Engagement Strategies to Advance Community-Centered Primary Care
The Louisiana Public Health Institute designed and implemented the Primary Care Capacity Project (PCCP) with the purpose of expanding access to high-quality, integrated, and sustainable community-based primary care, including linkages to behavioral health services, as well as environmental and occupational health services. With a primary focus to invest in community health centers across 17 Gulf Coast counties and parishes, PCCP engaged stakeholders, including 4 primary care organizations, over 20 federally qualified health centers, public health institutes, health information exchanges, national experts, academic organizations, and health departments along with their relevant community partners. This article examines the strategies PCCP used to engage stakeholders and partners throughout the project in order to strengthen sustainable primary care systems. The PCCP team fostered trusted partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders to not only understand the need of the communities but to also identify ways to complement and not duplicate already existing efforts. Specifically, community prioritization convenings, peer-to-peer learning through the Regional Care Collaborative, and dyadic interviews were instrumental in linking stakeholders and maximizing capacity-building efforts. Health partners across the 4 states are now better positioned to collaborate on future regional opportunities including continued knowledge transfer through special interest groups, ongoing engagement with an annual regional convening, continued efforts to advance emergency management and resiliency, and potential development of group purchasing and other shared services. The PCCP experience suggests that in disaster-prone areas the sustainability of integrated primary care and behavioral health services is enhanced when cross-jurisdiction collaborations are established.