A first-of-its-kind collaboration kicked off in Durham this week. IBM’s newly created Health Corps has chosen Duke’s Center for Community and Population Health Improvement (CCPHI) as one of five recipients in its inaugural year of awards designed to address health disparities around the world.
Great things are happening to address health concerns in Durham already, and this partnership is tackling a big question: how do we collect data and harness all the effort people are pouring into programs in Durham to better serve our community as a whole? “We want to improve the health of the whole population, not just those individuals who take advantage of clinical services at Duke,” said Dr. Ebony Boulware MD, MPH, director of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and director of CCPHI.
Duke Health Chancellor Eugene Washington welcomed the IBM team and the community members at the opening event on January 30. “At Duke, we’re used to being first, and this project is no different. We aren’t helping only our own communities — we’re the first project like this in the US, and we’ll serve as an example for others,” he noted.
This three week project immerses six IBM experts into the Durham community, partnering them with community organisers and leaders. These stakeholders will discuss technology and collaboration issues they face and work with the IBM team to innovate solutions. At the end of three weeks, the IBM team will deliver a plan with processes and systems that will help the community groups better collaborate with one another in the future.
The first week will be all about discovery. The team will get neck deep into what’s already happening in Durham and wrap their minds around the health programs in place. The second week will be quite nebulous — IBM won’t be able to work with every initiative in Durham, but they’ll visit and learn more about technology and collaboration issues the groups face. Wherever they find great opportunities to use data to increase impact, they’ll get to work designing possible solutions. The last week will be ‘delivery week.’ On February 17th, the team and community leaders will get together again. The IBM team will present recommendations for the future, and the community will have a chance to create a roadmap to answer the question, ‘What’s next?’
Do you have ideas for initiatives or issues the Health Corps partnership could address? They’re here to listen and learn, so reach out to them on Twitter using the hashtag #PopHealthDurham.
Follow the team's work on twitter with #PopHealthDurham.