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At the Intersection of Real Change: Higher Ed, Healthcare and Communites

There are few times in history we can recall when such an opportunity to catalyze significant change can occur, this is one of those times.

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The US health care field is seeking transformative strategies to improve access and quality, while controlling escalating costs and the prevalence of chronic preventable diseases. Each part of the heath care value chain is being systematically evaluated to redistribute work from higher- to lower-cost personnel where possible in order to prevent diseases, strengthen care coordination, reduce costs, and improve health outcomes. The emerging profession of Community Health Workers (CHWs) stands to play a significant role in these new efforts. If given the right training and opportunity, CHWs can deliver a range of upstream and prevention services, lead and facilitate innovations in care delivery and coordination, and thus, increase the likelihood of lasting impact and real positive outcomes.

Like health care, higher education is also under scrutiny. While the market shows a need for more employees with post-secondary education, prospective students are not enrolling in higher education programs for a variety of reasons - high cost, subsequent debt, and external obligations such as parenting, serving as the caretaker of adults, and working full or part-time jobs to name a few. Employers are also increasingly frustrated with the lack of work readiness and competencies of graduating students.

To achieve this mission, our program will offer adult learners of all ages a project-based educational experience that equips them with relevant competencies to succeed – all at a price they can afford. As a launching point for this new program, we will focus on the fast-evolving Community Health field, and specifically on the emerging, and multifaceted career of the Community Health Worker (CHW).

What resources (money, time, people, technology, etc) will your concept need to be successful?

The First Phase | 8 months: Co-Creation: Design and Roll Out Pilot Program Required Funding: $243,000 We can launch the pilot with minimal technology or infrastructure costs. Our 'Community as Campus' model engages local organizations for our students to utilize their under-utilized spaces for our educational experiences. The majority of the funding is for a small dedicated team of instructional designers, operational personnel plus experts in community and client engagement.

What steps could you take to implement this idea today?

We have already engaged several major organizations such as CVS Health, Cambridge Department of Public Health, City of Cambridge, Community Dev. Corp. of Fenway, and many many others. We are awaiting the initial funding for the team to dedicate time and resources to put the plan into action.

How can your idea be scaled so that it's implemented in cities around the world?

The plan was written for the program to be implemented in cities around the world either as a packages educational platform with the curriculum for Community Health Workers or as a stand along educational platform for other curriculum.

My Virtual Team

Over 500 people have shaped this concept to date. The people I owe most of the credit come from amazing organizations: Boston Foundation, Levin Foundation, Boston University, The Aspire Institute at Wheelock College, CVS Health, City of Cambridge, CDC Fenway, Cambridge Dept of Public Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Corentus Coaching & Consulting, OpenIDEO, Harvard Catalyst Population Health Research Program, many Community Health Workers --- really to name just a few.

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Here is a brief overview of our concept. If you would like the entire plan, please do not hesitate to contact me.


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Congratulations Janice
Let me know how I can help

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You are the best Stephen. Thank you.

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