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High Jinx in Charlotte: First-Time Faculty Views of the CFHA Annual Conference

Posted By Jodi Polaha, Tom Bishop, Reid Blackwelder, Beth Fox, Brian Cross, Diane Sloan, Leigh Johnson, and Di, Tuesday, November 8, 2016

 

At East Tennessee State University Department of Family Medicine, we are working hard on team care transformation. Our Department has a long history of embedded pharmacy, psychology, and social work services in each of its three primary care residency training programs. Recently, however, our HRSA-funded project "Collaborative Training in Team Based Care in Appalachian Primary Care Practices” is providing us with the opportunity to develop a more progressive team approach.

 

We are four medical doctors, two psychologists, a pharmacist, and our director of clinical services. We were excited to have the CFHA annual conference come so close to home for us during our project development. We returned from the meeting so energized we decided to share our notes in a blog.


We lead with big praise for CFHA. The trip proved to be funding well-spent. At least three affirmations resonated with all of us. First, kudos on bringing LBGTQ healthcare to the forefront across multiple presentations. This content was an impactful, albeit unexpected, aspect to our attendance. Drs. Heiman and Johnson have already initiated changes to clinic practice to improve care for transgender patients and building more training into our residency programming.

 

Second, we loved the innovative ideas for building team care. We all agreed we had not seen this caliber of progressiveness in any other professional meetings. We are already looking at next year’s budget to see if there are others on our staff who could have the advantage of learning about these ideas firsthand in Houston.

 

Finally, we definitely appreciated the spirit of collegiality in the atmosphere including an openness to professional networking and supportive engagement. We valued the validating audience response to our presentation on an implementation strategy for building innovation into primary care. We thoroughly enjoyed the engaging audience discussion with our panel on Interprofessional Education. To sum, even though we were first-timers, we felt like we fit right in.

 



Thinking critically about our experiences, we wondered if CFHA can stretch to accommodate a wider range of health professions such as pharmacists, nutritionists, and public health professionals. We saw starting places for broader "team care” in multiple presentations and, well, we wanted more! Behavioral health has certainly been one of the leaders of primary care integration and there is substantive content at CFHA that can be readily generalized to another professional member of the team. Our pharmacist (Dr. Cross) said several times how he was amazed at the parallels of so many issues related to integration of clinical pharmacy services into primary care compared to that of behavioral health, both victories and obstacles. We would love to see CFHAs vision expand!


More connections to more diverse professions would add significant value for us. While we recognize that academic medicine accounts for a minority of attendees, there is certainly a priority in university settings for broader interprofessional practice and education. At CFHA, the strong participation of a clinical audience from non-academic settings provides an excellent sounding board for the pedagogical content we develop for our student learners. In other words, we see CFHA as having the potential of providing non-academic health care "ears” to help us "keep it real” and in turn, we can develop training programs that graduate professionals who are better prepared for their needs.


Thank you again, CFHA, for a quality learning experience outside the office. We are looking forward to next year!


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CFHA is a member-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making integrated behavioral and physical health the standard of care nationally. CFHA achieves this by organizing the integrated care community, providing expert technical assistance and producing educational content.