The National Association of Community Health Centers’ 2023 Community Health Institute and EXPO was held August 28-30 in San Diego, and I had a great experience with a deep immersion into the role and the work of Community Health Centers (CHCs). It is an exciting time to be a part of this conference as it elected a new board chair, Ms. Paloma Hernandez, from Urban Health Plan in New York City, as well as a new CEO, Dr. Kyu Rhee, formerly of CVS/Aetna, IBM, and HRSA.
Joe Dunn, NACHC’s SVP of Public Policy, drove attention to funding challenges. To avoid a financial crisis, 70% of CHC grant funding must be renewed by Congress before September 30.
With many competing agendas at present, the legislative calendar is looking short.
A human-centered focus on equal, improved, and efficient healthcare
The areas of focus for the conference included how to advance health equity, meet the changing expectations of CHC patients and community healthcare workers, and navigate an uncertain future of funding disruptions, policy changes and transitioning to value-based care.
The keynote speakers for NACHC 2023 were extraordinary, and their messages were relevant to patient and employee experience. D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas, a former US Air Force officer and member of the Ottawa tribe of Native Americans, described the “warrior spirit” that leads an individual to self-mastery, allowing them to give the most of themselves to their teams and causes while simultaneously making sure to recharge themselves.
Vanas’ message connected deeply with community health leaders who handle vast amounts of ambiguity, internal and external pressures, and various obstacles that must be tackled to sustain a team and an organization in community health. Erica Keswin, best-selling author of the book Bring Your Human To Work, shared how patients and workers need relationships. She also explore how the best leaders show their commitment to relationships through openness, authenticity, and respect for others. The top community health leaders build cultures that drive the highest levels of performance. To better expand on this topic, she also shared 10 key strategies for leading success today.
A resonating call for health equity
My favorite keynote speaker was Heather McGhee, author of The Sum Of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. McGhee is a lawyer and economic policy expert who served as president of Demos, a non-profit progressive think tank in Washington, DC before leaving it all for 2 years, traveling across the US to research why economic policies fail.
She discussed the “Zero Sum Paradigm,” which is a deeply rooted belief that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others, and the “Solidarity Dividend,” which are the benefits received when people from across races come together for a common goal. Her inspiring call to action to examine and change our beliefs that limit our progress was one of the most incredible speeches that I have witnessed.
How you can keep your PX and EX ahead
So, how does this all connect back to patient experience (PX) and employee experience (EX)? Healthcare leaders and organizations need feedback systems that constantly pulse their patients and employees for their opinions, concerns, and ideas. Synchronous, one-on-one, or small group communication, such as interviews, focus group round tables, or Q&A sessions, are great for feedback, but they do not scale, so these organizations need more. Real-time surveying at various points of the patient’s journey or employee milestones can provide the insights needed to make better decisions, deliver quality patient care, and to make your stakeholders happy.
In healthcare, communication and connection with people isn’t just important, it can be lifesaving.
Sogolytics has been successfully partnering with healthcare delivery organizations to provide the most robust and flexible feedback solution available. We came to NACHC 2023 to listen and learn about the challenges faced by community health and primary care associations so that we can be a part of the solution. We wanted to understand how these challenges can be solved, or at least dramatically improved, with better feedback systems.
After a week of reflection, it is energizing to work in pursuit of new partnerships in community health. Check out this recent webinar to learn more about how Sogolytics is making a difference in community health centers, then let’s connect and discuss how we can help you!