Table of Contents:
Evaluation & Outcomes
Additional Info.: Fellows Action Network
The Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York (now the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York) developed and supported a cadre of diverse, highly skilled, collaborative leaders from health care and safety-net organizations through its Health Leadership Fellows Program, which ran from 2005 through 2009. Core to the Program experience were the:
- Concepts of teams and collaboration,
- The Institute of Medicine’s Five Core Competencies; and
- The ability to give and receive feedback.
The Health Leadership Fellows Program enabled individual leadership development while giving participants the opportunity to apply the core competencies necessary to improve health outcomes for frail elders and children living in communities of poverty.
The program included 100 Fellows through three classes from across the 16 counties served by the Foundation. The Fellows, who were selected based on demonstrated organizational leadership, serve in positions of influence within organizations that impact the health of frail elders and children living in poverty. They represent a variety of relevant professional settings, including community-based organizations, clinics, home-health and nursing home providers, government agencies, schools, hospitals, health care insurance providers, and consumer groups.
While the Health Leadership Fellows Program no longer enlists new Fellows, past Fellows continue to participate in Foundation-sponsored leadership development opportunities through the Fellows Action Network (FAN), expanding their team projects or creating other collaborative projects that impact frail elders or children of poverty.
During their 18-month tenure in the program, Fellows were required to attend four residential sessions, each of which lasted two or three days. A fifth retreat was held at the program’s conclusion. At that time, the Fellows presented their group projects to the full cohort and to leaders from their sponsor organizations.
Each of the four sessions built upon topics and skills covered during the previous ones. Relevant experts led each of the first four residential sessions. The intersession period following each residency gave Fellows the opportunity to collaborate on the application and additional research of the material presented during the retreats.
Distance learning conducted between the conclaves enabled the Fellows to apply and reinforce the knowledge and experience gained through the residential sessions. Learning took place at the individual level and in teams comprised of Fellows who lived and worked within geographical proximity of each other. Each team met monthly between residential sessions.
The Fellows conducted all of their work on these projects via monthly group meetings, electronic communication, Web-based research, and other distance learning techniques. The teams received support and advice from mentors in process and content areas, as well as from research assistants from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.
Each group reported on their intersession work and project during the residential sessions. This allowed the fellows to give and receive feedback from the larger group of Fellows. To learn more about the activities of Residential Sessions and Intersession activities, please see Residential Sessions and Intersessions below.
Evaluation and Outcomes
Throughout the 18 months of the Health Leadership Fellows program, all elements of the experience were evaluated by fellows and faculty. Additionally, after nine months to a year after graduation, faculty from the Fanning Institute of the University of Georgia received all evaluation data and conducted phone interviews with the graduated fellows and their supervisors to determine if the Health Leadership Fellows program did, in fact, create change for the individual, the organization and the community.
Components Evaluated: residential sessions, executive coaching, the team process, faculty, advisers, electronic/web learningEvaluation Methods: surveys, mid term interviews, exit interviews, pre and post assessments, monthly team de-brief reports
Results of those evaluations indicate several themes of change:
The Fellows also reported potential long-term benefits such as more collaborative opportunities to work with new and different organizations, and the increased influence in changing the healthcare system through the Fellows Action Network. Fellows also shared the hope for continual opportunities to work with the Community Health Foundation through the work of the Fellows Action Network and through other initiatives of the Community Health Foundation over time.
- 100 percent of all fellows described personal changes that include: increased self-confidence and ability to delegate, improved listening skills, clearer identity as a leader and an increased knowledge base.
- Organizationally, most stated that their personal changes had influenced the behaviors of the people with whom they worked, creating a more empowered staff.
- A majority commented that they were able to incorporate the IOM core competencies as part of their organization’s culture where they had not done so in the past.
Most stated they had been able to bring more accountability into their work environment and greater confidence regarding collaborating with other organizations.
To read the full evaluation report, click here.