Connecting Health Leaders of the Future
Where will we find the leaders who will shape the future of health and health care research, policy, and delivery?
For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation® (RWJF) has sought to develop these leaders through its Human Capital programs.
RWJF seeks out a diverse range of health care providers, advocates, analysts, researchers, and faculty who have the potential to transform our health care system. The Foundation then provides them with the help needed to realize their promise.
How do we engage grantees from diverse professional backgrounds in an inspired community?
RWJF wanted a way to connect more than 3,000 Human Capital scholars, fellows, and alumni so that they can learn from one another and share their collective wisdom with the Foundation.
RWJF and IQ Solutions share similar missions and a 7-year history of collaboration. When RWJF launched its Human Capital Network (HCN) on LinkedIn, we had already served as a communications liaison to 11 Human Capital programs and had managed an RWJF grantee community on a different platform.
In our new role of managing the RWJF HCN, we are responsible for monitoring the daily activity of the network. Here, members get to post and invite comment on their latest research, share their excitement about what’s happening in the field, and establish mutually beneficial collaborations.
IQ Solutions also is charged with expanding participation and engagement with this richly diverse community through online and offline events. As one strategy, we launched an HCN webinar series designed to connect grantees around shared interest areas.
When is a webinar not just another webinar?
We believe it is when substantive webinar topics are identified and led by deeply knowledgeable members of the community.
IQ Solutions works with Human Capital grantees and RWJF to select central issues in health and health care that apply across disciplines.
We then draw on our background in message development and media training to help speakers develop succinct, engaging presentations.
IQ Solutions structures the webinars to mirror the two-way exchange fostered by the HCN. By devoting 40 percent of each webinar to a question-and-answer session, we ensure an open dialogue that addresses attendees’ primary concerns around the topic.
What do HCN members think of the webinars?
The response to follow-up surveys about the quality and value of the webinars has been resoundingly positive. Attendees have said that the sessions met their learning objectives, the topics were presented effectively, and the presenters were knowledgeable.
Topics with wide appeal have included translating research for important audiences, priming the diversity pipeline, reducing hospital readmissions, and using social media to boost research dissemination.
What’s next for the HCN?
Since its launch in December 2013, the HCN has grown to more than 1,300 members.
Plans to strengthen the network further include launching a series of “influencer” conversations on LinkedIn. IQ Solutions will continue to host receptions at national professional meetings to give HCN members an opportunity to connect in person.
Through this growing and vibrant community, RWJF grantees can stay connected and engaged long after they have completed their work on Human Capital programs.
The HCN provides a way for RWJF and its scholars, fellows, and alumni to continue advancing together toward a Culture of Health, where getting healthy and staying healthy is a fundamental part of American life.