helping them to develop problem-solving skills and encouraging them to self-recognize the need for help as well as how to help peers in need.
For this descriptive study all coordinators of the SEYLE Awareness program answered an open-ended evaluation questionnaire at the end of the project implementation. Their answers were synthesized and analyzed and are presented here.
The results show that the program cultivated peer understanding and support. Adolescents not only learned about mental health by participating in the Awareness program, but the majority of them also greatly enjoyed the experience.
Recommendations for enhancing the successes of mental health awareness programs are presented. Help and cooperation from schools, teachers, local politicians and other stakeholders will lead to more efficacious future programs.
Youth; Adolescents; Mental health; School-based; Awareness program; Suicide prevention; SEYLE; Intervention
In 1995, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Public Health Service (PHS) recommended that special attention be given to the information needs of unaffiliated public health professionals. In response, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Greater Midwest Region initiated a collaborative outreach program for public health professionals working in rural east and central Iowa. Five public health agencies were provided equipment, training, and support for accessing the Internet. Key factors in the success of this project were: (1) the role of collaborating agencies in the implementation and ongoing success of information access outreach projects; (2) knowledge of the socio-cultural factors that influence the information-seeking habits of project participants (public health professionals); and (3) management of changing or varying technological infrastructures. Working with their funding, personnel from federal, state, and local governments enhanced the information-seeking skills of public health professionals in rural eastern and central Iowa communities.
Implementing health information technology (IT) at the community level is a national priority to help improve healthcare quality, safety, and efficiency. However, community-based organizations implementing health IT may not have expertise in evaluation. This study describes lessons learned from experience as a multi-institutional academic collaborative established to provide independent evaluation of community-based health IT initiatives. The authors' experience derived from adapting the principles of community-based participatory research to the field of health IT. To assist other researchers, the lessons learned under four themes are presented: (A) the structure of the partnership between academic investigators and the community; (B) communication issues; (C) the relationship between implementation timing and evaluation studies; and (D) study methodology. These lessons represent practical recommendations for researchers interested in pursuing similar collaborations.
Classical experimental and quasi-experimental study methods (lab and field); cognitive study (including experiments emphasizing verbal protocol analysis and usability); delivering health information and knowledge to the public; human–computer interaction and human-centered computing; measuring/improving patient safety and reducing medical errors; quality of care; uncertain reasoning and decision theory
Inquiry-based laboratories are acknowledged as the preferred method of
instruction for development of research skills. Much has been written about
changes in student performance associated with inquiry, but less is known
about how students view the inquiry-based format or whether they perceive a
benefit from this type of instruction. The Student Assessment of Learning
Gains (SALG) survey was used to evaluate and compare student reactions to the
new, inquiry-based laboratories of a lower-division undergraduate curriculum,
from implementation to the present (an interval of 3 yr). Initial student
response to the format and value of the inquiry labs improved over time. The
quality of the graduate teaching assistants and the clarity of the laboratory
manual were important variables influencing student perception. A student's
perception of his/her retention of lab-related skills was strongly associated
with perceptions of gains in those skills. Student responses reflect their
most current laboratory experience and not a cumulative effect of
participation in the core series of courses. Student success in the inquiry
format was not associated with gender or status as a transfer student. The
majority of students believe that their experiences in the lower-division
inquiry labs have prepared them for upper-division course work.
Numerous publications demonstrate the importance of community-based participatory research (CBPR) in community health research, but few target the Deaf community. The Deaf community is understudied and underrepresented in health research despite suspected health disparities and communication barriers.
The goal of this paper is to share the lessons learned from the implementation of CBPR in an understudied community of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users in the greater Rochester, New York, area.
We review the process of CBPR in a Deaf ASL community and identify the lessons learned.
Key CBPR lessons include the importance of engaging and educating the community about research, ensuring that research benefits the community, using peer-based recruitment strategies, and sustaining community partnerships. These lessons informed subsequent research activities.
This report focuses on the use of CBPR principles in a Deaf ASL population; lessons learned can be applied to research with other challenging-to-reach populations.
Community-based participatory research; health disparities; vulnerable populations; academic medical centers; health care facilities manpower and services; Deaf American Sign Language users
Implementation of evidence-based mental health assessment and intervention in community public health practice is a high priority for multiple stakeholders. Academic-community partnerships can assist in the implementation of efficacious treatments in community settings; yet, little is known about the processes by which these collaborations are developed. In this paper, we discuss our application of community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to implementation, and we present six lessons we have learned from the establishment of an academic-community partnership.
With older adults with psychosis as a focus, we have developed a partnership between a university research center and a public mental health service system based on CBPR. The long-term goal of the partnership is to collaboratively establish an evidence-based implementation network that is sustainable within the public mental healthcare system.
In building a sustainable partnership, we found that the following lessons were instrumental: changing attitudes; sharing staff; expecting obstacles and formalizing solutions; monitoring and evaluating; adapting and adjusting; and taking advantage of emerging opportunities. Some of these lessons were previously known principles that were modified as the result of the CBPR process, while some lessons derived directly from the interactive process of forming the partnership.
The process of forming of academic-public partnerships is challenging and time consuming, yet crucial for the development and implementation of state-of-the-art approaches to assessment and interventions to improve the functioning and quality of life for persons with serious mental illnesses. These partnerships provide necessary organizational support to facilitate the implementation of clinical research findings in community practice benefiting consumers, researchers, and providers.
Most community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects involve local communities defined by race, ethnicity, geography, or occupation. Autistic self-advocates, a geographically dispersed community defined by disability, experience issues in research similar to those expressed by more traditional minorities.
We sought to build an academic–community partnership that uses CBPR to improve the lives of people on the autistic spectrum.
The Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE) includes representatives from academic, self-advocate, family, and professional communities. We are currently conducting several studies about the health care experiences and well-being of autistic adults.
We have learned a number of strategies that integrate technology and process to successfully equalize power and accommodate diverse communication and collaboration needs.
CBPR can be conducted successfully with autistic self-advocates. Our strategies may be useful to other CBPR partnerships, especially ones that cannot meet in person or that include people with diverse communication needs.
Community-based participatory research; process issues; autism; autistic community; self-advocacy; disability; remote collaboration; atypical communication
African Americans bear an unequal burden of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer. The Deep South Network for Cancer Control (DSN) is a community–academic partnership operating in Alabama and Mississippi that was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to address cancer disparities using community-based participatory research approaches.
In addition to reporting on the plans of this work in progress, we describe the participatory process that local residents and the DSN used to identify needs and priorities, and elaborate on lessons learned from applying a participatory approach to the development of a community action plan.
We conducted 24 community discussion groups involving health care professionals, government officials, faith-based leaders, and other stakeholders to identify cancer health disparity needs, community resources/assets, and county priorities to eliminate cancer health disparities. To develop a community action plan, four working groups explored the themes that emerged from the discussion groups, taking into consideration evidence-based strategies and promising community practices.
The DSN formulated a community action plan focusing on (1) increasing physical activity by implementing a campaign for individual-level focused activity; (2) increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables by implementing NCI’s Body and Soul Program in local churches; (3) increasing cancer screening by raising awareness through individual, system, and provider agents of change; and (4) training community partners to become effective advocates.
A community–academic partnership must involve trust, respect, and an appreciation of partners’ strengths and differences. The DSN applied these guiding principles and learned pivotal lessons.
There is a growing interest in community based participatory research (CBPR) methods to address issues of health disparities. Although the success of CBPR is dependent upon the formation of community-researcher partnerships, new researchers as well as seasoned investigators who are transitioning to CBPR often lack the skills needed to develop and maintain these partnerships.
The purpose of the article is to discuss the competencies needed by new researchers to form successful CBPR partnerships.
Methods and Lessons learned
The author presents a series of strategic steps that are useful in establishing academic-community partnerships and in initiating, maintaining and sustaining CBPR projects. These steps include suggestions regarding community engagement, selection of Community Advisory Board members, outreach, the community’s role in problem identification, selection of research methodologies, considerations related to the community setting, need for flexibility and patience, “insider vs. outsider” conflicts, commitment and training issues, timing concerns for tenure-track faculty and the process of community empowerment.
CBPR is both rewarding and time consuming, for both the researcher and members of the community. Given its promise to address health disparities, it is imperative that researchers acquire the skills needed to develop and cultivate durable community-researcher partnerships.
Healthcare has made great efforts to reduce preventable patient harm, from externally driven regulations to internally driven professionalism. Regulation has driven the majority of efforts to date, and has a necessary place in establishing accountability and minimum standards. Yet they need to be coupled with internally driven efforts. Among professional groups, internally-driven efforts that function as communities of learning and change social norms are highly effective tools to improve performance, yet these approaches are underdeveloped in healthcare. Healthcare can learn much from the nuclear power industry. The nuclear power industry formed the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators following the Three Mile Island accident to improve safety. That organization established a peer-to-peer assessment program to cross-share best practices, safety hazards, problems and actions that improved safety and operational performance. This commentary explores how a similar program could be expanded into healthcare. Healthcare needs a structured, clinician-led, industry-wide process to openly review, identify and mitigate hazards, and share best practices that ultimately improve patient safety. A healthcare version of the nuclear power program could supplement regulatory and other strategies currently used to improve quality and patient safety.
