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Measuring institutional community engagement: Adding value to academic health systems

  • Syed M. Ahmed (a1), Sharon Neu Young (a1), Mia C. DeFino (a2) and Joseph E. Kerschner (a3)

Abstract

Beyond medical schools’ historical focus on pillar missions including clinical care, education, and research, several medical schools now include community engagement (CE) as a mission. However, most academic health systems (AHSs) lack the tools to provide metrics, evaluation, and standardization for quantifying progress and contributions of the CE mission. Several nationwide initiatives, such as that driven by the Institute of Medicine recommending advances in CE metrics at institutions receiving Clinical and Translational Science Awards, have encouraged the research and development of systematic metrics for CE, but more progress is needed. The CE components practical model provides a foundation for analyzing and evaluating different types of CE activities at AHSs through five components: research, education, community outreach and community service, policy and advocacy, and clinical care. At the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), an annual survey administered to faculty and staff assessed the types and number of CE activities from the prior year. Survey results were combined to create a CE report for departments across the institution and inform MCW leadership. Insights gathered from the survey have contributed to next steps in CE tracking and evaluation, including the development of a CE dashboard to track CE activities in real time. The dashboard provides resources for how individuals can advance the CE mission through their work and guide CE at the institutional level.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr. S.M. Ahmed, MD, DrPH, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Suite H2500, PO Box 26509, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. Email: sahmed@mcw.edu

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Keywords

Measuring institutional community engagement: Adding value to academic health systems

  • Syed M. Ahmed (a1), Sharon Neu Young (a1), Mia C. DeFino (a2) and Joseph E. Kerschner (a3)

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