In February 2011, the University of Kansas launched a university-wide strategic planning effort. The effort spanned all 5 campuses and included a committee for Engaging Scholarship with Public Service at KU Medical Center. Today, the Institute for Community Engagement is turning that plan into reality.
Select one of the 5 goals below for details and progress updates.
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In many academic health centers, activities that improve community health and student education beyond the institution's walls are undervalued. KU Medical Center has outlined three key strategies to ensure that we remain a leader of engaged scholarship among academic health centers:
1. Operationalize accountability for outreach at the department leadership level
2. Ensure promotion & tenure processes recognize and reward service and outreach
Update: The Institute for Community Engagement's Internal Advisory Board includes Bob Klein, PhD, Associate Dean for Professional Development and Faculty Affairs, who oversees the promotion and tenure process for the KU School of Medicine.
3. Drive institutional recognition for outreach activities
Update: The Institute now sponsors four annual awards for individuals and teams who demonstrate exemplary dedication to improving the health of communities: Faculty Award for Scholarship in Community Engagement; KU Medical Center Community Partnership Award; Community Service Student Group Award; Community Leader Student Award (Sept. 2012). In February 2012, the Institute formed a committee to create formal, financial awards to individuals and teams who demonstrate exceptional engaged scholarship and community engagement. The committee submitted recommendations in April 2012 to create four awards.
For continued success, committee members identified a need for improved collaboration and organization of KU Medical Center outreach activities. Tough economic times and our dedication to serve Kansas and the region underscore the imperative of this goal.
1. Conduct a needs assessment to understand Kansas' outreach needs
Complete. An online survey was distributed in July 2011 to 18,000 Kansans, asking them to prioritize work by KU Medical Center and to identify unmet needs. Their responses, summarized in this letter, strongly guide our decision-making.
2. Learn from best practice models
Update: David Cook, Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement and director of the Institute for Community Engagement, completed an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship, where he met with engaged scholars and leaders of similar efforts at schools across the nation and world.
3. Identify, prioritize activities based on needs, resources and valueUpdate: The Institute is exploring ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the Outreach Aircraft Program and KU Medical Center health care pipeline development initiatives (Fall 2012).
1. Implement and expand current outreach effortsUpdate: The Institute is working with faculty and staff in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Health Professions to improve the process of placing KU Medical Center students for hands-on, community-based learning. One solution being considered is the development and implemenation of a preceptor database (Fall 2012).
2. Assist community-generated efforts
3. Promote student involvement in outreach activities
4. Measure outreach outcomes
Update: The Institute for Community Engagement identified metrics to determine success in several key action areas. These metrics are:
1. By 2016, KUMC will increase extramural funding for community research and engaged scholarship by 10 percent.
2. By 2016, KUMC will increase its percentage of faculty involved in community-based research.
3. By 2016, increase the number of students in the health professions pipeline by 10 percent.
4. By 2016, increase the number of student experiences in rural and underserved communities by 10 percent.
5. By 2016, facilitate the placement of 125 health care professionals in rural and underserved Kansas communities.
6. KUMC will continue to conduct activities that improve health and health care in all 105 counties.
5. Apply resources to the intersection of need and capacity
1. Formalize and fund the KUMC outreach organization and leadership
Update: The Institute for Community Engagement formally replaced the Office of Outreach in September 2011. Directed by David Cook, PhD, the Institute also receives leadership support from a Medical Director (Michael Kennedy, MD) and Nursing Director (Cindy Teel, PhD, RN).
2. Formalize an Internal Advisory Board, External Advisory Board and Community Advisory Board
Update: The Institute for Community Engagement established the Internal Advisory Board with a committee of 25 faculty, staff and students who are leaders of engaged scholarship at the University (Nov. 2011). The Institute is exploring options for a Community Advisory Board by first conducting an internal audit of Community Advisory Boards assembled by KU Medical Center projects, departments and divisions (Sept. 2012).
3. Expand outreach infrastructure based on need
1. Coordinate communications with the Office of Public Affairs
Update: The Institute for Community Engagement funds a full-time communicator that reports in the Office of Public Affairs.
2. Consistently promote and market outreach to increase awareness
Update: The community engagement communicator works with engaged scholars at KU Medical Center to increase publicity for efforts that improve the health of the people of Kansas, the region and the world. Communications tools include news releases and media relations with Kansas’ hometown news outlets, story production for internal outlets, website and social media support and more.
3. Organize and adopt a cohesive brandUpdate: The Institute for Community Engagement adopts the official University of Kansas brand.