A Connected Workforce: Why We’re Better Working Together
Public health work can be siloing, and finding ways to connect across communities, sectors, and indentities will only strengthen the work we do. Last year, CHTI ran a pilot cohort hoping to do just that.
Over the last six years, the Community Health Training Institute has delivered hundreds of trainings across the state of Massachusetts. Each year we’ve spent our summers incorporating feedback from our training participants to better serve the needs of our coalitions. This past year your feedback inspired us to pilot our very first Health Equity Cohort in March of 2019 (add hyperlink). Our goal here at CHTI has always been to support coalitions to build their skills and capacity to do their work better. Through our pilot we explored how the structure of a cohort gave us more time to deepen our connections between members and create continued conversations that are still happening today. We are very excited to announce that we’re going to continue our Health Equity Cohort series this new year and we’ll also be adding a Coalition Building Cohort to our calendar! With the only coalition database in the state, we aim to bring you training opportunities that are relevant and essential to the field. We are proud of our efforts to continue to build our growing network and our ability to put those connections at the forefront of our upcoming cohort series.
So, why cohorts? Because we know that these connected learning networks are more than just trainings, they’re a team of folks working towards the same goal and supporting each other to build healthier communities and challenging the systems that threaten them. We call all public health professionals, coalition leaders and community members – join us as we jump into another training year and come check out all we have to offer!
Two weeks ago, we caught up with our 2019 Cohort members and checked in on what they’re doing. What health equity initiatives are they working on? What challenges do they need to be supported in? It was great to sit down with them and see the tangible results from the learning cohort. We heard from members launching a social justice book club for school nurses and teachers; a local health department worker partnering with law enforcement to address issues at the intersection of race, incarceration, and substance use; and another who is working to host cross-cultural discussions around language and Alzheimer’s. For various issues that came up, the group was able to share advice from their own experiences implementing the topics we discussed in the health equity cohort.
This cohort reunion was an important reminder of why these partnerships and spaces to collaborate are so important. At the Training Institute, we collect data on quality of trainings, on website traffic, on reach of newsletters and more, but how can we measure things like connections? How can we measure the value of cross-regional and cross-disciplinary networking? We might not have the answers right now, but we know that these learning cohorts are making a big impact in terms of aligning our work and working together. There’s magic that happens in the room when you gather together professionals who are all passionate about the same thing, but each bring different perspectives and expertise. We invite you all to be a part of this!
For more information about our new cohorts click here