The faith-based community presents an important opportunity for C-TAC to pursue our goal of providing people with advanced illness with the right care at the right time and place.
• Clergy want and need training and information to help their congregants deal with advanced illness and its many challenges.
• Community organizations (faith-based and others) are a resource for helping patients get the care they need. They address underserved populations, and often develop effective solutions to critical unmet needs.
• Many local health systems have advanced illness management programs for their communities, but few ways to interact with hard-to-reach populations.
The C-TAC Response:
C-TAC has initiated the Community Action Project to bring together health systems and community based organizations to improve advanced illness care. The Project’s objectives are to:
1) Foster a partnership between health systems and community organizations to fill critical gaps in care delivery;
2) Give each partner tools and knowledge to help patients ask for and receive the care they want and need; and,
3) Help health systems deliver existing advanced illness management programs to underserved patients and families.
The Project has four key elements: 1) a community-specific needs assessment; 2) a convening of patients and caregivers, community organizations, and health systems; 3) necessary technical assistance (e.g., strategic plan, communications, education on advanced illness, ); and, 4) a resource sharing tool to facilitate the dissemination of best practices from our member organizations. As the Community Action Project continues to evolve, it will be refined and improved based on lessons learned.
C-TAC is working to operationalize the Project to be replicated in virtually any community. This includes evaluation tools with outcome and impact measures aligned with Project goals. We are also seeking additional funding and developing a plan for partnership sustainability. A pilot currently is underway in Oakland, CA. Future collaborations are planned for Washington, DC and Detroit. For more information, contact Jackie Buente at JBuente@thectac.org.