Office of Academic Affiliations
Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education - Our Vision
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Academic Affiliations, Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education promote creativity and innovation to improve healthcare and education in primary care settings in interprofessional Academic Patient Aligned Care Teams (iAPACTs) within VA's Primary Care PACT and other external "health home" models.
The goal of these centers is to prepare medicine, nursing, physician assistants, psychology, pharmacy, social work, and other health profession trainees to work in and lead, and improve Veteran/patient-centered interprofessional teams in Veterans Health Administration's transformed system of care. Building upon the VA Whitepaper "Academic PACT: A blueprint for primary care redesign in academic practice settings" (Oct, 2013), Centers focus on continuous learning and concurrent professional development of all individuals in VA teams and teamlets (including Veterans, families, caregivers, RN’s, LPNs, LVNs, health techs, evaluation and administrative staff and trainees).
It is our vision that...
- Veterans, families and caregivers are vital partners who influence Center learning and clinical care. These important partners serve on leadership boards, key committees, and quality improvement teams. Veterans actively participate in the Centers' goal supporting continuous improvement of Veteran-centered care.
- Trainees learn to provide outstanding team based primary care with their panel and teamlet responsibilities as their highest priority. Trainees understand their importance and value to the team. Trainees have a profound respect for Veterans and appreciate Veteran unique culture and needs. Trainees understand VHA’s mission and many of the services available to support Veteran-centered care and well-being. Trainees are surrounded by faculty, clinical and administrative staff who are role models ensuring that trainees emerge from Centers as skilled professionals with cultivated competence in interprofessional, team-based Veteran-centered care.
- Center clinicians, faculty, staff (both clinical and administrative), trainees, affiliates, leaders and other stakeholders share continuous learning goals and the concept of interprofessional communication and collaboration as the foundation for clinical practice and improvement. All team members are passionate teachers and welcoming learners recognizing that professional development is an important activity at every stage. Professional development is fostered within and across professions to improve individual as well as team skill and effectiveness. All team members appreciate the vast potential of complimentary professional, intellectual and cultural diversity in interprofessional, team-based Veteran-centered care.
- Communication within and across teams in Centers and other iAPACTS is intentional, proactive, and systematized. Communication skills such as listening, inquisitiveness, and respectful feedback are regularly practiced and improved.
- Continuous improvement is the primary approach to rapid cycle learning and innovation in Centers and other iAPACTs. Viewpoints of all stakeholders contribute to workflow design, use of space, and the technologies that improve Veteran care. Strategies to support population health and guide the practices that prepare trainees for future primary care practice are clearly evident.
- High quality inquiry and evaluation is the primary approach to rapid cycle learning and innovation in Centers and other iAPACTs. Viewpoints of all stakeholders contribute to workflow design, use of space, and the technologies that improve Veteran care. Strategies to support population health and guide the practices that prepare trainees for future primary care practice are clearly evident.
- Facility leaders are engaged and supportive of Center mission, work and outcomes. They respect trainees, they seek out their opinions and they hire these new leaders. They value the Center’s contribution to advancing Veteran wellness, healthcare and satisfaction, they support Centers through sustainment strategies.
- Affiliate health professions deans, program directors and faculty are important Center and other iAPACT partners. They understand and embrace VA’s iAPACT mission as important to their own mission, vision and core values.
- VA iAPACT's and other external "health homes" are significantly influenced by Center work and are continuously improving foundational strategies that lead to new models and improved care. Programs cross health sciences and human service boundaries and support the integrative concepts that are foundational to advancing interprofessional practice, health and wellness.
- Veterans Health Administration Central Office (VHACO) national leadership understand the impact of program work and the extraordinary role of staff. They realize the importance and impact of well-prepared, engaged staff and inspired future health professionals to effectively meet the needs of Veterans. Delegated resources lead to ongoing, innovative and integrated partnerships and provide foundational infrastructure necessary to expand and sustain the program system-wide. VHACO leaders realize that Center activities are in direct alignment with VA institutional values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence and strategies prioritized in "VHA's Blueprint for Excellence."
- Professional Organizations and Accrediting bodies value the work of the Centers and offer support as influential, active partners to address complexities, provide resources and remove barriers to national integration of interprofessional education and practice. These partners evaluate traditional practices with an eye on needed change for the common good. They support the development of interprofessional competencies and interprofessional accreditation while advancing competencies within each profession.
- National policies and practices are based on Center work and from collaborative partnerships at local, regional, and national levels. Academic affiliates, payers, accrediting bodies, educational program sponsors, and professional organizations have readily adopted policies and practices that have emerged from the Centers.