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Shaping the Future Together: Our Vision for Integrated Care

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

February 2024

As we look ahead, I’m filled with optimism and excitement for the journey we’re embarking on together. Our mission at the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA) has always been to push the boundaries of integrated care, and today, I want to share with you the key strategies we’re focusing on to make that vision a reality. This isn’t just about the work we do; it’s about who we become in the process – a community of healthcare professionals and allies breaking down unnecessary barriers to team-based, whole-person care.

1. Workforce Development: Planting the Seeds Early

Imagine if our understanding of integrated care began not just in professional training but as early as high school and undergraduate studies. That’s the future we’re building towards. We’re introducing a new membership tier aimed at connecting with students at the high school and undergraduate levels. This effort is all about going upstream to influence the foundation of training in integrated care. We are also looking to partner with accreditation bodies and other organizations with power in the guild training spaces. By weaving integrated care principles into the fabric of early education, we’re not just preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals; we’re revolutionizing the way care is conceived from the ground up.

2. State by State Policy Development: Local Action, National Impact

From the rolling hills of Tennessee to the bustling streets of New York, we’re nurturing state-based efforts to reshape policy and practice. Our work in states like GA, CA, TN, NY, and WI is a testament to our belief in the power of local action to drive national change. Each state has its unique challenges and opportunities, and by supporting state-specific initiatives, we’re laying the groundwork for a more inclusive, integrated healthcare system across the country.

3. Reflecting the Whole Care Team: A United Front

Integrated care is not just about bringing medical and behavioral health professionals together; it’s about valuing every voice in the healthcare chorus. That’s why we’re creating a Medical Director for Integrated Care position and partnering with esteemed medical societies like AMA, AAMC, and AAFP. Our goal is to diversify our membership and truly reflect the entire care team. Just take a look at our spring conference presenters and you’ll see the breadth of representation we are aiming for. This collaborative approach is key to creating a holistic, patient-centered care model that recognizes the contributions of all healthcare providers.

4. Embracing and Elevating New Voices: A Home for All

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not just buzzwords for us; they’re principles that guide our actions. We’re committed to being a home for all, where every member feels valued and heard. Our new Content Creators Workgroup is just one way we’re creating opportunities for our members to share their talents and perspectives. By amplifying diverse voices, we’re enriching our community and shaping a more inclusive future for healthcare.

5. Value and Measurement-Based Care: The Proof Is in the Outcomes

In today’s healthcare landscape, demonstrating value is paramount. We’re championing the importance of engaging in value-based contracting discussions within your institutions through our two dedicated workgroups focused on value-based care contracting for integrated care and measurement-based care promotion. This commitment to value and measurement-based care is crucial for advancing our mission and proving the effectiveness of our approach. I would like to personally ask every director or team lead to consider setting a goal this year for learning more about your organization’s contracting efforts and to begin trialing an approach to measuring your patient outcomes, especially for PCBH (I’m a big fan of the Outcome Rating Scale, for example). CoCM is already ahead of the game in this respect.

Join Us in This Journey

This is a call to action for each of you. Get excited, dig in locally, and engage with our workgroups, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and events. Your participation is the fuel that propels us forward. Having witnessed nearly 20 of our 30 years of our impact and growth I have good reason to be optimistic that we can continue to create foundational change.

As we embark on this journey, remember that this is our collective mission. It’s about creating a future where integrated care is not just an ideal but a reality for everyone. Let’s establish our true north and walk this path together, with optimism, dedication, and a shared vision for what healthcare can and should be. And, by the way, this vision is not static. If we are missing something here, let us know.

Here’s to our shared future,

Neftali Serrano, PsyD

CEO, Collaborative Family Healthcare Association

Written with assistance from ChatGPT.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash