Cumberland Health Providers Launch First Next Gen Partnership in North Carolina
The Cumberland County Healthcare Next Generation Partnership (CCHNGP), the first initiative of its kind in North Carolina, met in Fayetteville on June 14th. The County Workforce Development Board, FCEDC, and other partners brought together more than 20 representatives from Cape Fear Valley Health, the Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC), private providers, and healthcare-related businesses. This was the largest industry-specific meeting that has ever taken place in our community.
Next Gen Partnerships are distinctly different from traditional area partnerships. Instead of organizing conversations around programs or grants, business leaders define and champion their own priorities and agenda. Depending on an industry’s current needs, they can tackle a variety of topics including workforce, infrastructure improvements, supply chain issues, and/or access to capital. Once priorities and tentative actions have been defined, local, regional, and State partners work alongside the companies to achieve their goals.
Representatives from the Office of Gov. Roy Cooper, the Office of Sen. Richard Burr, the NC Dept. of Commerce, local government, workforce and economic development organizations, and education providers were also in attendance. They demonstrated their support while letting the healthcare providers drive the conversation.
Dr. Y. Sammy Choi, Director of the Department of Research at the WAMC, spoke about the importance of maximizing the power of “with.” “We have an unprecedented number of business and community leaders at the table. As we continue to work WITH each other, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.”
While a variety of needs and ideas were discussed, a few topics rose to the top of the partners’ priority list. These include:
- Increasing the integration and coordination of care, to more efficiently and accurately share information
- Creating a more specific workforce development strategy for healthcare providers
- Exploring non-traditional approaches to health services including improved transportation of patients, expanded care for the underprivileged, and new research initiatives
- Taking greater steps to prevent and reduce obesity through education, increased nutritional options, and improved access to parks and walking trails
Robert Van Geons, President & CEO of FCEDC and Co-Chair of the CCHNGP said, “We are redefining how we have conversations with industry and reshaping the way people think about our community. This meeting is an incredible opportunity to connect our resources and move forward on important objectives. By working closely with the private sector, we are synchronizing our efforts, creating a greater pathway to prosperity for our citizens, and reducing the cost of doing business.
Participants were organized into groups of “champions” for each objective and plan to identify courses of action in the coming weeks. Once each of these groups has met, the full partnership will reconvene to review the action plans and discuss next steps.