Online Program

Leveraging technology to enhance peer-sharing among prevention providers: Virtual approaches for collaboration

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Molly Ferguson, MPH, CPS, Health and Human Development Division, Education Development Center, Inc., Chicago, IL
Carol Oliver, MA, Health and Human Development Division (HHD), Education Development Center, Inc, Waltham, MA
Libby Cole, MBA, Health and Human Development Division, Education Development Center, Inc., Waltham, MA
Chelsey Goddard, MPH, Health and Human Development Division (HHD), Education Development Center, Inc., Waltham, MA
Peer-sharing amongst prevention providers is an important component of successfully implementing a data-driven public health planning process. Recent decreases in time and budgets for in-person meetings have resulted in fewer opportunities for prevention providers to engage in face-to-face peer-sharing, networking, and collaboration.

As a part of EDC’s Health and Human Development (HHD) Division’s approach to delivering virtual training and technical assistance, centers within the division have implemented creative, deliberate solutions to overcome challenges in peer-sharing resulting from travel restrictions. This process is informed by annual needs assessments, qualitative input from training and technical assistance providers, and anecdotal feedback from prevention providers in order to determine topics that best lend themselves to peer-sharing, as opposed to information dissemination or knowledge translation. 

Once identified, topics are fleshed out through conversations with prevention providers on their biggest challenges with the issue, successes they have experienced, and the primary lessons they would like to learn from their peers. HHD staff then use these results to match successes to challenges, and prompt those providers with successes in advance of calls so that they are prepared to share their approaches. Calls are loosely structured by identified themes and include interactive polls, discussion boxes, and voice capability utilized throughout. Peer-sharing calls are never recorded in order to preserve open and honest discussion, and notes are distributed after the fact with key resources and lessons learned identified from the call. This customized, interactive approach provides prevention providers across the country with a platform that maximizes peer-sharing and collaboration.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify the benefits of peer-sharing amongst prevention providers addressing similar priorities Describe core components of a successful virtual peer-sharing approach

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Molly Ferguson is an Associate Project Director within Education Development Center's Health and Human Development Division. As a part of this role, Ms. Ferguson leads the development and delivery of national virtual training and technical assistance services, including peer-sharing calls, for prevention providers across states, tribes, and jurisdictions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.