NACDD’s vision is to “lead and influence the ways chronic disease prevention and control shapes the future health landscape.” Each year, the Chronic Disease Academy is a special opportunity for chronic disease directors and their staff to learn innovative new approaches and concepts in our field so they can take these practices back to the field with them. This year’s Academy particularly inspired, motivated, and educated me on ways we can communicate about the value of the work that we do in public health. I was pleased to see so many other attendees also energized and invigorated by the experience.
For those who couldn’t attend the Academy, for the first time ever, we have made the plenaries available via podcast:
- Charles Brown, “Communicating the Value of Public Health and Social Justice to Promote Leadership & Reduce Chronic Diseases”
- Ian Galloway, “Paying for Success”
After you’ve listened to these powerful speakers, I challenge you to take the next, hard step and translate the themes and information they shared into your own practice. There is no doubt that translating new knowledge into practice requires initiative, leadership, and great communication. Beyond that, in our hyper-paced world, I often find the missing ingredient in knowledge translation is reflection.
So, I encourage you to block out some time on your schedule and reflect on areas that piqued your interest during the Academy and consider how they might integrate, even in a small way, into your work practices. This is a small way to keep the learning alive and, importantly, make it stick.
For me, Ian Galloway’s talk exemplified a topic where some reflection and discussion is a must. The pay-for-success area is innovative. And should the example of hypertension in Canada that he shared pan out, the pay for success model could potentially be disruptive in terms of how we do business. What if we really could construct agreements to sustainably pay for
real health outcomes (instead of “deliverables”)? As stewards of public resources, why wouldn’t we?
Good learning experiences enhance both
your skills and motivation, but perhaps great learning experiences also can destabilize us. Charles Brown’s talk on social justice was poignant, not only because it was deeply personal, but because for many it revealed our own complacency, perhaps even complicity, in perpetuating unjust systems. The discomfort in this knowledge is not easy to bear, though I suspect that many of us will do better to take the harder path and reflect on that discomfort rather than to ignore it.
I hope you will take some time out to listen to these podcasts from our Chronic Disease Academy and share them with your colleagues. Shaping the future of the chronic disease prevention and health promotion starts with us and how we can improve upon and refine our work each day.