DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

MHA@GW Module 4 

Community and Public Health HSML 6267

Key Competencies:

Business Skills and Knowledge—solving problems and making decisions

Business Skills and Knowledge—planning and managing projects

Business Skills and Knowledge—strategic planning

Business Skills and Knowledge—quantitative analysis

Professionalism—professional and community contribution

Health Care Knowledge—health care issues and trends

Health Care Knowledge—population health and status assessment

Health Care Knowledge—health policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation 

My Development through Population and Community Health:


  • How did this module's activities influence my management and leadership practices?
    • Being a member of the United States Public Health Service I have always been conscientious regarding public, community, and population health. This module has only provided me with additional valuable and usable information. This information also encouraged me to become more involved with my new leadership to address the previous and future involvement of our clinical facility within our community health needs assessment.  
  • New capabilities that I developed during this module that were of immediate use to me in my job role.
    • I found that I had acquired the new language to be able to communicate on the same level with higher level administrators as well as my quality team. The quality department has worked for years to meet and report on measures that I wasn't familiar with, and after finishing this course, I now understand and can facilitate that process. It was a great moment when I could walk in as the Clinical Applications Specialist and find the reports that they previously had been struggling to build or find. 
  • A new career direction or specialization I am considering.
    • It is really clear to me that I would like to continue to move up within a non-profit organization. I enjoy being a leader and working with staff. My new position paired with population health has made me acutely aware that I care about people, and working strictly with systems is not where my heart is. 

This module the items that made the most impact included the Community Health Needs Assessment was one item that I should have had a better idea of going into this course. It was interesting to me because I functioned on the Needs Assessment committee in my previous job. My name is even listed in the actual published document. Yet, I didn’t know what the full scope of this needs assessment and what the impact of the document would be for my community. The cooperative partnerships and information that was identified by the CHNA was useful, and relevant, yet, I don’t think people in the communities know what it is. I don’t think that many people in healthcare even know what the CHNA is. It is now one of my prerogatives to ensure that my peers and staff know and understand the importance, so they can help to convey that message to others. If each individual had the opportunity to provide feedback and input, the information gets increasingly more valuable and relevant. Coinciding with the CHNA, the Community Health Improvement Plan is just as, if not more important than the needs assessment. It is generally easy to identify needs, but the development of a plan and the follow-through of that plan is what is essential to seeing change occur. Performance improvement, improvement strategies, and continued Quality improvement are all ways that healthcare organizations are being required to note and measure their improvement. Nothing stays stagnant, and in healthcare, things are continually changing organization-wide. Within a community, it is important to know that the healthcare organization is keeping up with not only the changes in healthcare, but the changes within the community. The community wide changes are the reason the CHNA and CHIP need to be done every few years.


A topic that I felt like I knew a lot about, but really didn't is Advocacy. When I started with my position at Norton Sound in the Bering Straits region of Alaska, we had a “patient advocate”. In my mind, this position did relatively one thing – took care of patients’ complaints. In reality and what we’ve learned through this course – is that the purpose of this person is actually quite large. This person also helps to ensure that their insurance is taken care of by both checking on enrollments or verifying preauthorizations have been submitted. They are also responsible for checking on the patients’ travel to and from the facility. Responding to patient complaints is actually a relatively small subset of their full responsibilities. The other idea that was a newer concept for me was the idea that we must be advocates. We must be advocates for change and support the community changes towards a better health plan.
Going forward I plan to utilize my new perspective on campaign versus hospital program. Going into the group project 2 I had associated the term campaign with politics. The idea has been changing with online functionality that supports the ideas that campaigns can support any purpose, like gofundme. That being considered, in a country full of “go fund me’s”, it becomes important to make health care related campaigns relevant. They need to speak to the community and stakeholders, and propose something that is needed and will gather support from others.


Developing my current facilities Health Information Exchange (HIE) is high on the priority list. The HIE is something that has been becoming increasingly more important in my job. When considering Electronic Health records, Patient access portals, Meaningful use, Behavioral health records, and the interoperability between both programs and organizations, it has changed dramatically since the ideas inception. Knowing the issues of interfacing two programs is only one part of the battle. Learning the impact of the failures to make programs that cooperatively function or even integrate with one another has been very revealing. The fact that patient portals do not directly connect between EHRs, is one point, but when we look at the requirements of having electronic records, many heathcare facilities meet the requirement. When looking deeper at the options to pull reports from the records, there are many issues that arise. It is not as easy to do these things.


In summary - my Module 4 takeaways include the fact that the HIE is one tool that is critical to be able to find and pull reports on measurable items. These items can help to identify whether or not a current health care campaign or program is functioning at an optimum level and reaching the correct population. Advocacy is a clear need when we start to look at the actual CHNA and CHIP documentation. Overall, this module helped wrap up the idea of the health care needs and how it associates with a community.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.