Quality of healthcare; healthcare peer review; quality improvement; patient safety; Adverse events; epidemiology and detection; anaesthesia; checklists; critical care; evidence-based medicine; decision analysis; decision making; human factors; risk management; safety culture
Exploring barriers to the uptake of research based recommendations into practice is an important part of the development of implementation programmes. Techniques to identify barriers can include use of theory-informed questionnaires and qualitative interviews. Conceptualising and measuring theory-informed factors, and engaging health professionals’ to uncover all potential barriers, can be a difficult task. This paper presents a case study of the process of trying to identify, systematically, the key factors influencing health professionals’ referrals for women diagnosed with mild to moderate postnatal depression for psychological treatment. The paper illustrates how the factors were conceptualised and measured and explores the real world challenges experienced, with implications for future implementation studies.
Theory-informed factors were conceptualised and measured using a questionnaire and interviews. The questionnaire was piloted, before being administered to general practitioners, practice nurses and health visitors working in general practices in one area of the UK NHS. The interviews were conducted with a small sample of general practitioners who had not completed the questionnaire, further exploring factors influencing their referral decisions in the local context.
The response rate to the questionnaire was low (19%), despite selecting the recommendation to target through engagement with local stakeholders and surveying local health professionals, and despite using two reminders, an incentive prize, and phone calls to practice managers to bolster response rates.
Two significant challenges to achieving higher response rates and successfully exploring local context were identified: the difficulties of developing a robust- but feasible- questionnaire to explore theory-informed factors, and targeting recommendations that are important to policy makers, but which health professionals view as unimportant. This case study highlights the “trade-off” between scientifically rigorous collection of data against the pragmatism and flexibility requirements of “real world” implementation. Future implementation studies should explore different ways of identifying factors influencing the adoption of recommendations to bridge this gulf.
Diagnostic analysis; Tailored implementation; Postnatal depression; Mixed methods
Establishing healthy habits in youth can help prevent many chronic health problems later in life that are attributable to unhealthy eating, sedentary lifestyle, and overweight. For this reason, many public health professionals are interested in working with school systems to reach children in school settings. However, a lack of familiarity with how schools operate can be a substantial impediment to developing effective partnerships with schools.
We describe lessons learned from three successful school health promotion programs that were developed and disseminated through collaborations between public health professionals, academic institutions, and school personnel. The programs include two focused on physical activity and good nutrition for elementary and middle school children — Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) and Planet Health — and one focused on smoking cessation among adolescents — Not-On-Tobacco (N-O-T).
Important features of these school health programs include 1) identification of staff and resources required for program implementation and dissemination; 2) involvement of stakeholders (e.g., teachers, students, other school personnel, parents, nonprofit organizations, professional organizations) during all phases of program development and dissemination; 3) planning for dissemination of programs early in the development and testing process; and 4) rigorous evaluation of interventions to determine their effectiveness. The authors provide advice based on lessons learned from these programs to those who wish to work with young people in schools.
In recent years there has been increasing recognition of the importance of strategic research communication. Health research organisations need to be able to communicate their research effectively to increase the probability that the findings influence policy and practice, and benefit those in greatest need. Many research funders are making communications a requirement of research funding. This paper reflects on the experience in developing and implementing communications strategies of several Research Programme Consortia funded by the Department for International Development.
Different research topics will require different communications approaches in order to be effective. This is reflected in the diversity of strategies employed by different research programmes. Strategic research communications designed to influence policy and practice require different skills and expertise from those required for carrying out research and writing it up for publication in academic journals. Therefore researchers involved in communicating research should be supported in this work. One of the ways in which research programme consortia have sought to do this is through convening workshops to develop the communications skills of researchers from partner organisations. These have proven invaluable. Another way of providing ongoing support to those involved in communicating research is through a Communications Community of Practice. Where this has been used it has proven a good way to support researchers both with ideas and resources, but also a strong sense of belonging to a community that shares a common concern with communication. Developing strong partnerships with research users, other research organisations, knowledge intermediaries and other stakeholders is vital for effective communication.
Embracing the challenges and opportunities presented by communicating research to influence policy practice is vital if research is to have maximum possible impact, and demonstrate its worth at a time when funding for health and development activities is at risk. Sharing lessons learnt in this process between research programmes is important to support this work.
The paucity of resources for general practice correlates well with high losses through emigration and questions the expensive over-production of doctors now being undertaken.
The variable quality of community care and the absence of a structure yet providing real planning or capital, leads to the uneconomic abuse of hospital facilities and to an excessive emphasis on institutionalisation.
Medicine is becoming depersonalised because unrealistic expectations lead to an overloading of the service. Simultaneously we allocate a low priority to education in the use of the service, have little training in the sociological aspects of medical care, and even less in how best to use the skills of our non-medical professional colleagues.
