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Tuesday, May 17 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Poster Session 3: Poster Board Number 140

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Poster Board Number: 140
Title: Bridging the Academic-Practice Divide: Facilitating Collaboration within Public Health
Objectives: To build a virtual learning community to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration between academic faculty members and practitioners in the field of public health and, in so doing, to explore the relevance and utility of “library” skills in nontraditional contexts.
Methods: A work-group consisting of academic faculty and public health practitioners, and coordinated by a librarian, was formed to develop the learning community concept for academic health departments and define the activities of such a community. The structure and implementation of the learning community will be informed by the existing evidence as well as input from target audiences. A review of literature and other resources will be conducted to identify previous efforts to promote the development of relationships between educators and practitioners, barriers to such initiatives, and strategies for success. In designing the structure of the community, learning communities and other online groups will be explored and feedback will be gathered from public health professionals. The community will be advertised to the public health field through both traditional and social media channels. The applicability and usefulness of information management skills will be considered at each stage in this development process.
Results: The Academic Health Department Learning Community officially launched in January 2011. Public health professionals from both academia and public health practice located throughout the country have joined this community of practice. Meetings are held by conference call, and initial space has been developed online to facilitate sharing individual and organizational experiences. Review of the published literature has informed creation of resources for community members and generation of meeting discussion topics. Experiential knowledge and resources are being collected from community members, organized, and disseminated online. Exploration of community models is underway, solicitation of input from stakeholders is ongoing, and the structure of the learning community continues to evolve.
Conclusions: Response to the learning community has been positive, and the community continues to grow. Information management skills--especially those related to discovering, organizing, synthesizing, and disseminating information--have proved highly relevant in this context.
Author: Kathleen Amos, AHIP, Sewell Learning Partnership Librarian Fellow, Public Health Foundation, Washington, DC

Tuesday May 17, 2011 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Exhibit Hall A - Minneapolis Convention Center

Attendees (10)

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