Competency in practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI) and systems-based practice (SBP) empowers learners with the skills to plan, lead, and execute health care systems improvement efforts. Experiences from several graduate medical education programs describe the implementation of PBLI and SBP curricula as challenging because of lack of adequate curricular time and faculty resources, as well as a perception that PBLI and SBP are not relevant to future careers. A dedicated experiential rotation that requires fellow participation in a specialty-specific quality improvement project (QIP) may address some of these challenges.
We describe a retrospective analysis of our 5-year experience with a dedicated 3-week PBLI-SBP experiential curriculum in a preventive medicine fellowship program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Between 2004 and 2008, 19 learners including 7 preventive medicine fellows participated in the rotation. Using just-in-time learning, fellows work together on a relatively complex QIP of community or institutional significance. Since 2004, all 19 learners (100%) participating in this rotation have consistently demonstrated statistically significant increase in their quality improvement knowledge application tool (QIKAT) scores at the end of the rotation. At the end of the rotation, all 19 learners stated that they were either confident or very confident of making a change to improve health care in a local setting. Most of the QIPs resulted in sustainable practice improvements, and resultant solutions have been disseminated beyond the location of the original QIP.
A dedicated experiential rotation that requires learner participation in a QIP is one of the effective methods to address the needs of the SBP and PBLI competencies.
In 2006, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers convened a collaborative to systematically improve health care delivery for patients with diabetes in 17 community health centers. Our goal was to identify facilitators of and barriers to success reported by teams that participated in this collaborative.
The collaborative's activities lasted 13 months. At their conclusion, we interviewed participating team members. We asked about their teams' successes, challenges, and take-home messages for future collaborative efforts. We organized their responses into common themes by using the Chronic Care Model as a framework.
Themes that emerged as facilitators of success included shifting clinic focus to more actively involve patients and to promote their self-management; improving the understanding and implementation of professional guidelines; and expanding staff roles to accommodate these goals. Patient registries were perceived as beneficial but lacking adequate technical support. Other barriers were staffing and time constraints.
Cooperative efforts to improve health care delivery for people with diabetes may benefit from educating the health care team about guidelines, establishing a stronger role for the patient as part of the health care team, and providing adequate technical instruction and support for the use of clinical databases.
Objectives: Project objectives were to: (1) design and produce an easy-to-use, replicable comprehensive injury prevention curriculum for elementary schools; (2) pilot the program to determine instructors' ease in teaching the material and its usefulness in enhancing student knowledge and behavior change; (3) present material in subject-integrated, grade-specific lessons that would meet state and national student learning objectives; and (4) submit and obtain adoption of the curriculum by the State Department of Education.
Methods: A pilot program was developed, implemented, and evaluated in six intervention and six control schools. The curriculum was revised and implemented in five other schools and finalized according to evaluation results and teachers' and parents' suggestions. Community resources such as police, fire, and county health departments participated in program implementation.
Results: The program showed a significant increase from 21% to 36% in seatbelt use during the school year in program schools compared with a 1% decrease in control schools. Bicycle helmet use increased from 0% to 10% in the program schools. Pre-test and post-test results showed significant differences in student knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors within the program schools, and in comparing the program and control schools. On a Likert scale of 1 (poor) to 7 (excellent), teachers rated lesson content, exercises, and the usefulness of materials and resources as 5.8, 5.5, and 5.4, respectively. Evaluations for the revised curricula ranged from 5.7 to 6.2.
Conclusions: The favorable evaluation results resulted in the adoption of the curriculum as a state textbook, and widespread teaching of the curriculum. The product is appropriate and efficacious in these elementary schools and their communities.
Although child sexual abuse (CSA) is recognized as a serious violation of human well-being and of the law, no community has yet developed mechanisms that ensure that none of their youth will be sexually abused. CSA is, sadly, an international problem of great magnitude that can affect children of all ages, sexes, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic classes. Upon invitation, this current publication aims at providing a brief overview of a few lessons we have learned from CSA scholarly research as to heighten awareness of mental health professionals on this utmost important and widespread social problem. This overview will focus on the prevalence of CSA, the associated mental health outcomes, and the preventive strategies to prevent CSA from happening in the first place.
Child sexual abuse; Review; Prevalence; Mental health outcomes; Prevention
Interventions to improve health outcomes among patients with diabetes, especially racial or ethnic minorities, must address the multiple factors that make this disease so pernicious. We describe an intervention on the South Side of Chicago—a largely low-income, African American community—that integrates the strengths of health systems, communities, and patients to reduce disparities in diabetes care and outcomes. We report preliminary findings, such as improved diabetes care and diabetes control, and discuss lessons learned to date. Our initiative neatly aligns with, and can inform the implementation of, the accountable care organization -- a delivery system reform in which groups of providers take responsibility for improving the health of a defined population.